Valparaiso Crusaders: Homer Drew to Retire, Bryce Drew to Take over
Legendary Valparaiso University head basketball coach, Homer Drew, is expected to announce his retirement Tuesday afternoon in a press conference on campus, according to Sporting News and the Northwest Indiana Post-Tribune. His son, former Valpo All-American and NBA guard, Bryce Drew, appears to be his successor.
Drew posted a 640-428 (.599) record in 34 seasons at Bethel College (IN), Indiana University—South Bend and two separate stints at Valpo. His 640 wins are good for 40th on the all-time wins list.
It was in his 22 seasons at Valpo where Drew made his greatest impact.
Drew won 371 games and nine Mid-Continent Conference titles (a 10th title was won by his son Scott during his first retirement in 02-03). Over the past four seasons, Drew guided the Crusaders through a move from the Mid-Con (now Summit League) to the Horizon League, bringing them to the brink of an HL title and NCAA tournament birth this past year. His most memorable season was certainly 1998, when a senior-laden squad led by son Bryce defeated Ole Miss and Florida State to make it to the Sweet 16.
After playing six seasons in the NBA with Chicago, Houston and Charlotte—followed by one year in Europe—Bryce Drew returned to Valpo as an assistant coach and head coach-in waiting in 2005. He takes over a program returning two starters and five of the nine members of its rotation.
The loss of seniors Cory Johnson, Howard Little and Michael Rogers, as well as the transfer of Junior guard Brandon Wood, (after flirting with the NBA Draft) will leave Bryce with a young but talented squad. Finding scoring shouldn't be a problem, as Valpo still has great depth on the wings and at the point (including transfers Will Bogan from Ole Miss and Ben Boggs from Virginia Tech). The biggest challenge will be replacing forward Cory Johnson.
Forward Richie Edwards (JUCO Sophomore) and guard/forward Dino Jakolis of Croatia join the transfers on the 2011-12 squad, looking to build off its best season in a decade.
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