Pepperdine's Athletic Chaplain Maurice Hilliard dies

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.


  • David

    He will be dearly missed.

  • Jesse Pinegar

    Maurice was a great man and inspired everyone around him. I am glad that I was able to know him, and greatly appreciate all he did for me. He will be missed.

  • Christine

    Maurice, you are going to be so missed. Thank you for everything you taught me and for all the ways you poured out to our students. You lived out your faith in Christ so tangibly, and people felt LOVED by you because God’s love was always pouring out through you warm smile and kind heart. You are one of the most inspirational and loving people I have ever met in my life. Thank you for pointing me to Christ in every conversation and meeting we had. Thank you for being an amazing mentor, friend and brother in Christ to me. I am going to miss you so much Maurice, but I am so glad that you are with the Lord now, resting and happy in His presence.

  • Glenda

    My husband J C and I met with Maurice a few weeks ago and made plans to work together. He was such a spirit filled man. I am grateful to have met him.
    I am shocked and saddened.

  • Matthew Curtis

    I saw Maurice around campus a few times. I would say high as I passed by him outside of the chapel. Never got to actually met him or speak with him. He seemed real cool, and also drove a Jaguar so he was cool already. I wish I could’ve actually said something and spoke to him, just a reminder to never take any person or moment for granted.
    Maurice, you will be greatly missed. My condolences to your family and friends.
    God bless you.

  • Wave Fan 47

    My heart is broken with this news. Maurice was a gentle soul with a heart for the Lord. I always enjoyed seeing him around campus and hearing of his good work with our students. I celebrate the impact this wonderful man has had upon the world, most recently though his new book. He is gone far too soon, but I know he is being welcomed into a beautiful place. Today has been a quiet day of mourning for me.

  • Derrin

    Maurice was my brother in Christ. I was in several bible studies with him. He loved the Lord and had a passion for learning His word. I will miss him dearly.

  • Karl

    I didn’t know him well, but he was one of those folks that was always happy to see you. Sad and disturbing news. He will be dearly missed.

  • Mari Stanley

    My own prayers go out to join the entire Pepperdine “family” in the knowledge that it helps to lift Maurice’s spirit to his eternal reward and everlasting love. May the Lord’s angels comfort his loving family and provide peace during this difficult time.

  • Kevin P

    We lost a great friend, mentor, and role model, but heaven regained an Angel. Rest In Peace Maurice. You will be dearly missed my friend. Thank you for everything.

  • morris moe williams






  • Chris

    Maurice was the epitome of Christlike character and although he was one of the busiest people I know, he was never in a hurry. What a great example you lived of a life poured out for others. RIP Brother!

  • womans basketball mom

    to all of you who have lost a brother preacher or friend.. condolences to all eapecially
    his mother and family second for my daughter and her whole team how tight they were, how calm endearing and safe for them . Maurice is a man of love and hope …He he Helped Others People Everyday. all i can say is we never know the day or the hour so before this day slips away allways look above to find your strengths in the blessings and lesson we have all learned with our god and maurice. I pray for all of you admimistrators stundents and our althets.
    Peace and love to all
    Vio Con Dios

  • Kingsley Costain

    I’m still shocked and can’t believe this happened to a great man. Maurice has impacted many people including myslef. He will be missed dearly and will never be forgotten.