Bryce Drew will not return as the head men’s basketball coach at Vanderbilt for the 2019-20 season, as announced last Friday by Vice Chancellor for Athletics and University Affairs and Athletics Director Malcolm Turner.
“Vanderbilt is committed to competing at the highest levels on and off the court. After careful consideration, we’ve decided to make a change to the leadership of our men’s basketball program,” said Turner. “Bryce has represented Vanderbilt in exceptional fashion in his time here. I appreciate all of the contributions Bryce has made over the past three seasons to Vanderbilt, and we wish him all the best.”
Bryce Drew became the ninth Commodore basketball coach of the modern era and 27th all-time in April 2016 when he was named the head coach of Vanderbilt basketball. Drew quickly made his mark on the Vanderbilt program by taking the Commodores to the NCAA Tournament in his first season, the first time a first-year coach at Vanderbilt has accomplished the feat.
In six years as a head coach at Vanderbilt and Valparaiso, Drew has advanced to the postseason five times with three NCAA Tournament bids, including the Commodores’ appearance in 2017.
Recruiting for the 2018-19 season showed promise as Drew signed five-stars Darius Garland and Simisola Shittu and four-star Aaron Nesmith. However, success in recruiting did not translate to success on the court. Garland, the team’s starting point guard, was injured during a loss to Kent State, ending his season. The Commodores went on to lose the final 20 games of the 2018-19 schedule, including going 0-18 in SEC play, becoming the first SEC team in 65 years to go winless in conference play since Georgia Tech went 0-14 in SEC competition in 1953-54.
The university’s search for Drew’s replacement will begin immediately, led by Turner and with support from Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos.