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University of Missouri

Buck Up

A former Mizzou hoops star helms an up-and-coming NBA team.

Larry Drew

Former Mizzou point guard Larry Drew now coaches the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks. Photo by Scott Cunningham / NBA Entertainment / GettyImages.

By the time Larry Drew had played his final game for Mizzou — a 68–63 NCAA Midwest Regional loss in 1980 to Louisiana State University in Houston — he held five Missouri basketball records: career field goals (557), career appearances (117), career starts (114), consecutive starts (104) and career assists (433).

Larry Drew at Mizzou

Larry Drew was named to the 1980 All-Big Eight Team. Photo from the 1980 Savitar.

That reliable and unselfish style of play landed the Tiger captain on the NBA’s Detroit Pistons and laid the groundwork for his current station as head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks.

I played for a tough-nosed coach in Norm Stewart,” says Drew, Educ ’80. “He molded me into the person I am today. There were times when he got onto me, and I questioned it at the time, but it did me a lot of good. Now I feel I’m equipped to deal with just about everything.”

Drew, a Kansas Citian with a reputation for getting the most out of his players, was an assistant coach with several franchises before leading the Atlanta Hawks to the playoffs three consecutive seasons from 2010-11 to 2012–13. Milwaukee hired him in June 2013 hoping for that same consistency.

In the NBA and at Mizzou, Drew also has a reputation for humility, positivity and brevity. Once, after the Tigers defeated Kansas during his senior season, he could only muster the quote, “Lovely, lovely, lovely, lovely.”

I spent three years at Tiger Towers at Mizzou,” says Drew of the apartment building on University Avenue that formerly housed student-athletes. “The camaraderie between athletes allowed me to meet people from all walks of life, from all over the country.”