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Detroit Mercy mourns the loss of the "Voice of the Titans" Cliff Russell

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February 19, 2018

The The voice of the Detroit Mercy men’s basketball team, Cliff Russell has passed away at the age of 61.

“The department of athletics is devastated by the news of Cliff’s passing,” said Detroit Mercy Director of Athletics Robert C. Vowels. “He was a prominent media fixture in the Detroit area for more than 35 years. He was the Voice of the Titans and provided our women’s and men’s sports programs a platform to share their accomplishments with the community. The Monday night coach’s show had developed a following. Our prayers and thoughts go out to Cliff’s family and the 910 AM Superstation and the WADL family. Cliff will be missed.”

There will be a visitation for Cliff Russell on Sunday, February 25 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at James H. Cole Funeral Home in Detroit. The funeral is scheduled for Monday, February 26 at St. Stephens AME Church in Detroit with the family hour at 10 a.m. and the service starting at 11 a.m.

Since 2016, Russell has been the voice of the men’s basketball team on 910 AM Superstation. He also worked with the University of Detroit Mercy’s basketball programs hosting the coaches show each week live from Dino’s Café from Ferndale.

"Our Detroit Mercy family and the City of Detroit mourns the loss of a great friend, mentor and the Voice of our Detroit Mercy Titans in Cliff Russell,” said Detroit Mercy head men’s basketball coach Bacari Alexander. “Cliff was a great husband, father, and community leader. We pray for strength and guidance for his family during this difficult time."

A news anchor, political analyst, sports commentator and columnist in the Detroit area for more than 35 years, he became Detroit’s first African-American Press Secretary to the Mayor, appointed to the position by former Mayor Dennis W. Archer in 1994 and hosting “American Black Journal” on Detroit Public Television for several years.  In December 2002, Russell was named Senior Director of Communications for the Detroit Tigers, the first African-American to hold the position in Major League Baseball history.  Russell has worked at a number of local radio stations including WJR, WDET, WJZZ, WCXI, CKLW, WWJ, WCHB and WQBH.

“I’m in complete shock over this loss,” said Detroit Mercy head women’s basketball coach Bernard Scott. “We lost a great friend and supporter in Cliff Russell. He was a kind, caring and generous man who made everyone around him feel special. Monday nights will never be the same. Rest In Peace Cliff, you will be missed!  My thoughts and prayers go out to the Russell family.”

A native of Detroit, Russell graduated from Wayne State University with a Bachelor of Arts in broadcast communications.  He is survived by his three sons, three daughters, two step-sons and seven grandchildren and his wife.  His brother, Greg Russell, is a University of Detroit Mercy graduate and also a prominent member of the media and has served as the public address announcer at men's and women's basketball games.

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