release courtesy of Rick Leddy, NABC
KANSAS City, Mo. (February 16, 2018) – For Homer Drew, college basketball is a family business.
The highly respected head coach at Valparaiso University for 22 years, Drew has the unique distinction of being followed in that position by not only one, but two sons -- Scott, now the head coach at Baylor, and later by his second son, Bryce, the current head coach at Vanderbilt.
The Drew family patriarch, who retired from coaching in 2011, is the recipient of the 2018 Hillyard NABC Golden Anniversary Award for long and outstanding service to men’s college basketball. He will receive the award at the annual NABC Guardians of the Game Awards Show on Sunday, April 1, at the Lila Cockrell Theater in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas, during the annual NABC Convention.
Following stints as head coach at Bethel College and Indiana University-South Bend, Drew took the reins at Valparaiso in 1988 and his Crusaders became a team no one wanted to face in the opening rounds of the NCAA tournament. During a stretch from 1994-95 through 2001-2002, his teams earned conference regular season or conference postseason tourney titles in eight straight seasons with six NCAA berths.
The streak included a run to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen in 1998 highlighted by an opening round upset of Ole Miss by the 13th ranked Crusaders. In that game, with Valpo trailing by two points with 2.5 seconds to play, Bryce Drew hit a game-winning three-pointer and the Crusaders followed with an upset of Florida State in the second round.
The elder Drew left the bench in 2002-2003 to serve as special assistant to the president for university advancement at Valparaiso and was succeeded by first son Scott, then a Valpo assistant coach. Homer returned to the court a year later when Scott was named head coach at Baylor. In that 2003-04 season, the Crusaders won both conference regular season and tournament titles and another trip to the NCAA tournament.
His final season was in 2010-11 with home games played on a newly installed floor of the Athletics-Recreation Center that was officially dedicated as Homer Drew Court. His second son, Bryce, succeeded him as head coach and in five seasons before leaving for Vanderbilt, guided the Crusaders to a 101-38 record with four postseason berths.
Through the years, Drew has received numerous honors including the Lumen Christi Medal, Valparaiso University’s highest honor, in recognition of a lay person’s distinguished service to church and society; the Naismith Good Sportsmanship Award from the Naismith International Basketball Foundation; and the 2012 Coach John Wooden “Keys to Life” Award at the annual Legends of the Hardwood Breakfast at the Final Four.
“Homer is one of the finest men I have ever met and has many of the qualities of John Wooden. He has all of the ethics in the world and I believe he is the model coach,” said Dale Brown, who hired Drew as an assistant when he became the head coach at LSU. They met when both were assistants at Washington State University.
Drew and his wife, Janet, have recently relocated to Nashville to be closer to family. In addition to Bryce, his wife, Tara, and their son, the Drews’ daughter Dana and her husband, Casey Shaw, a Vanderbilt assistant coach, also reside there with their four children.
About the National Association of Basketball Coaches
Located in Kansas City, Missouri, the NABC was founded in 1927 by Forrest “Phog” Allen, the legendary basketball coach at the University of Kansas. Allen, a student of James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, organized coaches into this collective group to serve as Guardians of the Game. The NABC currently claims nearly 5,000 members consisting primarily of university and college men’s basketball coaches. All members of the NABC are expected to uphold the core values of being a Guardian of the Game by bringing attention to the positive aspects of the sport of basketball and the role coaches play in the academic and athletic lives of today’s student-athletes. The four core values of being a Guardian of the Game are advocacy, leadership, service and education. Additional information about the NABC, its programs and membership, can be found at www.nabc.com.