After 20 years at Baylor, Scott Drew’s coaching tree is growing
This season marks the 20th year that Baylor men’s basketball has been led by Scott Drew — the Big 12’s longest-tenured head coach, and the architect of the greatest rebuild in college basketball history.
Five Sweet 16 berths, three trips to the Elite Eight, the 2021 National Championship, and countless student-athletes graduating on to careers at the professional level — both on and off the basketball court — mark an illustrious career for Drew and his staff.
On top of all that, Drew won his 400th game at Baylor earlier this week. Such stability and success in a collegiate athletics program often opens doors for assistants to pursue opportunities to lead programs of their own, and Baylor is no exception. Drew’s success over the last 20 years has led to a growing coaching tree across the country, with the following former BU assistants now at the helms of successful collegiate programs:
* Matthew Driscoll, North Florida — Driscoll was a member of Drew’s staff at Valparaiso in 2003, then followed Drew to Baylor the next year and coached at BU until 2009, when he was hired as head coach at UNF. The first of Drew’s former assistants to accept a head coach position, Driscoll has earned three Atlantic Sun Coach of the Year awards (2015, 2016, 2020), three ASUN regular season titles, and the 2015 ASUN tournament championship. The Ospreys earned the program’s first-ever NCAA tournament appearance with that 2015 tournament title.
* Grant McCasland, North Texas — Having played at Baylor from 1995-99, McCasland (BBA ’99) was actually returning home when he joined Drew’s staff in 2011 after successful runs as head coach at Midland College and Midwestern State. He helped lead BU for five years before taking the head job at Arkansas State in 2016 and then at North Texas in 2017. He led the Mean Green to the NCAA tournament in 2021 and secured the program’s first-ever tournament win. Under his tutelage, UNT has won two Conference USA regular season titles (2020, 2022), and McCasland was named the 2020 Conference USA Coach of the Year honors.
* Paul Mills, Oral Roberts — Mills joined Drew’s first staff in 2003 as the coordinator of basketball operations, then was promoted to assistant coach after Driscoll’s departure in 2009. After eight years in that role, he was hired in May 2017 to lead the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles. Just four years later, Mills led ORU to the 2021 Summit League tournament title and a Cinderella run to the NCAA Sweet 16 — the deepest run for the Golden Eagles in nearly 50 years, just the second time in NCAA history that a 15 seed advanced to the round of 16.
* Jerome Tang, head coach at Kansas State — Drew’s longest tenured assistant coach recently earned the first Power Five position of his former assistants, accepting the top job at Big 12-rival Kansas State after 19 seasons at Baylor (2003-22). Tang was promoted to associate head coach at Baylor in 2017 as recognition of his role in building the BU program over the last two decades. His bittersweet departure sets up some added excitement for future meetings between the Bears and Wildcats, highlighted this season by a Jan. 7 matchup in Waco and Feb. 21 showdown in Manhattan.
If you’re keeping count, that’s seven conference titles, three NCAA appearances, one Sweet 16, and four conference coach of the year awards for Drew’s coaching tree — numbers that are only going to grow. (And even that doesn’t include the dozens of former players and grad assistants who have gone on to establish careers in college and professional sports.)
Sic ’em, Coaches Drew, Driscoll, McCasland, Mills and Tang!