Former Commodore star calls this his dream job.
For years, Vanderbilt University has been one of the toughest places to play for opposing teams. Their arena, Memorial Gym is the most unorthodox venues in college basketball in the country. Opposing coaches must get used to their bench being behind a basket instead of on the sidelines. Also, the floor is elevated so the game looks like a Broadway production. Through the years, Vanderbilt teams have enjoyed beating top teams because of their advantage. “Memorial Magic” has been witnessed many times on West End.
Recently, Vanderbilt fired their head men’s basketball coach Bryce Drew. Drew came in as an up and coming coach from a mid-major program in Indiana, Valparaiso University. At his opening press conference, Drew discussed coaching a Vanderbilt team to a Final Four. Three years later, the Commodores are looking for a new coach.
National names have been rumored to be front runners for the job. Former Georgetown University coach John Thompson III, University of Central Florida coach Johnny Dawkins, Murray State University head coach Matt McMahon and Lipscomb University’s head coach Casey Alexander to name a few have been discussed. All have great resumes, but they all would use this job to get to the next job. Dawkins is one of the “coaches in waiting” for the Duke University job. Alexander has been rumored to be waiting on Rick Byrd to retire at his alum mater Belmont University, so he can take over.
Three years ago, Vanderbilt had to hire Drew because former coach Kevin Stallings was swept away by Pittsburgh. A school like Vanderbilt needs stability to be successful. They need a head coach that won’t be looking for his next job. They need a “Vandy Man” that loves the school and bleeds black and gold. Who is that man? Well, I am glad you asked. That man is Christ Presbyterian Academy (CPA) coach Drew Maddux.
Maddux was a third generation Commodore basketball player with his grandfather Ed played in 1943 and father Ray from 1971-73). Drew has been a Vanderbilt basketball season ticket holder at nine months old. The Nashville native played his high school ball at Goodpasture Christian. His coach at the time was former Vanderbilt basketball player Steve Reese.
Maddux was strongly recruited in high school by Bobby Knight at Indiana University, Wake Forest University and others but committed to Vanderbilt his junior year but was perplexed when head coach Eddie Fogler left to take the job at South Carolina University. Maddux followed his heart and decided not to go to Vanderbilt and even donned his father’s number 45.
Maddux helped change the athletic culture at CPA. In 2006, he was named the head basketball coach after volunteering with the eighth-grade team. He has coached some of the top high school players in the area in; Craig Bradshaw, Jalen Lindsey, Braxton Key and Tyger Campbell. Excluding the 2015-16 season (we weren’t able to locate the correct record), Maddux has compiled a 340-75 record with two state championships.
Maddux has called the Vanderbilt job his dream job. He is a true “Vandy Man” that won’t look for the next best job. He also won’t have to have a contract buyout. The University also won’t have to worry about relocation costs. He is known on social media for his magical trick shots. If Vanderbilt wants to bring the magic back to Memorial, then all they need to do is head south a few miles on Old Hickory Boulevard to get their man.
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Photo “Drew Maddux” by Drew Maddux.