Scott Drew put together one 20-win season at Valparaiso before he took over a scandal-plagued Baylor team ahead of the 2003-04 season.
Baylor had been engulfed in controversy at the start of the Drew era. Carlton Dotson was arrested and later convicted of murdering teammate Patrick Dennehy. Former coach Dave Bliss was found to have made improper payments to players, including Dennehy. Bliss was accused of ignoring drug use by players and other recruiting violations and telling his players to lie to investigators during the murder investigation but was never charged for it.
Baylor was placed on probation through 2010 and the penalties the school received were considered the harshest that didn’t include the NCAA’s so-called “death penalty.”
When Drew came in, he vowed to get a championship for Baylor. Upon winning the title on Monday night against Gonzaga, his press conference promise resurfaced.
“… At Baylor University, I did not come to go to the NCAA Tournament. We came to win games at the NCAA Tournament. We came with a chance to win a national championship at Baylor University. We have the resources. We have the people. We have the leadership and I think we have the family atmosphere to do it down here. And that’s my goal in the next two years to bring Baylor to that forefront,” Drew said at the time.
“Now, America does love the little guys and this is definitely a David vs. Goliath situation. And it might take some time, but I can tell you this: Our staff will have the work ethic, the integrity and the commitment to success needed to get this program where it needs to go.”
It took Drew five seasons, including four consecutive losing seasons, to get Baylor to the NCAA Tournament. But it wasn’t until 2020-21 that Baylor got to the Final Four, the national title game and then won the championship.