Vanderbilt coach Bryce Drew will not return next season, the school announced Friday.
Drew, 44, was hired in 2016 to replace Kevin Stallings. He led Vandy to the NCAA tournament and a 19-16 record in his first season, but the Commodores have gone just 21-43 in the last two seasons — including an 0-18 record in SEC play this season.
Drew on Friday had his first sit-down meeting with new athletic director Malcolm Turner, sources told ESPN. In what would be an unusual move, Turner is looking to reassign Drew to another position in the school to avoid paying his buyout, according to sources.
“Vanderbilt is committed to competing at the highest levels on and off the court,” Turner said in a statement. “After careful consideration, we’ve decided to make a change to the leadership of our men’s basketball program. Bryce has represented Vanderbilt in exceptional fashion in his time here. I appreciate all of the contributions Bryce has made over the past three seasons to Vanderbilt, and we wish him all the best.”
Vanderbilt hired Turner in December, and he officially started on Feb. 1. He came to the Commodores after just over four years as president of the NBA G League.
Drew landed an elite recruiting class in 2018, led by five-stars Darius Garland and Simi Shittu, but Garland — a likely top-10 pick in June’s NBA draft — suffered a season-ending meniscus injury in November. Vanderbilt was 4-0 with Garland fully healthy and 5-23 without him.
Prior to taking over at Vanderbilt, Drew coached Valparaiso for five seasons, winning four regular-season Horizon League championships and making two NCAA tournament appearances. The brother of Baylor coach Scott Drew, he was also an assistant coach at Valpo for six seasons after playing professionally in the NBA and overseas.
He’s perhaps best known for “The Shot” that helped Valparaiso beat Ole Miss at the buzzer in the 1998 NCAA tournament.