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GCU basketball names Bryce Drew new head coach

Head coach Bryce Drew of the Vanderbilt Commodores looks on against the Kentucky Wildcats during the second half at Rupp Arena on January 30, 2018 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Grand Canyon University named former Vanderbilt head coach Bryce Drew as its new men’s basketball coach on Tuesday.

Drew replaces Dan Majerle, who coached the Antelopes for the last seven seasons and was fired March 12.

Under Majerle, GCU basketball transitioned into a Division I program and went 136-89 over his tenure. The Antelopes were 13-17 in 2019-20 and for the first time with Majerle as head coach finished under .500.

Drew, like Majerle, should bring credibility to the sidelines. In 1998, the point guard went 16th overall in the NBA Draft to the Houston Rockets and spent time as a pro with the Chicago Bulls and Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets before an overseas career.

“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.”

Drew took his first head-coaching job at Valparaiso in 2011-12 and went 124-49 over five seasons at his alma mater.

He jumped into a major college program at Vanderbilt in 2016-17 and for the past three years led the Commodores to a 40-59 record before he was fired last March.

“It begins with the mission of the University and the vibrant Christian atmosphere and how it’s moved out beyond the campus into the surrounding neighborhoods and the city,” Drew said in a release. “My wife and I fell in love with the campus and the area. Even with the mission and how great the campus is, it has fantastic people.”