Many Indiana residents will forever remember Bryce Drew for his miracle shot that helped Valparaiso University, a No. 13 seed, beat the University of Mississippi in the first round of the 1998 NCAA tournament.
It was a shot that launched Valpo’s run to the Sweet Sixteen that year, where the team eventually lost to Rhode Island.
Drew, who after a seven-year career playing professionally in the NBA and Europe replaced his dad, Homer, as Valpo’s head coach in 2011, is ready to make his mark in another way during this year’s NCAA tournament, even though his team is playing in the National Invitation Tournament.
Drew is being featured starting Tuesday—the day his team plays in the NIT quarterfinal—in the Dove Men+Care’s “Bonds of Real Strength” March Madness campaign.
The campaign also features well-known coaches including former UConn Coach Jim Calhoun and his former player and coaching successor, Kevin Ollie; Ohio State Coach Thad Matta; and Texas Tech Coach Tubby Smith. Georgia State and former IUPUI Coach Ron Hunter also will be featured in the campaign.
Dove's popular "Journey to Comfort" campaign has used high-profile athletes and coaches including Magic Johnson, John Elway, Shaquille O'Neal and Drew Brees since its launch in 2011.
In the March Madness spot featuring Drew, he talks about his relationship with his dad, for whom he played and was an assistant coach at Valpo.
“With my dad, people were always more important than results. How a person felt, what a person was going through, his future was always more important than just winning a game,” Drew said in the Dove spot. “I saw what a great father figure he was and how he treated all the players like sons.
“The biggest thing I brought from my dad is that it’s about people,” Drew added. “It’s not about a player, it’s about a person, and during his four years here, how can I impact him so when he leaves here he can have a positive influence on people? That’s the reason why you get into coaching.”