After Vanderbilt failed to win a single game in the SEC during the 2018-2019 college basketball season, posting an 0-18 record in conference play, the school announced head basketball coach Bryce Drew will not return next season. Drew went 40-59 in three seasons at the helm.
The school doesn’t want to fire Drew, though. Not exactly. Per ESPN, a source told writer Jeff Borzello that Vandy athletic director Malcolm Turner wants to “reassign” Drew to a different position within the school as not to have to pay Drew a buyout. It is unknown if Drew would accept such an assignment.
“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.”
The Commodores went 19-16 in Drew’s first season as head coach, making an NCAA Tournament appearance, though they lost in the first round. But a 12-20 record in 2017 and a 9-23 record this season made it difficult for Turner to bring Drew back. Drew lost Darius Garland, his prized recruit for 2018, for the season after just four games when Garland suffered a knee injury. Garland then announced he’d be leaving for the NBA Draft in January.