Texas Southern says Mike Davis leaving for UDM

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

It appears Detroit Mercy, finally, has found its next men's basketball coach.

Mike Davis, head coach at Texas Southern, has informed administration officials there he intends to leave for Detroit Mercy, a Texas Southern athletics official told a Houston TV station on Tuesday night.

Dr. Charles McClelland, vice president of intercollegiate athletics at Texas Southern, told Houston TV reporter Mark Berman that Davis informed him of his decision Tuesday afternoon.

"He's done a tremendous job at Texas Southern University," McClelland told Berman, sports director for Fox 26 (KRIV). "We owe him a great debt of gratitude for all that he's done. I know he's going to do well there. It's going to be a huge loss for Texas Southern.

"From our perspective it's a sad day, but also a happy day for Coach Davis and his family."

McClelland didn't immediately return a message from The News.

A Detroit Mercy spokesman said late Tuesday night that "there is no agreement." Athletic director Robert Vowels didn't respond to requests for comment from The News on Tuesday night, and hasn't spoken publicly since Bacari Alexander was fired in late March after two seasons on the job.

Alexander was fired following two eight-win seasons, the latter of which was marred by a seven-game suspension following a reported verbal altercation with a player at practice.

Jermaine Jackson Sr., a candidate for the job back before Alexander got the job, was interim coach when Alexander was suspended, and again after Alexander was fired. Jackson was initially believed a strong candidate to land the job, but that chatter quieted weeks ago.

Davis, 57, has a long resume as a head coach, starting with six seasons at Indiana as the man who replaced Bobby Knight after Knight was fired in 2000.

Davis took Indiana to four NCAA Tournaments in six seasons, including a runner-up showing his second season on the job. He then was head coach at UAB for six seasons (one NCAA appearance) and Texas Southern for the past six seasons (four NCAA appearances, four SWAC championships).

He'll have his work cut out for him at Mercy, which is losing a huge chunk of its roster, including Corey Allen and Josh McFolley to transfers, Kam Chatman to the NBA, and Roschon Prince, Jaleel Hogan, DeShawndre Black and Isaiah Jones to eligibility exhaustion. Then there's the matter of Jackson, who starred as a freshman. Would he decide to stay at Detroit Mercy if his father no longer is on the staff?

Davis has a basketball-playing child of his own to keep an eye on. Antoine Davis recently received his release from the University of Houston.