Former Valparaiso University men’s basketball head coach Dr. Homer Drew was honored Wednesday night with the Gary Old Timers Lifetime Achievement Award at the 66th Annual Gary Old Timers Athletic Association banquet at the Avalon Manor in Hobart.
Drew closed his 22-year tenure as head coach with the Crusaders with 371 career victories and led Valparaiso to nine postseason appearances over his final 16 seasons. Drew ended his career, which also included stints at Bethel [Ind.] (1976-1987) and IU-South Bend (1987-1988), with 640 career victories over 34 seasons overall, a number which ranks him 28th overall among coaches with at least ten years of NCAA Division I coaching experience. The nine postseason appearances include seven trips to the NCAA Tournament, highlighted by the Crusaders’ run to the Sweet Sixteen in 1998.
Already a member of the Valparaiso University Hall of Fame as part of the 1997-1998 squad and one of the 150 most influential people in Valparaiso University history, Drew received the Lifetime Achievement honor from the Gary Old Timers Wednesday, annually presented to a figure who has had meaningful impact on the athletics community in Northwest Indiana. Previous recipients of the award have included former Gary Roosevelt baseball head coach Benny Dorsey and Ken Haupt, who led the Merrillville football team to a state championship in 1976.
Former Chicago Bears safety Doug Plank served as the event’s principal speaker on Wednesday evening.