Dear Scott Drew,
Five years ago, Husbanks and I made our spring pilgrimage to Waco to watch our Alma-mater play basketball. Our school’s athletic department had recently been rocked by scandal, and the new men’s basketball coach (you) seemed like a stand-up guy. But that day we weren’t there to watch the men shoot hoops, we were watching the National Champion Lady Bears on the court during the last game of the season.
The stadium was full and energy was there. It was exciting to see students and alum excited about sports at our school, the athletic-laughing-stock of our conference. After the game, you took the microphone to congratulate the graduating senior Lady Bears and to address the basketball fans.
“Give me a few seasons. The stadium will be full like this for the guys. Fans will be excited.”
We remembered you as the assistant coach at Valpo when they made the sweet last-minute shot advancing to the Sweet 16 (I was there!). I honestly don’t remember the rest of your speech that day, but I do remember being moved to tears by whatever you said. You were motivational without losing sincerity and aggressive without being arrogant. You were super nice. And in five years we watched you transform a mess – where star players were released after the scandal and some remaining recruits joined a team without available scholarships due to punishment – into a team headed to the NCAA for the second time under your leadership. As a No. 3 seed.
I don’t need Baylor go to the Big Dance to be happy, I’m just happy seeing the good guy win every once in a while.
Congrats, Coach Drew. You were right – we’re excited.
Sic ’em, Bears.
Photos by Stacie