Good memories keep Titan fans coming back to Calihan

Scattered throughout the stands at Calihan Hall are fans who come to almost every men's basketball game – and have been doing so for years.Dan Bauman, usually with a book in hand, is among them.

"I have been coming to the games since 1976," he said. "I went to school here and I'm here to support the school."

Bauman likes basketball and recalls many good memories over the years.

One of his favorites involves basketball icon Dick Vitale, who coached the Titans in the 1970s.

"I remember a game that was U of D vs. Iona," he said. "Dickie V. was jawing at the other coach the whole game and then as soon as the game was over, they went and hugged even though everyone thought they were going to fight."

Another memorable game was the one that took place on March 4, 1978.

"It was the game against Marquette," he said. "It was here in Calihan Hall. The stands were packed and people were sitting in aisles and on each other's lap in the student section. The capacity is only around 8,000 and I would estimate there were about 11,000 or 12,000 in here."

Detroit, ranked no. 6, lost 80-77.

The previous year, Detroit went to Marquette and beat the Golden Eagles 64-63. The game was part of a 21-game winning streak for the Titans. The Golden Eagles won the national title that season.

Bauman isn't the only fan with fond memories of Titan basketball.

Otto Nagl, a 1953 graduate, has been coming for years but one game in particular stands out.

"I remember the game against the Michigan State Spartans and Magic Johnson," he said. "At first it didn't look like he could play but soon we found out he was very good."

Nagl also recalled a few other games against Michigan and Michigan State but most of all he said that he likes to come back and watch the team play.

"I like to come back and support my alma mater," he said.

Like any loyal fan of any sport, that's what it's all about.

Alumnus James Haas has been a fan for 33 years – and a generous financial supporter, as well.

He donated the money that allowed the new men's basketball offices to be built last summer. He is also part of the Titans' effort to get a new gym floor next season.

His best moment watching the Titans came in 2000, when they captured the league championship.

He is hoping for the same this year.

"Getting a degree from here is going to set you up for a bright future and success to come, I guarantee it," said Haas.

Others in the stands include men who have performed on the court.

Brian Alexander, a former player, stands out at six-foot-nine and 300 pounds.

On the court, he was a force down low – one of the top rebounders in school history – and part of a championship team. Now he is working on a master's in business at the university.

"I don't have a real favorite moment, because every day I stepped on the court was special," said Alexander. "To be able to be a part of history is very exciting. I wish the guys coming up under me can learn a thing or two from what I used to do on the court and become even better than what I was in my era."

On a recent game night, the spectators also included Perry Watson, the former longtime head coach.

The one thing that all of these men have in common is the reason they keep coming back: their love and passion for the school and its history.