Report: Bacari Alexander, Detroit close to deal

David Goricki
The Detroit News
Bacari Alexander is expected to be named men's basketball coach at the University of Detroit, according to a report.

Detroit Mercy athletic director Robert Vowels is finalizing a deal to hire Bacari Alexander as the Titans’ men’s basketball coach, according to an ESPN report.

Alexander, 39, was an assistant under John Beilein the last six years, helping the Wolverines reach the national championship game in 2013.

Alexander was an impact player on Detroit’s NCAA tournament teams in 1998 and 1999 when the Titans upset St. John's in the tourney in ’98 and UCLA in ’99, finishing 25-6 both seasons. He earned a spot on the Midwestern Collegiate Conference All-Defensive team his senior year.

In 2001, Alexander returned to Detroit to start his coaching career as an assistant under his former head coach Perry Watson before moving on to Ohio University (2007-08), then to Western Michigan.

Now, Alexander may get his chance as a head coach.

Detroit Renaissance coach Vito Jordan feels Alexander would do well with the Titans and expects him to recruit the PSL for some quality players to help him reach his goals of winning a Horizon League title.

“He has a phenomenal personality and he can communicate with all types of kids, he’s real diverse so he should do well with inner-city kids,” said Jordan of Alexander. “He played in the Detroit Public School League at Detroit Southwestern and knows the PSL is one of the best leagues in the Midwest and I’m sure he feels he has to get back to getting those kids.

“I talk with him frequently. He’s been a high major assistant and I’m sure he’s thrilled with his opportunity since these jobs are few and far between, and it’s at his alma mater so I’m sure the city will rally behind him.”

Mr. Basketball finalist Corey Allen of Ypsilanti Community would enjoy playing for Alexander. He signed with Detroit.

“This is the first time hearing it, but I’m looking forward to playing for him if it’s true,” said Allen of Alexander. “I’ve known him as an assistant at Michigan. They were looking at me from eighth grade to my 10th grade year, recruiting me. He’s an exciting coach, gets his guys hyped up and ready to play.”

Alexander would replace Ray McCallum who was fired after a 16-15 record this season, 44-52 the last three seasons after guiding the Titans to consecutive 20-win seasons and an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2012.