Drake University Director of Athletics Brian Hardin today named Darian DeVries head men's basketball coach. A veteran coach with experience in the BIG EAST and Missouri Valley Conferences, DeVries was previously an assistant coach at Creighton University for 17 years and spent 20 total seasons on staff with the Bluejays. During that span, he helped guide the Bluejays to 19 postseason appearances and 12 NCAA Tournament berths.
DeVries, a native of Aplington, Iowa, will be introduced at a 1:30 p.m. press conference Friday, March 30, in the Courtside Club of the Shivers Basketball Practice Facility.
“I'm so blessed and humbled to have this opportunity to lead the Drake men’s basketball program,” DeVries said. “This program has tremendous potential because of the commitment by President Martin and director of athletics Brian Hardin to make Drake men’s basketball a consistent winner. The city of Des Moines is an awesome place to be and we can't wait to show it off to future recruits. 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.”
DeVries, 42, is one of the longest-tenured men's basketball assistant coaches at one school in the nation and recently assisted the Bluejays in their fifth NCAA Tournament appearance in the last seven years. During his time on the Creighton staff under both Dana Altman and Greg McDermott, the program has accumulated a record of 460-211 and 231-129 in conference games.
“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.”
Under his guidance, Creighton has had 15 first-team all-conference selections, six conference Players of the Year, three Newcomers of the Year, three Freshmen of the Year and three Defensive Players of the Year. CU has also had six All-American honorees in that time, including Doug McDermott, the first player in 30 years to be named a First Team All-American by the AP in three straight seasons.
"Darian has had a significant role in creating a tremendous level of sustained success at Creighton over the past 20 years and I'm thrilled he has accepted this opportunity to lead our men's basketball program," Hardin said. "I'm excited to welcome a native Iowan back home and I look forward to our community helping Darian take the Drake men's basketball team to the top of the Missouri Valley Conference."
At Creighton, DeVries worked closely with the Bluejay backcourt and did much of the scouting of the opposition. DeVries also played a significant role in the recruitment of future standouts, including five-star center Justin Patton in 2015, who redshirted before turning into the No. 16 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls.
In 2011-12, the Bluejays tied a school record with 29 wins and followed that with 28 and 27 wins in the successive seasons as part of a span of 18 20-win seasons in his 20 years in Omaha.
During Creighton's first season in the BIG EAST (2013-14) DeVries' stewardship of the Bluejays' guards helped the team lead the nation in three-pointers made, three-point percentage and assist/turnover ratio. The squad also ranked second in three-pointers per game and assists per game as Doug McDermott swept all 14 National Player of the Year awards.
Before joining the staff at then Missouri Valley Conference member Creighton in 1998, he already had an extensive background in the Valley as a starter at UNI under coach Eldon Miller. DeVries ranks 31st all-time in career scoring at UNI with 1,084 points and was twice an MVC Scholar-Athlete Team selection. The two-time UNI captain led the Panthers in three-point shooting three years and converted on 44 percent of his attempts as a senior with 3.1 assists per game.
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 (Iowa), 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 Northern Iowa.
Darian and his wife, Ashley, have one son, Tucker (16) and one daughter, Tatum (10).