On Aug. 22, 2003, Scott Drew assumed Baylor's head coaching position and took over one of college basketball's most daunting rebuilding projects ever.
From 2007-13, Baylor rose to national prominence with Drew leading the team to five 20-win seasons, five postseason appearances, the Big 12's first NIT championship, Baylor's first postseason tournament title in its 107-year history, and a Big 12-best and school-record 15 postseason wins. The Bears advanced to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight in 2010 and 2012, won the 2013 NIT championship, made the 2009 NIT championship game and played in the 2008 NCAA Tournament, marking their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1988.
Drew led the 2012-13 Bears to 23 wins and the program's first-ever postseason tournament title when they won five consecutive games to claim the 2013 NIT championship. The Bears were ranked for a sixth consecutive season, joining Kansas as the only Big 12 teams able to make that claim. Baylor also won at No. 8 Kentucky, snapping the Wildcats' 55-game home winning streak, and BU handed Kansas a 23-point defeat, becoming the only team in NCAA history to beat Kentucky at Rupp Arena and defeat Kansas in the same season.
Baylor posted a school-record 30 wins and advanced to the NCAA Tournament South Regional final in 2011-12 -- making the Bears one of only six programs nationally with two Elite Eight appearances in the three-year span from 2010 to 2012. For the first time in program history, the Bears were ranked throughout the 2011-12 season, reaching as high as No. 3 and never dropping lower than 14th in the AP or coaches polls.
A program-record three players were selected in the 2012 NBA Draft, as Perry Jones III, Quincy Acy and Quincy Miller were all chosen. Pierre Jackson was selected in 2013, marking the Bears fourth draftee in the last two years, and giving the Bears the nation's third-most draftees over the last two seasons, trailing only Kentucky and North Carolina.
Baylor's 15-3 postseason record over the last five seasons is the nation's best among teams with at least three postseason appearances. The Bears went 5-0 to win the 2013 NIT title, posted 3-1 records on their way to the Elite Eight in both the 2010 and 2012 NCAA Tournaments, and Drew led Baylor to four wins en route to the 2009 NIT title game. In 2009-10, Drew guided the Bears to then-school records for overall (28), Big 12 (11) and home (15) victories.
Drew is the only coach to guide Baylor to five postseason appearances and he is responsible 15 of the program's 18 all-time postseason wins. His teams have averaged 24 wins over the last six seasons, giving Baylor six straight winning campaigns for the first time since 1966-67 through 1972-73. Drew has compiled a 198-149 overall record with a 178-138 mark in 10 seasons at Baylor.
JOINING THE NATION'S ELITE Drew's program reached new heights in 2011-12, when the Bears advanced to their second Elite Eight in a three-season span and had a program-record three players selected in the 2012 NBA Draft. The trio of seniors on that team left as the winningest class in program history, as Fred Ellis, Acy and Anthony Jones led Baylor to 100 wins in their four seasons together. The 2011-12 Bears established school records for overall (30) and Big 12 Conference (12) wins, and they were ranked as high as No. 3 nationally after sprinting to the best start in school history (17-0).
Headlined by Jones III, Baylor's 2010 recruiting class ranked No. 22 nationally by ESPN. PJ3 earned multiple freshman All-American honors, leading the Bears to an 18-13 mark. Baylor's consensus top-20 recruiting class of 2011 featured high school teammates Miller and Deuce Bello, and Drew's 2012 class, which featured three top-75 national recruits including consensus top-5 Isaiah Austin, was ranked No. 4 nationally. Drew has now brought eight top-50 recruits to Baylor in the last six seasons.
In 2010-11, senior LaceDarius Dunn became only the third player in program history to earn first-team All-Big 12 honors after becoming the Baylor and Big 12 all-time leading scorer. Dunn finished his stellar college career with 2,285 points and 388 3-point field goals.
Drew's task of rebuilding the Baylor men's basketball program reached a historic milestone during the 2009-10 season as the Bears advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time in the NCAA Tournament's modern era. Entering the season, the Bears were picked 10th in the Big 12 Preseason Coaches' Poll after a trip to the 2009 NIT championship game. Behind All-Americans Tweety Carter, Dunn and Ekpe Udoh, Baylor won a then-school-record 28 games, including a school-best 11 Big 12 games. The Bears tied for second in the Big 12 standings - their best conference finish since 1988.
Baylor was ranked in the AP Top 25 poll for a then-school-record 10 consecutive weeks and concluded the 2009-10 season ranked 10th in the final ESPN/USA TODAY Coaches poll and 19th in the final AP Top 25 -- marking the first time Baylor was ranked in either season-ending poll.
Dunn shattered both Baylor's single-season and career marks for 3-point field goals made. Udoh, the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, annihilated both the Baylor and Big 12 single-season blocked shots record with 133 rejections. Udoh became the first NBA lottery pick in Baylor history when he was selected sixth overall by the Golden State Warriors in the 2010 NBA Draft. He also became only the fourth first-round NBA draft pick in program history and the first since Brian Skinner in 1998.
Drew was named the 2010 Division I Men's Coach of the Year in the state of Texas by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC).
PROGRAM'S CORNERSTONE CLASS LEAVES INDELIBLE MARK Baylor's fourth 20-win campaign in 2007-08 brought plenty of momentum, and the Bears became a national media staple during the 2008-09 season as the program set several school records. Baylor posted back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time in school history, while advancing to its first Big 12 Championship title game, only to fall to Missouri. During its improbable postseason run, Baylor became the first No. 9 seed to advance to the Big 12 Championship title game.
Drew's 2008-09 squad did something the 2007-08 Bears were unable to accomplish -- win a postseason game. The Bears notched the program's first postseason victory since 1950 when they defeated Georgetown, 74-72, in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament in front of a raucous Ferrell Center crowd. However, Baylor's postseason run did not stop there as the Bears snagged road wins at a pair of hostile arenas -- Virginia Tech and Auburn -- to advance to the National Invitation Tournament Final Four in New York City. Baylor reached the NIT championship game with a semifinal win over San Diego State at Madison Square Garden before falling to Penn State in the title game.
Baylor's four postseason wins tied for the most in school history. Seniors Curtis Jerrells, Henry Dugat, Mamadou Diene and Kevin Rogers departed Baylor as the winningest class in school history with 64 wins, helping Baylor to the second-most wins in school history (24). In addition, Jerrells, Dugat and Rogers combined to score 4,420 career points in 119 games, accounting for 49.3 percent of Baylor's offense in four seasons.
Baylor played a school-record 39 games, including a school-record 34 on television. Nineteen of those 34 games were televised nationally -- 18 on the ESPN family of networks. Prior to the 2008-09 season, Baylor had played just 14 games on the ESPN family of networks in the previous 11 seasons.
During the 2008-09 season, Baylor was ranked in the AP Top 25 for a then-school-record seven consecutive weeks. The Bears peaked at No. 19, one spot short of its highest ranking (No. 18 in 1969). The Bears were also ranked simultaneously in the AP and ESPN/USA TODAY Top 25 polls for the first time in school history.
THE DREW FILE
Oct. 23, 1970
Butler, 1993 (B.S.) Valparaiso, 1994 (M.S.)
wife: Kelly children: Mackenzie, Peyton and Brody
Valparaiso, assistant coach
Valparaiso, associate head coach
Valparaiso, head coach
Baylor, head coach
NCAA, first round (Valparaiso)
NCAA, first round (Valparaiso)
NCAA, Sweet 16 (Valparaiso)
NCAA, first round (Valparaiso)
NCAA, first round (Valparaiso)
NCAA, first round (Valparaiso)
NIT, first round (Valparaiso)
NCAA, first round (Baylor)
NIT, finals (Baylor)
NCAA, Elite Eight (Baylor)
NCAA, Elite Eight (Baylor)
NIT Championship (Baylor)
HEAD COACHING RECORD
NATIONAL ATTENTION In his fifth season in Waco, Drew and the Baylor program turned the corner, posting just the fourth 20-win season in school history en route to its first NCAA Tournament bid since 1987-88.
The Bears' success in 2007-08 brought national exposure to the reclamation project orchestrated by Drew and his staff. Media outlets praised the efforts of Drew and he was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year by Rivals.com and the District VII Coach of the Year by the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA).
Despite being picked to finish ninth in the Big 12 by the league's coaches, the Bears raced to a 12-2 non-conference record (including a Paradise Jam championship) and opened conference play 4-0. The 16-2 start was Baylor's best since 1946 and resulted in the school's first national ranking since 1969. The Bears finished with a 21-11 overall record and earned the school's best-ever Big 12 finish with a fourth-place tie at 9-7.
Not to be outdone, Jerrells became just the second first-team All-Big 12 selection in Baylor history as he was named to the top squad by both the league's coaches and The Associated Press. Baylor had three players named to the 2007-08 All-Big 12 team, tying the school record which was set during the inaugural Big 12 season in 1996-97. In May 2008, Diene became the first men's basketball player and only second Baylor student-athlete to be named the Big 12's Sportsperson of the Year.
In September 2008, the Dallas All Sports Association presented Drew with The Don Nelson Award for great achievement both on and off the court of play in the spirit of NBA player and coach Don Nelson.
Baylor's place in the national men's hoops spotlight carried over to 2008-09 as the Bears were featured on ESPN.com's Preseason Top 25 by Andy Katz in June. Katz was just the beginning of the high projections for Baylor. Blue Ribbon picked the Bears No. 16 in its Preseason Top 25 poll, while CollegeHoops.net listed the Bears No. 17 overall and a possible Sweet Sixteen participant. Drew's squad also garnered preseason top 30 consideration from Athlon (No. 19) and Rivals.com (No. 28).
THE PROGRAM'S FUTURE FOUNDATION Drew began his overhaul in 2003 when he took over a program decimated by tragedy, player departures, a depleted roster and NCAA restrictions. He slowly and methodically turned the program around by recruiting a solid foundation of talented high school players that, after earning valuable playing experience early in their careers, brought wins to Baylor as upperclassmen under Drew.
Drew's recruiting success (three of his first four classes were rated among the top 20 nationally), particularly under less-than-ideal circumstances, stocked the program with top-100 national prospects and provided optimism to Bears fans.
Long considered a top-level national recruiter, Drew's reputation was upheld immediately upon his arrival in Waco when his first three Baylor recruiting classes were rated 10th, 11th and 17th, respectively, in the nation -- widely considered Baylor's top consecutive recruiting classes to that point. The three-player 2007 class, while not ranked among the nation's top 20, did include the school's highest-ranked recruit in memory -- Dunn, ranked 24th nationally by Scout.com.
In his first season in 2003-04, Drew inherited a team with half the allotted scholarship players and he added a handful of walk-ons. The team -- which was summarily dismissed by all preseason prognosticators as having no chance to be competitive and perhaps finish winless -- surprised everyone by winning eight games, including three Big 12 Conference contests.
Drew and his overachieving Bears finished the season 8-21 and won over Baylor fans and basketball fans alike with their scrappy play and no-quit attitudes. The team exceeded all expectations and Drew was praised for his efforts and mentioned in Big 12 Coach of the Year discussions.
In his second season Drew took the court with the nation's most inexperienced team (one returning scholarship player). The 2004-05 Bears fought their way to a better record than the previous season, 9-19, including an impressive 73-72 road win at Purdue.
In his third season, Drew's 2005-06 Bears overcame perhaps their biggest challenge to date, when despite being banned from playing any non-conference games (due to violations of the previous coaching staff), Drew's very young Baylor squad defied the odds and won four Big 12 games (matching its conference win total from the previous two seasons) and finished the abbreviated season 4-13. The Bears played through the early season handicap and made news in the latter half of the season with noticeably improved play, evidenced by wins in two of the final four games (two losses by a combined seven points) and wins in four of their final five home contests.
Drew's 2006-07 squad showed glimpses of the success to come, when a team loaded with freshmen and sophomores played a full schedule and with a full allotment of scholarships for the first time in four seasons and posted a 15-16 record -- Baylor's most wins in six years. The Bears finished the season with three wins in their final six games, including the school's first victory in a Big 12 Championship game since 2001.
PRIOR TO BAYLOR Success in the basketball world runs strong in the Drew family -- from Scott and brother Bryce (former NBA player and current Valpo head coach) to father Homer (former head coach at Valpo).
Drew came to Baylor after a decade of coaching at Valparaiso, the final year as head coach. He led the 2002-03 Crusaders to a 20-11 record and into the NIT. Valpo earned the Mid-Continent Conference regular season championship with a 12-2 league record.
The previous nine seasons, Drew served as an assistant at Valpo under his father, the legendary Homer Drew. He was promoted to associate head coach for the 2001-02 season. Drew coached his father's 200th win at Valpo (against Oakland on Jan. 27, 2001) when Homer was ill.
In 10 seasons at Valpo, Scott Drew helped lead the program to six NCAA Tournament berths, including the magical 1997-98 squad that shocked the nation by advancing to the Sweet 16. Valpo made five straight NCAA appearances from 1996 to 2000.
The younger Drew was responsible for three national top-20 recruiting classes during his last five years at Valpo.
Drew was named the 1998-99 National Recruiter of the Year by Court Vision and helped produce what HoopScoop.com named the nation's sixth-best recruiting class in 2001 (per average talent), the 13th-best in 1999 (per average talent) and the 27th-best in 2003 (per average talent), a class that included three top 100 national recruits.
Drew was part of the coaching staff that led Valpo to nine straight Mid-Con championships, including dual regular season and tournament titles in 1994-95, 1995-96, 1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99 and 2001-02. The Crusaders were regular season champs in 2000-01 and 2002-03, and won the conference tournament in 2000.
Drew was the driving force behind Valpo's international pipeline that produced more than 10 players from Europe, Africa and South America from 1995 to 2003. He has European coaching experience, having served as head coach of the Athletes In Action team which toured Croatia and Bosnia in the summer of 1997. In August 1995, Drew assisted the AIA team that traveled to Germany, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Greece.
PERSONAL Drew is a former first vice president for the NABC Assistant Coaches Committee and previously served on the National Invitation Tournament advisory committee.
A 1993 graduate of Butler University with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree, Drew earned a master's degree from Valparaiso in 1994. Drew worked with Butler's men's basketball program from 1991-93.
Drew and his wife Kelly are the parents of one daughter, Mackenzie, and two sons, Peyton and Brody.