It appears Vanderbilt has found Kevin Stallings’ replacement.
Vandy is expected to hire Valparaiso coach Bryce Drew as its next basketball coach, according to a report from Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel. He added that a deal is supposed to be finalized within the next 24-48 hours.
Drew is one of the most accomplished mid-major coaches available and most recently led Valpo to its first 30-win season in school history. The Crusaders failed to make the NCAA tournament after losing to Green Bay in the Horizon League tournament and ultimately lost to George Washington in the NIT final.
Drew has gone 124-49 in five seasons at Valparaiso with two NCAA tournament appearances during the 2012-13 and 2014-15 seasons. The Crusaders finished in first place in the Horizon during the regular season in four of Drew’s five seasons.
He will have some big shoes to fill in Nashville. Longtime Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings left the program abruptly to take the head coaching job at Pittsburgh last month. Stallings went 332-220 in 17 seasons at Vanderbilt with seven NCAA tournament appearances.
The Commodores vastly underachieved during Stallings’ final season, finishing the 19-14 campaign with an embarrassing loss to Wichita State in the First Four of the NCAA tournament despite having arguably the second-most talented roster in the SEC behind Kentucky.
Drew also knows a thing or two about heroics in the NCAA tournament. His famous buzzer-beater allowed Valpo to upset Ole Miss in the first round in the 1998 NCAA Tournament as a No. 13 seed.