Homer Drew to retire at Valpo; Bryce will take over
By Mark Lazerus 648-3140 or email@example.com May 16, 2011 3:18PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
Valparaiso coach Homer Drew is retiring and handing the reins to his son, Bryce, a university source confirmed.
The announcement will be made in a Tuesday morning news conference scheduled at Harre Union on Valparaiso’s campus. School officials and coaches were hush-hush on Monday about the scheduled news conference, saying only that it was a “major announcement,” but the news of Drew’s retirement quickly spread throughout the day.
Homer Drew has coached at Valparaiso for 22 seasons, and has been a head coach for 32 seasons overall. His 640 wins was sixth among active Division I coaches at the end of the 2010-11 season.
He finished his career with a mark of 640-426 at Bethel College, IU-South Bend and Valparaiso, including a 371-304 mark with 10 20-win seasons and seven NCAA Tournament appearances at Valparaiso. The school renamed the floor at the Athletics-Recreation Center in his honor at the start of this past season, in which Drew led the Crusaders to 23 wins and a spot in the Collegeinsider.com Tournament.
Drew has established himself as one of the most respected coaches in the country, particularly among his peers.
“I think the game of college basketball itself will miss him,” said 27-year Oakland coach Greg Kampe, a longtime friend and adversary of Drew’s from the old Mid-Continent Conference who said he was “shocked” to hear the news on Monday. “There are very few people that go through a coaching career and never get it tainted and can say they are the face of an institution, and Homer did that. Throughout the country, when people talk about Valpo, they talk about Homer Drew. And it’s always positive. …I think the game itself takes a step back when he leaves because there are so few like him left.”
Drew, 66, initially retired at the end of the 2001-02 season and turned the program over to his son, Scott. But Scott Drew took the head coaching job at Baylor the next year, and Homer returned to his former post for eight more seasons.
Bryce Drew — the greatest player in school history and a six-year NBA veteran — has been an assistant coach under his father for the past six seasons. He starred for four seasons at Valparaiso and hit one of the most memorable shots in NCAA Tournament history, a 3-pointer at the buzzer that beat Mississippi in the first round of the 1998 NCAA Tournament.
The 36-year-old Bryce Drew was the 16th overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets. He played two seasons in Houston, two with the Chicago Bulls and two with the New Orleans Hornets, averaing 4.4 points and 2.2 assists per game in his career.
His best season was 2000-01, when he averaged 6.3 points and 3.9 assists with the Bulls while starting 41 of the 48 games in which he played.