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Pepperdine athletic chaplain found dead on Malibu beach

March 13, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Officials are trying to determine how a Pepperdine athletic chaplain died. His body was found on a Malibu beach.

Maurice Hilliard was found dead Monday morning in the 25800 block of Pacific Coast Highway. It's unknown who found the body and how it was discovered.

Officials said Hilliard's death does not appear to be a suicide, but they are not ruling anything out, because it is early in the investigation.

Hilliard had worked at Pepperdine University since 2001. In his time there, he served as an academic coordinator, an assistant women's basketball coach and the men's basketball director of operations before becoming a spiritual leader for student athletics.

The Office of the Chaplain at the university posted a message on Hilliard's Facebook page, saying, "We are deeply saddened to learn today that Maurice Hilliard passed away unexpectedly. Maurice was our athletics chaplain, a coach, teacher and mentor."

Others have also posted on Hilliard's page, thanking him for his constant encouragement.