VALPARAISO | When the inevitable announcement comes this morning that is seemingly six years in the making, there will be plenty of eyes on Bryce Drew.
After leading Valpo High to the state championship game in 1994, Valparaiso University to the Sweet Sixteen in 1998 and carving out a nice six-year career in the NBA, Drew will be named the 21st head coach in Valparaiso program history at a news conference that will coincide with Homer Drew stepping away from the Crusaders, according to sources close to the program.
The former associate head coach will be the third-straight Drew to lead the Crusaders since 1988, following in the footsteps of his father, Homer (1988-2002, 2003-2011), and brother, Scott (2002-2003).
"I'm definitely excited to see how Bryce is going to do as the head coach," former Valparaiso guard Brandon McPherson said. "I really want to see what he is going to do."
The pressure will be there from the beginning. Twitter and Facebook were already buzzing on Monday with news of the announcement and questions as to whether or not Bryce was ready for the challenge.
As far as McPherson is concerned, Bryce is as ready as they come. The Indianapolis native played high school basketball with NBA stars Mike Conley and Greg Oden before playing under Bryce for the first five seasons of Drew's associate coaching career.
"Bryce is very knowledgeable about the game of basketball," McPherson said. "He knows more about basketball than anyone else I've ever met. He is ready and I can't wait to see how he is going to do."
As the years have passed since Bryce joined the coaching staff, he has become more vocal in leading the team as well as filling out the roster. Bryce has had a big impact on next season's incoming recruiting class which features Virginia Tech transfer Ben Boggs, Ole Miss transfer Will Bogan, La Lumiere product Dino Jakolis and Hillsborough Community College sophomore Richie Edwards.
While Bryce will take the head coaching reins, there is no word yet as to the makeup of his coaching staff. Assistant coaches Luke Gore and Chris Sparks have been with the Crusaders for the last nine years and four years respectively. Like Sparks, graduate assistant Jake Diebler played for the Crusaders and has been on the staff for the past two seasons.