CHICAGO — Ray Meyer, the grandfatherly basketball coach whose 42-year tenure at DePaul stretched from George Mikan to Mark Aguirre, died Friday, the school said. He was 92.

Details were not immediately available. His death was confirmed by athletic director Jean Lenti Ponsetto.

Meyer twice took the Blue Demons to the NCAA Final Four, helped develop Mikan — who would eventually become basketball's first dominating big man — and coached DePaul to the 1945 NIT title.

Meyer's death comes just as the NCAA tournament is getting under way in cities around the country. Meyer's teams competed in the tourney 13 times, and many of the coaches there now remembered him and the legacy he left.

"He was a coach's coach, he was a man's man," said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, who grew up in Chicago. "He was the face of college basketball in Chicago. When you think of basketball in that city, you think of Ray Meyer."

Said UCLA's Ben Howland: "He had a great, long life."

Meyer had an eye for talent with players like Aguirre, Terry Cummings, Dallas Comegys and Dave Corzine, who parlayed their college experience into pro careers.

But no player he coached had as much of an impact on the game as Mikan, who died in June 2005.

Meyer had just been hired at DePaul in 1942 when he was introduced to a 6-foot-10 student with thick glasses.

"I saw George Mikan," Meyer recalled, "and I saw my future."

Under Meyer's tutelage, Mikan became a two-time college player of the year. A half-century ago, no one had seen someone that tall with such agility, tenacity and skill.

From the days of two-handed set shots to the slam dunk era, Meyer either coached or broadcast 1,467 consecutive Blue Demons games, a 55-year streak. He retired in 1984 with a 724-354 record and then became a special assistant to the president while also doing radio commentary.

"He was a sweetheart of a guy, who always made you feel good about life and made sure you knew you were lucky to be around this game," CBS college basketball analyst and former Seton Hall coach Bill Raftery said.

"The last time I saw him at the Final Four last year, he had the same smile I first saw 30 years ago, even though he was being pushed in a wheelchair by his grandson," he said.

Meyer's 1978-79 team reached the Final Four by beating Southern California, Marquette and UCLA in the NCAA Tournament. The Blue Demons lost 76-74 to Larry Bird's Indiana State team in the semifinals, then defeated Penn 96-93 to finish third.

Michigan State won the title that season in Salt Lake City behind Magic Johnson. Jud Heathcote, who coached the Spartans then, was in Dayton, Ohio, on Friday to watch his old team in the tournament.

"He was a great coach, but a greater man," Heathcote said. "His longevity was unbelievable. He was a tremendous credit to our profession."

Meyer's 1943 team also made it to the NCAA Final Four.