Rick Majerus: Small Act Went a Long Way for SLU Student
I was at the bar Humphrey's across the street from campus. He came in with a colleague, and on his way to finding a table a few people stopped him and said hello. What happened next I'll never forget. He made his way past my table, almost walked right past me, but then noticed me, turned his head, and said, "Hey, Jon."
It was a small gesture that I'm sure he forgot about the instant it happened. It doesn't seem like much, but it meant a lot to me. And for a man who was transitioning to a new university, with a thousand new names to learn, he somehow remembered my name.
Majerus had him at "Hey, Jon."
Maybe it was just because I might have been one of the first students Coach met at SLU. Or maybe it was just because that was the kind of life Majerus lived. Full of gestures, both small and big, that forever touched the people he met.
Its fitting that on the day he left us, I find myself Googling his name again, just as I did the day I first met him. As he might put it, it's just "the circle of life".
As the news of his death spread earlier this week, stories of all of Rick's gestures have been shared by former players, fellow coaches and reporters all across the country. I've made an effort to read every single one. You should too.
I only had a few more face to face run-ins with Coach throughout his time at SLU. I doubt he remembered my name much after that first week or so at SLU. I don't care. Like he taught me, names aren't important. It's about accepting the challenge of leaving this world a better place than how you found it. And if he touched me, the lowly sophomore who wandered into his press conference, then surely, this world is a far better place for all the lives Rick Majerus touched.
That's my Rick Majerus story, what's yours?