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Pepperdine mourns athletic chaplain found dead in Malibu

March 13, 2012 | 10:02 am

HilliardMauriceMugThis post has been corrected. See note below for details.

The Pepperdine University community is mourning the death of its athletic chaplain, who was found dead on the beach in Malibu on Monday.

Maurice Hilliard was athletic chaplain and program director at the Boone Center for the Family, university officials said.

"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," University President Andrew K. Benton said in a statement. "He will be greatly missed."

KTLA reports that Hilliard was taking a walk Monday morning near the ocean when he collapsed. The coroner told the TV station there was no sign of foul play or trauma to the body.

According to the university, Hilliard spent two years as an assistant women's basketball coach at Pepperdine before becoming program director at the Boone Center for the Family. Prior to that he served as academic coordinator and director of operations for the men's team.

[For the record, 12:45 p.m. March 13: A previous version of this post said Hilliard was an assistant women's basketball coach at the school for 10 years. He held that post for two years.]

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-- Paloma Esquivel

Photo: Maurice Hilliard. Credit: Pepperdine University

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