Bryce Drew Hired as Grand Canyon Head Coach

KNOXVILLE, TN - FEBRUARY 19: Vanderbilt Commodores head coach Bryce Drew coaching during a college basketball game between the Tennessee Volunteers and Vanderbilt Commodores on February 19, 2019, at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, TN. (Photo by Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

After being fired by Vanderbilt at the end of last season, Bryce Drew is coaching once again. Grand Canyon University announced Drew as their 14th head coach in program history today. The Antelopes fired prior head coach Dan Majerle after seven seasons. Majerle posted a 136-89 record during his time at the school.

Grand Canyon Names Bryce Drew Head Coach

Announcement

Grand Canyon, a mid-major program in the Western Athletic Conference, announced Bryce Drew as their new head man on Tuesday. The Antelopes’ joy for their new hire was seen in university president Brian Mueller’s statement.

“We are unbelievably excited to have Bryce Drew lead our basketball program into its next phase of development. Bryce built a very successful mid-major program at Valparaiso and proved he can recruit at a high level at Vanderbilt. Most importantly, he embodies the Christian mission of the University in how he lives his life both on and off the court.”

Drew had similar sentiments in his statements about his new job.

“It begins with the mission of the University and the vibrant Christian atmosphere. My wife and I fell in love with the campus and the area.”

Coaching Accomplishments

Bryce Drew has previously coached at Valparaiso and Vanderbilt. He is an alumnus at Valparaiso and is most well-known for his buzzer-beater that upset Mississippi in the 1998 NCAA Tournament. However, he also experienced coaching success for the Crusaders. He went 124-49 over five seasons at Valpo. That included capturing four Horizon League regular-season titles and two NCAA Tournament appearances.

His success at the mid-major level landed him the head job at Vanderbilt in 2016. He led the Commodores to the Big Dance in his first season, losing to Northwestern in the first round. The next two seasons were not as kind, going 21-43 and ultimately being relieved of his duties after the 2018-19 season. Still, Drew brought some high-level recruits to Nashville during his tenure. Current Vanderbilt star Saben Lee and Darius Garland, a top-five pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2019 NBA Draft, were recruited by Drew.

Bryce Drew comes from a basketball family. Homer Drew, Bryce’s father, put Valparaiso on the map as a coach. He is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Drew’s older brother, Scott Drew, is the current head coach at Baylor. Scott has been in Waco for 17 years, guiding the program through its darkest days in the early 2000s. Since then, Scott Drew has guided the Bears to eight NCAA Tournament appearances. This season, he had Baylor in contention for a national title before the cancellation of the tournament due to the coronavirus.

Outlook

This appears to be a perfect pairing on the surface. Bryce Drew has experience creating a powerhouse at the mid-major level. Grand Canyon has high expectations for its basketball program with fantastic facilities. Drew also falls in line with what the University wants in a coach when it comes to its values. The Antelopes want to take the next step and consistently compete for WAC titles with New Mexico State. If Drew can bring in some decent recruits as he did at Vanderbilt and win as he did at Valpo, then Grand Canyon can be competitive for years to come.

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