Detroit honors former coach with Dick Vitale Court

By Larry Lage

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Dec. 5 2011 6:30 p.m. MST

Basketball announcer Dick Vitale is shown with some of his players during an unveiling of a basketball court in his honor at Calihan Hall at Detroit Mercy in Detroit, Monday, Dec. 5, 2011. Vitale guided the Titans to 78 victories in five seasons at the University of Detroit, as it then was called, when he coached the team

Carlos Osorio, Associated Press

DETROIT — The University of Detroit Mercy has honored a former coach and athletic director who turned into a college basketball icon.

The school unveiled Dick Vitale Court at Calihan Hall on Monday night before the Titans hosted St. John's. He was celebrated on the 32nd anniversary of being an analyst for ESPN.

Vitale led Detroit to the NCAA tournament in 1977 after earning a bid by beating eventual champion Marquette coached by Al McGuire in Milwaukee.

He was with the Titans from 1973-77 as their coach and was athletic director during the 1977-78 season. After leading the Detroit Pistons for a season and 12 games, he was fired.

Vitale's passion for college basketball and platform on cable TV helped him get inducted into Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 2008.

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