Uniform patch honors beloved deceased dean
By MICHAEL MARTINEZ
Special to FOX Sports Detroit
Feb. 11, 2011
DETROIT -- Sometimes, you have to remember your past to succeed in the future.
The Titans have certainly done that this season, honoring former basketball greats they hope the current team will live up to.
All-time leading scorer Rashad Phillips had his number retired, and passed it along to freshman point guard Ray McCallum in November.
The 1985 Titan team, which beat No. 4 Memphis State at Calihan Hall in one of the school's biggest upsets, was recognized Dec. 4.
But the biggest recognition this season was given to a person who never pulled on a jersey or picked up a ball. She never played one second of a game, but Katy Bush impacted generations of Titans.
The former associate dean of liberal arts and education died in July, but her memory has lived on through the men's basketball team. Back in November, the team unveiled a memorial patch with her initials that it has worn all season.
"She just meant so much to the athletics program, especially men's basketball, for so many years," said Keri Gaither, UDM athletic director. "She really went out of her way to help our basketball players."
Gaither said head coach Ray McCallum proposed the patch. Coach McCallum said he did it because of everything Bush meant to him and the team.
"When I first arrived, she was one of the first professors I met with," he said. "She just had an unbelievable heart and a love for the university and for the kids in our program. So many of the former athletes said if it wasn't for her, they wouldn't have made it through.
"She always had time for us. She was just a special lady."
The patch appears on the upper-left side on the front of the jerseys. It is a black circle with the white initials "KB" beneath a white cross.
According to Steve Corder, assistant athletic director for NCAA compliance, teams in the Horizon League have paid similar tribute to former players, but never to faculty members.
Bush came to UDM in 1982. She taught a variety of classes and had an expertise in working with special-population students. In addition to her most recent role as associate dean, she worked as an admissions counselor, director of the Challenge Program and director of University Academic Services.
The team also honored Bush at one of coach McCallum's roundball luncheons. All proceeds from the event went to the Kathy Bush Memorial Scholarship Fund.