Pepperdine Athletic Chaplain Maurice Hilliard was found dead this morning on a beach north of Pepperdine, according to University officials. Notice of his death was released to athletes just after noon.
According to Director of Athletics Steve Potts, “We are all shocked and saddened. Maurice had and will continue to have an incredible impact on athletes and all students at Pepperdine.”
All coaches and student athletes gathered for the announcement of Hilliard’s death at Heritage Hall. Plans for a memorial service have not been announced yet.
University President Andrew K. Benton released the following statement early this afternoon:
“ We are saddened to learn that Maurice Hilliard, our University Athletic Chaplain and program director at the Boone Center for the Family, died earlier today.
Maurice touched the lives of so many of us at Pepperdine, especially our athletes who looked up to Maurice as a friend, counselor, and mentor. He will be greatly missed.
Maurice grew up in Los Angeles and earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of La Verne and a Master’s of Divinity in Apologetics at Biola University. He spent 10 years as a basketball coach at Pepperdine and then became the program director at the Boone Center for the Family.
Maurice recently published a book called The Price of a Pearl where he shared what he learned through teaching, coaching, and mentoring young adults. He said he wrote the book for “those who will open their hearts and minds to the healing power of God and who are willing to receive help.”
Maurice was frequently invited to speak at conferences and seminars about the transformational power of God in the lives of young adults.
More information will be provided as it becomes available.
Please offer your prayers for Maurice’s family and help each other through this difficult time.”
Homicide detectives are investigating the death, according to Malibu Patch. The details of Hilliard’s death are unclear and more information will be provided as it becomes available.
There will be a moment of prayer tonight prior to the men’s volleyball game in Firestone Fieldhouse at 7 p.m. The campus community has been invited to this. Afterwards, Athletics has opened the Trophy Room for athletes and students who wish to remain to pray.
The counseling center will have counselors available weekdays from 10-3 in the trophy room and Wednesday Chapel will open with a moment of prayer for Maurice.
Details about a memorial service have not yet been confirmed.