Rutgers Coach Eddie Jordan Graduates in Style

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Nearly 40 years after Eddie Jordan led Rutgers to its historic Final Four run as a point guard, the now head coach of the Scarlet Knights makes his family prouder this weekend when he receives his college degree. Jordan went back to school when he took over the basketball program in 2013 and walks today as a graduate.

Marguerite Jordan knows plenty about sacrifice. She worked more than 30 years in the Washington DC public school system and multiple side jobs in her career to put her family in position for success.

A proud 85-year old mother and grandmother, Marguerite Jordan gets another payoff this afternoon when her son graduates from Rutgers University. Forty-two years after Rutgers basketball coach Eddie Jordan enrolled as an undergraduate student, the wait makes Saturday at the RAC even sweeter.

“I was hoping,” she said during a conversation in Jordan’s basketball office. “When he says he wants to do something, he goes through with it.”

“He’s a finisher,” said Jordan’s sister Natalie.

What started as a less-than-flattering story upon Jordan’s return to Rutgers sparked what makes for a happy ending.

Jordan graduates Saturday with a B.S. from the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations. Since his 2013 return to the sticky Rutgers classrooms, Jordan maintained a 4.0 G.P.A. on top of his responsibilities as head basketball coach.

“It was a huge void in my life, an emptiness that I’ve always wanted to fulfill,” Jordan said. “As much as I’ve always said it’s my school, it is my school and I felt that way, but there was that emptiness that said it’s not really your school until you graduate. That’s how important it was to me.”

Jordan’s mother worked two jobs to put him through Washington (D.C.) Archbishop Carroll before his Rutgers days. When Jordan moved forward to Rutgers on a full athletic scholarship, Marguerite Jordan offered plenty of home comfort with carrot cake care packages.

As a symbolic thank you, Eddie Jordan baked one of his own this weekend.

“I feel like it’s part of our family that we should accomplish this type of thing,” Jordan said. “… I told my mother, ‘I’m going to bake a carrot cake tonight.’ My mother used to send me a carrot cake in a care package every four or six weeks when I was really down and I needed something to eat from home. It’s my turn to make it. … It just makes it symbolic of all of the experiences I had to go through.”

Jordan impressed his professors so much that graduate school or a teaching position could be in his future as the next step.

But before Jordan considers his future, he plans to enjoy the present, when he walks Saturday at 4 p.m. as a member of the Rutgers class of 2015.

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