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Drake hires DeVries

By LUKE MEREDITH
AP Sports Writer
DES MOINES — Drake has hired longtime Creighton assistant Darian DeVries as its basketball coach.
The Bulldogs announced Thursday that DeVries will replace Niko Medved, who last week left after one season at Drake to take over at Colorado State.
DeVries, a native of Aplington, and the brother of former Detroit Lions star Jared DeVries, spent the past 17 years as an assistant with the Bluejays under coaches Dana Altman and Greg McDermott. Creighton made 12 NCAA Tournament appearances and went 460-211 with DeVries on its staff.
DeVries will be Drake’s fourth coach in the last 16 months. Ray Giacoletti left early in the 2016-17 season and was followed by interim coach Jeff Rutter and Medved.
The 42-year-old DeVries played at Northern Iowa, where he scored 1,084 points.
DeVries will be introduced Friday at a news conference.
“The city of Des Moines is an awesome place to be and we can’t wait to show it off to future recruits,” he said in statement. “When you have a great academic institution combined with a vibrant city and people that go out of their way to help one another, it’s a recipe for sustained success.”
Drake, which has made just one NCAA Tournament appearance since 1972, went 17-17 last season under Medved. But most of the Bulldogs’ starters graduated, and a long rebuild will likely be required for them to compete with the rest of the Missouri Valley Conference.
DeVries is the first major hire for athletic director Brian Hardin, who took over for Sandy Hatfield-Clubb in 2017.
“Darian has had a significant role in creating a tremendous level of sustained success at Creighton over the past 20 years,” Hardin said.
“Darian is an exceptionally talented coach who has found considerable success in his Division I career,” said Drake University President Marty Martin. “His commitment to on-court and academic excellence reflect values that are intrinsic to Drake Athletics.
“His 17 years of loyalty to the Bluejays contributed to a remarkable depth of talent and character in that program, and we look forward to the same exceptional caliber of leadership from Coach DeVries here at Drake.”
DeVries graduated from UNI in 1998 with a B.A. in elementary education and a minor in physical education. He earned his master’s degree in college counseling from Creighton in 2000.
DeVries was a standout athlete in high school at Aplington-Parkersburg, and in the spring of 2015, was inducted into the IHSAA Hall of Fame for his playing prowess. The oldest of five siblings, DeVries’ family boasts a tremendous academic pedigree, with all five competing collegiately.
His brother, Jared, was an All-American on the football team at the University of Iowa and was a 12-year member of the Detroit Lions, while another brother, Dusty, also played football for the Hawkeyes. His youngest brother, Jay, played football at Wartburg College and his sister, Jodi, was a second team All-MVC selection in volleyball at UNI.