After a five-year stretch of playing in Downtown Detroit’s Cobo Arena, the Titans returned games to campus in 1993-94, a move which coincided with major exterior renovations and a rededication of Calihan Hall in September of 1993. A newly-painted playing floor, featuring the new Titans logo, was unveiled for the 2008-09 season. Almost all of the building’s locker rooms were remodeled in 1998. A major interior renovation project began one year later and has continued since. New retractable bleachers were installed in the arena’s lower bowl in 2002, and further renovations and improvements — including the new Willie Green men’s basketball locker room — have taken place within the last five years.
Most recently, the dedication of the court to former Titan head coach and athletic director Dick Vitale in December of 2012 brought a brand new, state-of-the-art hardwood floor for the home of the Detroit Titans men's and women's basketball teams.
Calihan Hall houses the Titan Athletic Offices, varsity and intramural locker rooms, sports medicine facilities, the Thelma Fox Murray running track, the Wayne Wheeler Golf Practice Center and the Larry Bleach Fitness Center. It also serves as the basketball practice facility for the Titans all year.
The arena also continues to serve as the host site for numerous games involving the Detroit Public School League, Catholic League and the Michigan High School Boys State Tournament. Additionally, a large number of Intramural events are staged in Calihan Hall.
The dedication of the University’s Memorial Building, as it was known back then, took place May 25, 1952. The first basketball game was played Dec. 2 of that year when the U-D men beat Kalamazoo, 75-61.
In 1977, the 8,295-seat facility’s name was changed to Calihan Hall in honor of the Titans’ first basketball All-American, the late Bob Calihan. Following graduation in 1940 and a professional career in the National Basketball League — with stops in Detroit, Chicago and Rochester — Calihan returned to U-D in 1948 as the Titans’ head coach. In 21 years at the helm, he compiled a 306-237 record, guiding his 1962 team to the NCAA Tournament and three others into the NIT. He also served 13 years as U-D’s athletic director, retiring in 1977.
On the women's side, the Titans longest homecourt winning streak during its years at Calihan Hall was
17 consecutive victories, which was rolled up during the 1985-86 and 1986-87 seasons. The 1986-87 streak included a 13-0 home record, which is part of the reason the Titans captured the MCC title during their first year of play in the conference. In Detroit’s history, the Titans have compiled six home winning streaks of 11 games or more.
The women’s basketball record for scoring in a single game at Calihan Hall was just recently broken as Shareta Brown poured in a school record 43 points in a 101-50 victory over Lourdes College on Dec. 10, 2012. She broke Cassandra Pack's - the eventual MCC Player of the Year - mark of 39 against Xavier in a 98-70 rout of the Musketeers Jan. 12, 1987.
DICK VITALE COURT
Dick Vitale, ESPN broadcaster, college basketball ambassador and former Titan head coach and athletic director had the court at Calihan Hall honored in his name on Dec. 5, 2012 in a nationally-televised event as the men’s basketball team beat BIG EAST foe St. John’s, 69-63, on ESPN2.
Vitale also celebrated his 32nd anniversary of calling games for ESPN at the event. Vitale sat courtside for ESPN’s first-ever NCAA basketball game – Wisconsin at DePaul on Dec. 5, 1979 (a 90-77 DePaul win). Since then, he’s called close to a thousand games, including NBA contests for ESPN during the 1983 and ‘84 seasons.
“When the Titans called me and told me they were going to name the court after me at Calihan Hall, I was absolutely taken,” Vitale said. “I can’t tell you how much this means to me. It should be a special, special moment. It will probably move me to tears. To all the people that made this happen, you’re awesome, baby!”
Vitale is best-known for his enthusiastic, passionate, sometimes controversial - but never boring - style. But his passion extends beyond the hardwood as he is quite the philanthropist. His work with The V Foundation, which was founded in 1993 by ESPN and his late friend Jim Valvano, has helped raise millions of dollars towards finding a cure for cancer. He’s also involved with numerous organizations in the Sarasota, Fla. area.
Vitale coached at the University of Detroit (1973-77), compiling a winning percentage of .722 (78-30), which included a 21-game winning streak during the 1976-77 season when the team participated in the NCAA Tournament. Included in the streak was a victory in Milwaukee over Al McGuire’s eventual national champion Marquette team. In April 1977, Vitale was named Athletic Director at Detroit and later that year was named the United Fund’s Detroit Man of the Year. In May 1978, he was named head coach of the NBA’s Detroit Pistons, which he coached during the 1978-79 season prior to joining ESPN. He was inducted into the Titan Hall of Fame in 1993.