Bruce Rodwan, University of Detroit Hall-of-Fame basketball player, dies at 74


Bruce Rodwan, a University of Detroit Hall of Fame basketball player who led the team to a stunning win over defending Big Ten champions Indiana as well as Notre Dame in its senior season, and led Ferndale High to a boys state championship in 1963 died.

Rodwan, who lived in Pleasant Ridge, died Monday. He was 74 years old.

Rodwan was inducted into the Titan Hall of Fame in 1987 in recognition of his three years as a letter winner for Detroit from 1965 to 1968. He scored 1,116 points, still 26th in program history, and his 907 rebounds are still sixth Place ever.

As a junior he was team captain twice when he averaged 16.4 points and 13.4 rebounds, and as a senior when he averaged 15.2 points and 11.1 rebounds.

“It’s been a very rewarding time for me,” Rodwan said to Detroit Mercy’s Dan Hasty recently as he recently recorded the Titan Memory Podcast and spoke of teammates who selected him to captain.

As a senior he reached on January 2, 1968 in Detroit a career high of 36 points and 19 rebounds in a 99:93 win against defending champions Indiana. A month later, Detroit beat Notre Dame (82-79) in South Bend.

As a junior, Rodwan hit the tie game and won the buzzer when Detroit Mercy beat Marquette (94-92) in extra time on January 24, 1967 in Detroit. As is known, a fight broke out afterwards and the legendary Marquette head coach Al McGuire was arrested.

In Detroit, Rodwan played under Bob Calihan, after whom the arena is now named. Rodwan loved playing for Calihan and said the lasting lesson he learned was loyalty.

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He also told Hasty a funny anecdote about Calihan on the podcast.

“We played DePaul and I just had a terrible game and he got me out. I don’t think I ever got back into the game,” said Rodwan. “The next day when I went to his office I was upset about the whole thing and asked him about it.

“He said, ‘Well, I just forgot about you!’ That told me how bad my game was. “

In high school, Rodwan Ferndale led in 1963 with 76-58 against Adrian for the state championship of the class A and was called up to the all-tournament team.

At the urging of his brother Gordon, he began playing basketball in fourth grade.

After college, Rodwan became a lawyer in the area and ran a successful private practice. Eventually he became General Counsel for a local hospital. He also engaged in real estate and financial advice while not playing golf, traveling the world, or playing with his dogs on his home course, the Red Run at Royal Oak.

Rodwan is survived by his 49-year-old wife Sandy, his brother, and a niece and nephew.

His funeral was Thursday in Ferndale.

Rodwan’s death is the youngest to most recent member of the Detroit basketball program, after legendary assistant and former head coach David “Smokey” Gaines (Sept. 5, 80) and Hall of Fame player Terry Duerod (Nov. 13, 64).

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Twitter: @ tonypaul1984


Dusty Kennedy