I told (Texas Southern) I would never leave.”
Those were the words uttered by Coach Mike Davis at his introductory news conference where he was officially named as the new head basketball coach at the University of Detroit, Mercy.
But obviously, something changed between June 4th and earlier today as Coach Davis, who spent six years in Houston at Texas Southern building a SWAC powerhouse, decided to head north to Motown to become the 22nd head basketball coach in the university’s history.
Nuggets from Mike Davis presser today: Will bring entire TxSU staff with him, Deal is reportedly worth roughly $425k a year, Detroit Mercy AD Robert Vowels was Davis’ neighbor in Birmingham when he was SWAC Commish. Vowels was once SIAC Commish as well. https://t.co/FQy63gd7aZ
I didnt turn it down, I labored with it a lot, Davis said at the press conference. I thank Robert for his patience. Most ADs would’ve just moved on. He kept saying I understand, I understand, I understand. I fell in love with Texas Southern. We won eight out of 11 championships (regular season and postseason tournament). The NCAA tournament was a routine thing for us.
I made my mind up. I decided I wasnt going to come. … Some things happened. I changed my mind.”
And some things must have happened because Davis left a school in which he amassed a record of 115 – 89 over six seasons, which included four regular season championships, four SWAC conference titles and three NCAA Tournament appearances.
Overall Davis has a record of 352 – 241 accumulated at Indiana (115 – 79), UAB (122 – 74) and Texas Southern. But at the end of the day, despite all of the success at TSU and efforts by the school to retain their coach, UDM athletic director Robert Vowels and president Antoine Garibaldi got their man.
Ive known Mike for a while; we were actually neighbors in Birmingham when I was commissioner of the SWAC and he was at UAB,” said Vowels. “I saw his teams at UAB and I was always impressed with how prepared they were. Hes the best fit possible. We believe that we found a coach that is experienced, who has integrity, has been successful, tough, determined, smart, creative, hard-working, confident and cares about his players.”
Texas Southern was obviously disappointed in losing Davis, but Dr. Charles McClelland, the University’s VP of Athletics, showed him nothing but love in their statement posted to their athletic site:
“Coach Davis has informed us that he will be stepping down as head coach here at Texas Southern University. Since arriving at TSU Coach Davis has helped establish a basketball program that has consistently competed highly on a national level year in and year out.
The championship and postseason banners that currently hang in our arena will only tell part of the story of the outstanding legacy he leaves behind. We wish him and his entire family well in all of their future endeavors.
A national search to fill the TSU men’s basketball head coach position will begin immediately.”
Another HBCU success story. Congratulations Coach Davis and best of luck in Motown.