Marquette Coach Raymonds Dies from Cancer

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  • Left to right: Al McGuire, Hank Raymonds, Rick Majerus. | Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

MILWAUKEE - The Marquette University community and many college basketball fans are mourning the loss of their former coach, athletic director and friend.

Hank Raymonds died of cancer at the age of 86.

"It's a sad day," said Robert Byrd, who was Raymonds' team captain on the 1979-80 team.

Raymonds served Al McGuire and Ed Hickey as the team's head coach, then took over the program after McGuire retired following the 1977 NCAA Championship season.

"Thanks for the opportunity that I have had to have Coach in my life," said Byrd, who was a freshman on that 1977 team.

Raymonds' teams went 126-50 and he delivered the team to the NCAA tournament five times.

For his players, he remained a life coach long after the basketball court.

"You always kept his phone number real close to you if there ever was a problem.  If I needed to call upon him, he would be available."

After his coaching career ended, he spent his time as an ambassador of the university, helping raise money for non-revenue sports.

He also did work running youth basketball camps and retreat programs for children in Milwaukee's central city.

Byrd runs the Bridging the Gap educational program, and he named the program's center after Raymonds.

Raymonds is survived by his wife Jinny, the former Mary Virginia Haar, five children and 14 grandchildren.