A two-time Horizon League Coach of the Year, Bryce Drew was named head coach of the Valparaiso men’s basketball program in May of 2011 and enters his fifth season at the helm of the program in 2015-2016.
Drew navigated perhaps his toughest coaching job during the 2014-2015 season, leading the Crusaders to the top of the league despite returning less than half his scoring from the previous year and losing his incumbent starting point guard to injury over the summer. The 2014-2015 campaign saw the Crusaders set a new program single-season record with 28 wins. Along the way, Valpo earned its third Horizon League regular season title and second league tournament crown in Drew’s four seasons, earning Drew Coach of the Year honors for the second time, and returned to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in the last three years. He guided Alec Peters to a First Team All-League campaign, while also coaching the league’s Defensive Player of the Year (Vashil Fernandez) and Sixth Man of the Year (Jubril Adekoya), as well as an All-Freshman selection (Tevonn Walker).
Drew reloaded the Valpo program entering the 2013-2014 campaign, as despite returning less than 25% of the scoring from the previous year's squad, the Crusaders won 18 games and earned their fourth consecutive postseason berth. Drew coached a First Team All-League and an All-District selection in Lavonte Dority, while a pair of members of the Crusaders' talented freshman class earned Horizon League All-Freshman Team accolades.
Drew guided the Crusaders to their second straight Horizon League regular season title during the 2012-2013 season and also led Valpo to its first Horizon League Championship crown, returning the Crusaders to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004. Along the way, Valpo won a school-record 26 games, including a record 16 victories at the ARC and a Division I-best 10 true road victories. Drew guided four players who earned postseason honors from the Horizon League, including a pair of All-District honorees in Ryan Broekhoff and Kevin Van Wijk.
Drew led Valpo to 22 victories in his rookie season at the helm of the program, including a 14-4 mark in Horizon League play to capture the league regular season title by two games. He also guided the Crusaders to the Postseason NIT. Drew was honored as the Horizon League Coach of the Year for his efforts on the bench, while he coached two First Team All-League selections in Van Wijk and Broekhoff, the latter of whom was named the league Player of the Year and an Honorable Mention All-American.
Drew, the most decorated player in Crusader men’s basketball history, spent the six seasons prior to his hiring as head coach as a member of the Valparaiso coaching staff, including the previous five years as associate head coach. Drew, who helped guide Valpo through their transition into a top-ten league in the Horizon League, became just the fourth new head coach of the Crusader men’s basketball program in the last 31 years.
Drew joined the Valparaiso coaching staff prior to the 2005-2006 season, and over his six seasons on the bench as an assistant/associate helped lead the Crusaders to 102 victories. With Drew on the staff, Valpo moved into the Horizon League in 2007-2008 and returned to the postseason with a trip to the College Basketball Invitational, where it won its first-round game at Washington. In his final season as associate head coach, he helped guide the Crusaders to 23 wins and a postseason berth in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament while receiving votes in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Coaches Poll for four consecutive weeks.
Drew has coached 13 players who have gone on to play professional basketball overseas. He has helped coach Valparaiso as it has led the Horizon League in scoring twice, while the program also set the Horizon League single-season record for 3-pointers made (330) during the 2007-2008 season. Drew was recognized among the league’s and nation’s top assistant coaches by Hoop Scoop and Jeff Goodman of FoxSports.com and also has been named among the Top Recruiters of Chicago by the Chicago Sun-Times.
As a student-athlete, Drew cemented himself as the best player in Valparaiso men’s basketball history. Drew, who arrived at Valpo after earning Indiana Mr. Basketball honors and being named Indiana Gatorade Player of the Year in 1994, began his career by garnering Mid-Continent Conference Newcomer of the Year and Mid-Con Tournament MVP honors as a freshman. Drew, a four time All-Conference honoree, shined during the conference tournaments, earning All-Tournament Team honors each of his four seasons and picking up three Mid-Continent Conference Tournament MVP awards. He was also twice decorated as Mid-Con Most Valuable Player, one of only four players to be so honored twice in their career. Drew’s career culminated as a senior by being named a Third Team All-American by the Basketball Times.
Drew led the Crusaders to four Mid-Continent Conference regular season championships, four tournament titles and three trips to the NCAA Tournament. Drew, the career leader in points (2,142), three-point field goals (364) and assists (626) at Valpo, etched his name into the American consciousness in 1998 when he hit “The Shot” in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to beat Ole Miss. The play, in which Drew caught a tip pass from teammate Bill Jenkins off a full-court feed from Jamie Sykes, won Drew an ESPY award and gave Valpo its first NCAA Tournament win in school history, propelling the Crusaders to the Sweet Sixteen.
Drew also excelled internationally during his time on the court with the Crusaders, playing for the gold-medal winning Team USA at the World University Games in 1997. Following his collegiate career, Drew again made school history when the Houston Rockets drafted him with the 16th pick in the 1998 NBA Draft, the first time a Crusader had been chosen in the first round. Drew’s NBA career lasted six seasons with the Rockets, Chicago Bulls, and Charlotte and New Orleans Hornets, with his best season coming in 2000-2001 when he started 41 games for the Bulls, averaging 6.3 points and 3.9 assists per game. A prolific shooter, Drew set a Hornet record when he connected on nine consecutive three-point attempts. He competed in the postseason twice as a pro, with Houston in 1999 and with Charlotte in 2002.
Over the course of his NBA career, Drew scored over 1,000 points and made 37% of his three-point attempts. In 1999, he was honored by the NBA with the Henry P. Iba Citizen Athlete Award for sportsmanship. Drew played alongside 12 NBA All-Stars during his time in the NBA, including three players who were named among the Top 50 NBA Players of All Time. He also played under a quintet of head coaches who have combined for five NBA Championship rings. Following his six seasons in the NBA, Drew played professionally overseas for a season, playing for Reggio Calabria (Italian Serie A) and Pamesa Valencia (Spanish Liga ACB) before returning to the States to join the Crusader coaching staff.
Drew is twice a member of the Valparaiso University Hall of Fame, as he was inducted as an individual in 2003 and as part of the 1997-1998 Sweet Sixteen team in 2009. He also has been honored as one of the 150 most influential people in Valparaiso University’s 150 years.
Drew graduated from Valparaiso in 1998 with a bachelor's degree in sports management and a minor in business. He and his wife Tara reside in Valparaiso with their son, Bryson.