After Kevin Stallings left Vanderbilt, the Commodores have finally named the new man to lead their men’s basketball program. On Wednesday, former Valparaiso coach Bryce Drew was named the new coach for Vanderbilt.
Drew, a Valparaiso alum, is a coach’s son and played for his father, Homer, with the Crusaders. During his senior season at Valpo, Bryce Drew hit one of the most famous shots in March Madness history. In the first round of the 1998 NCAA tournament, Drew caught a ball tipped down to him and put up the buzzer-beating three to give the Crusaders the win. He would lead Valparaiso to the Sweet Sixteen that year. Ironically, Drew’s new job comes where he will face the team he beat with his iconic shot yearly, in the Ole Miss Rebels.
After an 8-year professional playing career, Drew returned to Valparaiso as an assistant coach, then associate head coach for his father. When Homer Drew retired for the second time, Bryce was named the head coach for the Crusaders. In his five seasons as the head man at Valpo, the youngest Drew went 124-49 overall, with a 65-19 record in the Horizon League. The Crusaders won four regular season Horizon League titles, two conference tournament championships, and reached the NCAA tournament twice. This past season, Valparaiso lost in the finals of the NIT. Drew himself is the two-time defending Horizon League coach of the year.
Beyond being a coach’s son, Bryce Drew’s brother Scott has been the coach at Baylor since 2003 after one season at Valpo, where he was head coach after Homer Drew’s first retirement. In Scott Drew’s time at Baylor, he has won one NIT championship and made the NCAA tournament six times.
Drew joins the Commodore program while trying to keep some of his talent back on West End, while trying to fill the shoes of the team’s most successful coach. However, the local and national pundits are all currently praising Vanderbilt for the hire.
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