News - 6/23/11

With Homer Drew’s retirement, Bryce Drew steps into head role

Valparaiso University Director of Athletics Mark LaBarbera announced Tuesday, May 17, that Bryce Drew has been hired as the 21st head coach in the history of the Crusader men's basketball program. The announcement, made at a press conference on the Valparaiso University campus, comes after Valparaiso University President Mark Heckler announced that Homer Drew had retired, effective immediately, as the Crusaders’ head coach.

“We are pleased to continue to offer quality leadership and consistency within our basketball program by hiring Bryce Drew,” said LaBarbera. “Bryce has demonstrated a strong commitment to the University's values and ideals and to the development of student-athletes. His lifelong connection to successful basketball has prepared him well to assume the head coaching role at Valparaiso University.”

Bryce Drew has spent the last six seasons as a member of the Valpo coaching staff, including the last five years as associate head coach. He has helped the Crusaders advance to a pair of postseason appearances during his time on the bench, including a berth in the CIT this past season, in which Valpo won 23 games and finished just one game back of the Horizon League regular season title. Bryce Drew has helped guide Valpo’s transition into a top-10 conference in the Horizon League and will become the fourth new head coach of the Crusader men's basketball program in the last 31 years.

“We are extremely grateful for Homer Drew’s 22 years of service to the Valparaiso men’s basketball program,” said Heckler. “He has been one of our greatest coaches, taking the men’s basketball program to unprecedented heights during his tenure. While we are sad to see Homer retire, we are confident that the program is in good hands with Bryce at the helm.”

On the court, Bryce Drew was the most decorated player in Valpo men’s basketball history. A four-time All-Mid-Continent Conference honoree and two-time Mid-Con Player of the Year, he led the Crusaders on the court to conference regular season and tournament championships in each of his four seasons. Bryce Drew also had three NCAA Tournament appearances, culminating in the 1998 NCAA Tournament, in which he hit “The Shot” in the first round to defeat Ole Miss at the buzzer and propel Valparaiso to the Sweet Sixteen. After graduating from Valparaiso University, he was selected with the 16th pick of the 1998 NBA draft by the Houston Rockets and played six seasons in the NBA and one year overseas before returning to the Crusader bench as a coach.

Homer Drew concludes his 22-year tenure at the helm of the Crusader basketball program with a school-record 371 victories, guiding Valparaiso University to nine postseason appearances over his final 16 seasons. He closes his coaching career, which also included stints at Bethel College and Indiana University South Bend, with 640 total victories in 32 seasons, a number which ranked him sixth among active head coaches and 28th overall among coaches with at least 10 years of NCAA Division I coaching experience. Homer Drew led the Crusaders to eight conference regular season and tournament titles and 10 20-win seasons in addition to the postseason appearances, which include seven trips to the NCAA Tournament.

While Homer Drew has retired from his coaching position, he will stay with the Valparaiso University Athletic Department as an associate director of athletics.

Valpo MBA program enrollment rises 35 percent

Enrollment in Valparaiso University's MBA program in the 2010-2011 academic year has increased 35 percent over last year, the largest year-over-year increase in the program's history.

"Valparaiso University has a reputation for quality and the MBA program is no exception," said Bruce MacLean, director of Valpo's graduate programs in management. "Students are coming to Valpo not only because of the excellence of our program and faculty, but also because of the flexibility we offer working professionals."

The Valpo MBA is designed for the working professional, MacLean said, offering flexibility designed to meet the needs of a student's demanding work and personal life, with six start dates, eight-week terms and courses offered via MBA Live for students who are unable to attend in person.

"I had a number of classes to choose from, so I could take classes on nights that would be the least disruptive to my family," said recent Valpo MBA graduate Paul Stark, ArcelorMittal's USA Indiana Harbor manager of logistics planning and scheduling. "Also, the mix of classes held on various nights during the week were a big positive for the Valpo MBA over others that would only meet for a full day Saturday."

Stark said the MBA program is no small commitment, but students can tailor their class schedule to be both work and family friendly.

"There are a wide variety of electives available in addition to the core classes, allowing you to focus on areas you feel are more important to furthering your career," said Stark. "The most valuable part of the MBA program for me was the emphasis on leadership and teamwork – the tools and techniques I learned through the Valpo MBA program have helped me more effectively manage my team and work as a more productive member on project teams."

The MBA program has been ranked consistently as "Best in the Region" by Northwest Indiana Business and nationally by the Princeton Review and holds the top-tier business school AACSB accreditation, placing Valpo's College of Business among the top 5 percent of business schools worldwide.

During the past five years, 94 percent of Valpo MBA graduates have been hired within six months of graduation, and the College of Business has a student-to-faculty ratio of 20 to 1, ensuring personal attention.

The next MBA Open House is June 14 at 5 p.m. (CST) in Urschel Hall on campus. Prospective students will have the opportunity to attend a class, "Creativity and Innovation," with Doug Tougaw and Jeff Will, and to meet current MBA students.

For more information about the Valpo MBA, contact Cindy Scanlan at 219.465.7952 or visit

Gaedele highest baseball draft pick ever for Valpo

Kyle Gaedele became Valparaiso University’s highest selection ever in Major League Baseball’s Draft after he was picked in the sixth round, number 203 overall by the San Diego Padres on Tuesday, June 7.

“This is a true blessing,” Gaedele said.“I’m one of the 1,500 people in the world lucky enough to get this chance. Lots of people aren’t given this opportunity and I am truly fortunate.”

An outfielder, Gaedele batted .326 over his three-year career with the Crusaders, hitting 17 home runs and driving home 121 runs. His RBI total ranks seventh in school history. A junior this past season, Gaedele also has tallied 48 doubles and 12 triples, ranking fifth and third respectively on Valpo’s career list. The 86 walks he has drawn also rank fifth in Crusader laurels.

Gaedele, from Arlington Heights, Ill., also ranks third all-time in a Brown and Gold uniform with 148 career runs scored as well as third with 48 stolen bases, while being caught just six times.

“I am thankful for the opportunity I was given by Coach (Tracy) Woodson and Valparaiso University for helping me grow as a player,” Gaedele said. “I am forever indebted to the university. That said, I am excited to begin a new chapter of my career now. All of the things that Valpo taught me will carry over and help me strive to reach the next level with the San Diego Padres organization.”

Gaedele was a two-time Second Team All-Horizon League selection at Valpo, while he earned All-Tournament Team accolades in 2010. He also was named to the conference’s All-Newcomer Team following his freshman season.

In 2011 Gaedele started all 57 games for Valpo, hitting .312 with seven homers and 39 runs batted in. He drew 38 walks and posted a .417 on base percentage along with a .511 slugging percentage. His 23 stolen bases are fourth most on the Crusaders’ single season charts. As a sophomore in 2010, Gaedele set Valpo’s single season RBI record, driving home 63 runs.

“I am excited for Kyle with the opportunity that he has been presented,” head coach Tracy Woodson said. “What he did for our program here at Valpo is just huge and I wish him nothing but the best in his professional career. He has helped Valpo baseball take the next step forward as a program.”

Gaedele is the third Crusader in the last two seasons to be drafted, and fourth in the five years that Woodson has been at the helm of the Brown and Gold. He is the highest selection ever for a Crusader, surpassing Lloyd McClendon’s eighth round pick by the New York Mets in the June Amateur Draft in 1980.

“We hope to continue to bring players of Kyle’s caliber to Valpo to help them get this opportunity as well,” Woodson added. “With four draft picks over the last five years, we’ve started what we hope will become a tradition here of producing professional caliber ballplayers.”

Gaedele is the 18th player all-time to be selected from Valparaiso University.