CHICAGO — One of the greatest players in the history of DePaul athletics is making a return to the school to take a new position.

Chicago native Mark Aguirre, who was a star for the Blue Demons in the late 1970s and early 1980s, is returning to the school to be a special assistant to athletic director DeWayne Peevy.

The role begins immediately for a player who earned accolades in high school and college in Chicago before a lengthy NBA career in Dallas, Detroit, and Los Angeles.

“It’s such an honor to partner and work alongside such a distinguished alumnus as Mark,” said Peevy in a statement released by the school. “As we have gotten to know each other over the past few years, it’s been apparent we are aligned in our vision for DePaul University, and specifically the athletics department.

“I look forward to working more closely with Mark to develop a championship experience in Lincoln Park for our athletes, and jointly pursue community and donor engagement initiatives that allow us to achieve our strategic goals.” 

Per DePaul, Aguirre will give advice to Peevy on different aspects of the department while also working with stakeholders, community partners and supporters of the school.

A native of Chicago’s west side, Aguirre first burst onto the scene as a star player for Westinghouse High School, where he was voted “Mr. Basketball USA” along with being named a McDonald’s All-American in 1978.

Joining DePaul and head coach Ray Meyer later that year, Aguirre was a critical part of one of the greatest collegiate teams in Chicago history. He was a two-time consensus first team All-American while also winning the Naismith, Adolph Rupp, USBWA, AP, and UPI College Player of the year in the 1979-1980 season.

In 1981, Aguirre earned that honor again from the Sporting News, and would later have his No. 24 retired by the school. He was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016.

He helped DePaul to the Final Four in his first season in 1978-1978 as the 26-6 Blue Demons made the national semifinals for the first time since 1943. They’d lose to Larry Bird and Indiana State in that contest in Salt Lake City before rallying to beat Penn in the third place game.

For the next two years, DePaul enjoyed incredible success, going 26-1 during the regular season in 1979-1980, entering the tournament as the No. 1 ranked team. But they were upset in their opening game of the tournament by eighth-seeded UCLA.

A similar situation happened in the 1980-1981 campaign as the Blue Demons went 27-1 in the regular season only to be stunned in their tournament opener again, this time by Saint Joseph’s.

Aguirre declared for the NBA Draft the next season and was selected first overall by the Mavericks. He was selected to three All-Star Games while in Dallas from 1981 through 1989 before he was traded to the Pistons midseason.

With Detroit, Aguirre helped his new team to a championship that spring and then again in the 1989-1990 season. He’d stay with Detroit through 1993, playing one season with the Clippers before retiring.