Early Friday morning, Jeff Goodman of Stadium reported that Vanderbilt and Bryce Drew were parting ways. The young, 44-year-old coach came to Vanderbilt after parting ways with his alma mater Valparaiso three years ago.
Vanderbilt has terminated Bryce Drew as head coach after just three seasons, source told @Stadium: https://t.co/tarW1hkYBT
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) March 22, 2019
The new athletic director, Malcolm Turner, fired Drew after just two months on the job himself. Turner’s previous experience before becoming AD at Vandy was being president of the NBA’s G-League for five years. The decision is a little head-scratching since Bryce Drew is considered one of the best young coaches in the NCAA and has been recruiting so well.
Drew also released a statement following his firing.
We want to thank you all for the enormous support and outpouring of love we have received today. Below is a quick note from myself & my awesome wife, Tara. Be Blessed. ?? ? pic.twitter.com/fKZmqwRKfZ
— CoachBryceDrew (@BryceDrewCoach) March 22, 2019
Last year, Bryce Drew brought in the 13th ranked recruiting class in the nation. The class was highlighted by five-star players Simisola Shittu and Darius Garland. While Shittu has been a good player for the Dores, he has not been what most expected. Darius Garland suffered an injury early in the season when he tore his meniscus. Since then he has announced he is going to the NBA Draft and signed with an agency.
While recruiting was going well for Bryce Drew, it was clear the 2019 class would not be as good as the 2018 class. The Dores did have a verbal commitment from Scotty Pippen, son of NBA Champion and Hall of Famer, Scottie Pippen. After going 0-18 in SEC play, there is arguably a reason to fire Drew, despite his recruiting efforts. Of course, Bryce Drew is known for his 1998 buzzer-beating shot against 4-seed Ole Miss in the NCAA Tournament. The next coach of Vanderbilt is a mystery, but names should start popping up in the rumor mills soon.