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Former Valpo coach looks forward to challenge

8/25/2003 - Baylor Bears

WACO, Texas -- Scott Drew knows he's taking over a messy
situation at Baylor. To him, that just makes the challenge even
better.

"I can't wait for the new image for Baylor to come," said the
32-year-old Drew, who leaves behind the head coaching job at
Valparaiso, where he was 20-11 in his only season leading the
Crusaders and won the Mid-Continent Conference regular season
title.

With a summer of scandal leaving the program facing internal
penalties as well as possible strong punishment from the NCAA, the
school took a big step toward moving forward by hiring Drew on
Friday.

His first move was to try ensuring that he'll have enough
players to compete this fall. Three-fourths of the roster had begun
looking into transferring and several players already have decided
they will.

Drew talked with eight players Friday and said several have
decided to stay. He said he'll continue to talk to others who have
announced their intention to transfer but may not have completed
their paperwork.

And he'll appeal to the football, baseball and track coaches for
athletes to fill his roster if he has to.

"He has a lot of good things to say," said sophomore Tommy
Swanson, who hasn't decided whether to return. "He's very
impressive. I'm going to talk it over with my family."

Drew also said Baylor could be surprisingly competitive next
season.

"These guys will play every game like it's their last," he
said. "I was very impressed with the desire and work ethic they
said they wanted to have toward this basketball program. I did not
expect that coming in."

The optimistic Drew even said his goal is to win a national
championship, something Baylor hasn't come close to doing in more
than a half-century.

"It's definitely a David vs. Goliath situation," Drew said.
"David did beat Goliath."

Drew replaces Dave Bliss, whose four-year tenure collapsed under
the death of a player, revelations of NCAA violations and player
drug use and the coach's attempted cover-up of misdeeds in the
program.

Bliss, who formerly coached at Oklahoma, resigned Aug. 8 and
Baylor officials organized a search committed four days later.

Drew was recommended to Baylor University President Robert Sloan
by Tim Floyd, coach of the NBA's New Orleans Hornets. Floyd said
Drew, whose brother, Bryce, plays for the Hornets, would be "a
perfect fit."

Baylor officials flew to Indiana to meet with Scott Drew earlier
this week. He agreed to take the job Thursday night and signed a
deal Friday morning.

He'll also bring in new assistant coaches. He introduced one,
Matt Driscoll, on Friday.

The Big 12's only private school, Baylor would not release
details of Drew's contract. Houston television station KRIV, citing
sources close to the school, said the deal was a six-year contract
worth $2.7 million.

"We got our first choice," Sloan said. "I'm excited about the
future of Baylor basketball."

Drew is one of the youngest coaches in Division I. He spent the
nine previous seasons as an assistant to his father, Homer Drew, at
Valparaiso.

At Valparaiso, he was known as a resourceful recruiter, having
brought in many players from Europe, Africa and South America.

Drew said he didn't think it will be hard to recruit to a
program that has taken a beating in negative publicity.

"We're going to take the best people, the best players, the
best fit for Baylor University. In the end we'll have a good
product," he said. "It's going to be done the right way."

Baylor launched an internal inquiry in July into possible NCAA
violations, after allegations surfaced of improper payments to
players following Patrick Dennehy's disappearance. Dennehy was
found shot to death July 25, and former Baylor player Carlton
Dotson remains in a Maryland jail awaiting extradition to Texas to
face charges in the death.

The inquiry found that Bliss was directly involved in paying
tuition costs and other expenses for Dennehy and another player. It
also found that failed drug tests by players weren't properly
reported.

Since then, secretly recorded conversations of Bliss have shown
he asked players to lie to investigators to try to portray Dennehy
as a drug dealer.

Drew said he was drawn to the challenge of rebuilding a program
many said could be beyond repair.

"I'm a guy who really loves 'Rocky' movies. I watch
'Hoosiers,' " Drew said. "This is going to be a challenge for the
next couple of years."