Detroit Mercy Titans

The Detroit Mercy Titans are the athletic teams of the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM). The university is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I. The school primarily competes in the Horizon League, but competes in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference for men's lacrosse and the Southern Conference[2] for women's lacrosse.

Detroit Mercy Titans
UniversityUniversity of Detroit Mercy
ConferenceHorizon League, MAAC, SoCon
NCAADivision I
Athletic directorRobert Vowels
LocationDetroit, Michigan
Varsity teams19
Basketball arenaCalihan Hall
Baseball stadiumBuysse Field
Soccer stadiumTitan Field
MascotTommy Titan
ColorsRed, White, and Blue[1]


A member of the Horizon League, the University of Detroit Mercy sponsors teams in eight men's, nine women's, and one coed NCAA sanctioned sports:[3] Detroit Mercy is one of the only 4 NCAA Division I schools that don't sponsor volleyball and don't sponsor baseball (The other 3 being Boston University, Drexel, and Vermont). Previously the Tigers, in either 1919[4] or 1924[5] the school adopted the Titans nickname.

Men's sports Team article Head coach Women's sports Team article Head coach Co-Ed Sports Team Article Head Coach
Basketball Titans men's basketball Mike Davis Basketball Titans women's basketball Bernard Scott Fencing [v 1] Todd Dressell
Cross country Guy Murray Cross country Guy Murray
Golf Luke LaFave Golf Terri Anthony-Ryan
Lacrosse [v 2] Chris Kolon Lacrosse [v 3] Laurie Merian
Soccer Titans men's soccer Nicholas Deren Soccer Mike Lupenec
Tennis Aaron Paajanen Softball John Conway
Track & field (indoor & outdoor) Titans track and field Guy Murray Tennis Aaron Paajanen
Track & field (indoor & outdoor) Titans track and field Guy Murray
  1. Fencing in the NCAA is a coed sport with men's and women's squads. The fencing team competes in the Midwest Fencing Conference.
  2. The men's lacrosse team competes as an Associate member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
  3. The women's lacrosse team competes as an Associate member of the Southern Conference.


Basketball, men's

On April 12, 2008, UDM announced the hiring of Ray McCallum as men's basketball coach. McCallum is a veteran of more than 20 years in college basketball, most recently as assistant head coach at Indiana University. The Men's Basketball Team won the 2012 Horizon League Tournament, granting the Titans an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Titans received a 15 seed and lost to Kansas University in the tournament's second round.

Former men's basketball coach Perry Watson led a successful program at Detroit's Southwestern High School and served as an assistant coach at the University of Michigan before coming to UDM and maintained strong recruiting ties within the city's public league. After 14 seasons Watson stepped down as head coach at the end of the 2007–2008 season. Watson guided Detroit to 10 winning seasons, three league titles, two NCAA Tournament appearances and an NIT Final Four. The Titans two NCAA appearances also included victories over St. John's and UCLA. Between 1997–98 and 2000–01, the Titans had four straight 20-victory seasons.

Dick Vitale, ESPN's most well-known college basketball commentator, was the Detroit men's basketball Head Coach for four seasons (1973–1977) before becoming the school's Athletics Director in 1977. The following year he left to coach the Detroit Pistons. In his final year as a college head coach, "Dickie V." led the Detroit Titans to the Round of 16 in the 1977 NCAA Tournament before losing to Michigan, 86-81.

Basketball, women's

The University of Detroit Mercy hired Autumn Rademacher, a former UDM star guard, as women's basketball coach for the 2008–2009 season. Rademacher's first Lady Titan team finished 12–19 overall record, which was a six-game turnaround from the previous season. The Titans also bettered their Horizon League mark by four games (7–11) from the 2007–08 campaign to finish eighth in the conference after placing last in the previous two seasons.

During the 2009–10 campaign, she led UDM to a 17–14 overall record, including a 14–4 mark in the Horizon League, an improvement of five overall wins and seven wins in conference play since her first season on the sidelines. The last time Detroit reached 14 conference wins was when Rademacher was a player during the 1996–97 season, a year that still stands as the only time Detroit has reached the NCAA tournament. UDM would end the year tied for second in the HL – its highest finish since the 2004 season – and an appearance in the conference semifinals.

In 2010–11, she led UDM to a 13–18 overall record. However, Detroit accomplished two more impressive feats by winning a postseason game for the third-straight year as well as defeating in-state rival and Big Ten member Michigan. The Titans held serve on their home court, downing Valparaiso to reach the Horizon League quarterfinals, while the 67–48 win over U-M was one of the biggest victories in school history. It not only ended a six-game losing streak to Michigan, it was the first triumph over the Wolverines – as well as against the Big Ten – since 1994.

In 2011–12, she led the Titans to their first 20-win season since 1997 and their first postseason appearance (WNIT) since that same year. Their 14 conference wins also tied a school record with the 14 she had back in 2010. They made their sixth trip to the Horizon League title game and the first in the Rademacher tenure as the Titans were the Horizon League Preseason No. 7 team at the beginning of the season, only to finish second and advance to the conference championship game.

The 2012–13 season marked the fifth for Rademacher. She was awarded a three-year contract extension following the Titans' 20-win season and WNIT appearance during the 2011–12 campaign. The 2012–2013 Lady Titans finished fourth in the Horizon League with a 9–7 record and were invited to the Women's Basketball Invitational (WBI) National Tournament. The Lady Titans won the Women's Basketball Invitational (WBI) Championship with an exciting win over the McNeese State Cowgirls, 73-62.[6] It was the first postseason tournament win for Detroit since 1981 when the Titans defeated Michigan, Wayne State, and Oakland in the State-Large College Tournament. The UDM Lady Titans also won in 1979, 1980, and 1981. The Titan win was just the second time in the four-year history of the WBI that a No. 1 seed has won the championship and first time since the inaugural year of the Women's Basketball Invitational.

Detroit Mercy had a 6–24 record during the season of 2013–14. Rademacher's contract was not renewed in March 2015.

Lacrosse, men's

Detroit Lacrosse, coached by Matt Holtz, won the 2013 MAAC Championship and advanced to the NCAA tournament where they were downed in the fourth quarter by Notre Dame.[7][8]

Football (discontinued)

The first attempt at a football team for the University of Detroit was known as the Detroit Heralds. That team was disbanded after the 1904 season, and most of the players formed an amateur team of the same name in 1905. Although the university team returned in 1906, the amateur team remained, eventually evolving into a semi-professional team, then a professional team, ultimately joining the National Football League as a charter member in 1920. The Heralds folded in 1921.

In 1928, the Detroit Titans under Gus Dorais finished with a record of 9-0-0. Several years later Parke H. Davis, considered to be a "major selector" by the NCAA, named the 1928 team to a share of the national championship [9]

John Idzik was the head coach for the final three seasons of the football program, from 1962 until 1964. His coaching record at Detroit was 6 wins, 21 losses and 1 tie.[10] The school then disbanded the football team after the 1964 season due to cost.


Since 1996–97, Detroit Mercy Titans athletic teams have won 14 league championships, and 15 teams have competed in NCAA championships. The men's soccer team was the 2005 Horizon League champions.


The University was the host institution for the 2008 NCAA Midwest Regional and the 2009 NCAA Final Four men's basketball tournament at Ford Field in Detroit.

Notable alumni


  1. "University of Detroit Mercy Brand Standards Guide" (PDF). September 15, 2016. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  3. "Detroit Mercy Titans". University of Detroit Mercy. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  4. "Titans Host Oakland In #MetroSeries Battle On Red Out Saturday". Detroit Titans Athletics. January 18, 2018. Retrieved September 24, 2018. Until 1919, the U-D teams were known as the Tigers. In the fall of 1919, Detroit Free Press' sportswriter Stan Brink, who was covering football for the paper, thought that a good nickname for the team would be the Titans.
  5. Joe Niese; Bob Dorais. Gus Dorais: Gridiron Innovator, All-American and Hall of Fame Coach. McFarland. p. 132. ISBN 978-1-4766-3409-8. Retrieved September 23, 2018. In 1924 the Tigers changed their nickname to the more unique 'Titans.'
  6. 2013 WBI Championship, retrieved 2013-April-4
  7. "Detroit Titans lacrosse prepares for first ever NCAA appearance in just its fifth season". Retrieved 2015-09-24.
  8. "#2 Notre Dame's Fourth-Period Rally Shocks Detroit In NCAA Championship". Retrieved 2015-09-24.
  9. National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) (2015). "National Poll Rankings" (PDF). NCAA Division I Football Records. NCAA. Retrieved January 4, 2016.
  10. DeLassus, David. "Detroit Coaching Records". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved November 29, 2010.
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