PHOENIX (AP)Grand Canyon has hired former Vanderbilt coach Bryce Drew as its next men’s basketball coach.
Drew’s hiring was announced Tuesday. He replaces Dan Majerle, who was fired after seven seasons on March 12.
”We are unbelievably excited to have Bryce Drew lead our basketball program into its next phase of development,” GCU President Brian Mueller said in a statement. ”Bryce built a very successful mid-major program at Valparaiso and proved he can recruit at a high level at Vanderbilt but, most importantly, he embodies the Christian mission of the University in how he lives his life both on and off the court.”
The 45-year-old Drew spent three years at Vanderbilt, leading the Commodores to the NCAA Tournament his first season before being fired after going 9-23 in 2018-19. He previously led Valparaiso, his alma mater, to four regular-season Horizon League titles and two trips to the NCAA Tournament in five seasons. He has a career record of 164-108.
Drew spent the past year working as an ESPN studio and game analyst.
He takes over a Grand Canyon program that went 13-17 this season after winning at least 20 games its first two Division I seasons.
”GCU is such a unique university and, even with how successful it is now, I think it’s just scratching the surface for where it’s going to end up being,” Drew said. ”What President Mueller has accomplished in a short amount of time is truly remarkable. I’m excited to get Grand Canyon even more on the national scene so they can see what a wonderful University it is as a whole.”
Drew’s brother, Scott, coaches Baylor and his father, Homer, was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame after coaching at Valparaiso.
Drew hit one of the most memorable shots in NCAA Tournament history, a long, last-second 3-pointer to beat Mississippi in 1998, and played six NBA seasons after being drafted 16th overall by the Houston Rockets in 1998.
”I know he missed coaching this year,” Scott Drew said. ”He did a great job on TV, I thought that may be a great career for him as well, but he wanted to coach, it’s in his blood. But he didn’t just want to go to any opportunity, he wanted to go to the right one. He’s really excited about Grand Canyon. A lot of coaches out there that have played down there think that’s one of the toughest atmospheres. He’s really excited about that.”
AP Sports Writer Stephen Hawkins in Dallas contributed to this story.
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