‘Rad’ stays positive despite firing



Autumn Rademacher, known for years as “Coach Rad” on campus, refused to criticize her alma mater in her first media interview since being dismissed as head coach of the women’s basketball team.

“I’m grateful and thankful for the players I was able to coach, the coaches I coached alongside and the relationships I developed” during seven years on the job, said Rademacher, a 1997 UDM graduate.

Rademacher said she wishes the school and the program the best of luck going forward, and plans to continue rooting for the team and watching its games on TV and online.

Detroit Athletic Director Robert Vowels, hired in 2013, decided to part ways with Rademacher after she posted a second straight losing season, compiling an 18-42 record over the last two years.

The decision follows Rademacher’s five-day, one-game suspension in January for exceeding the maximum amount of practice hours for student-athletes.

 “This was a very difficult decision,” said Vowels. “She accomplished a lot as a Titan, but after a careful review of the program, I have decided that we needed to make a change.”

Vowels thanked Rademacher for “the time, dedication and passion” that she brought to the program.

Rademacher failed to finish in the top three of the Horizon League for two straight seasons, falling short of Vowels’ goal that every team on campus be competitive on an annual basis.

Her firing has UDM sports fans wondering whether other coaches might be next.

Rademacher, the tenth coach in the program’s history, reached 100 victories during her time at UDM, becoming the all-time winningest head coach in Titans women’s basketball history. She leaves UDM, where she was a star player as an undergrad, with a career record of 101-120.

The Titans’ performance translated into poor results in conference play. Since the beginning of the 2013-14 campaign, Rademacher’s teams had won only 10 games within the Horizon League.

UDM has now begun a national search for Rademacher’s successor.

The Varsity News reached out to several players for comment on the dismissal, but they have been instructed not to speak about the matter.

For an unrelated story elsewhere in this issue, all-Horizon League freshman Darianne Seward told VN reporter Emma Mucci that she believes that next year’s Titans will play a faster game and run more on teams.

Regardless of the offense implemented by Rademacher’s replacement, the next coach will have a hard time matching the intensity of  “Coach Rad,” whose energy sometimes got the best of her, as was the case with her suspension.

It cost her a home game against former mentor Kevin Borseth and the 17-time reigning Horizon League regular-season champion Green Bay Phoenix, perhaps the biggest game of the season annually for the Titans. Rademacher is a former Green Bay assistant coach.

Rademacher said she hopes to remain in basketball.

“I believe that I’m meant to be a coach,” Rademacher said.

And if she has her way, she’ll be back on the sidelines at the collegiate or high school level as soon as next season.

Wherever she goes, her alma mater will continue to hold a place close to her heart, she said.

She’ll continue to keep an eye on the team, even when her next job takes her far from historic Calihan Hall.

Rademacher said she has not idea who will be the next coach, but is sure that the person will enjoy leading the returning Titans and incoming transfers, such as Caprice Dennis from the University of Miami (Florida).