Beacons Highlights

General Information

NCAA Division: Division I

Conference: Missouri Valley (2017-present)

Past Conferences: Mid-Continent, Horizon

City: Valparaiso, Ind.

Stadium: Athletics-Recreation Center

NCAA Tournaments: 9 (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2013, 2015)


  • National Championships: None
  • Conference Tournament Titles: 10 (1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2013, 2015)
  • Conference Regular Season Titles: 14 (1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017)

Valparaiso Beacons Team History

The Valparaiso Beacons are a Division I team based in Indiana. Coached by Matt Lottich, Valparaiso has been a member of the Missouri Valley Conference since 2017. The school dropped its former nickname, the Crusaders, in 2021, after saying it had been embraced by various hate groups.

Before joining the MVC, Valparaiso — or Valpo, as it’s affectionately known — was a consistent tournament contender. As part of the Mid-Continent Conference, Valparaiso made the NCAA Tournament seven times during nine years, including five straight appearances from 1996-00. The school also made it twice out of the Horizon League.

While the school didn’t post a winning record until 1994, more than a decade after joining Division I, it eventually became a March staple under Homer Drew. Perhaps the most monumental moment for the school came in 1998, when Drew’s son, Bryce, hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to upset fourth-seeded Mississippi 70-69 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Valparaiso beat the odds again in the round of 32, defeating No. 12 seed Florida State in overtime, before losing to No. 8 seed Rhode Island in the Sweet 16. To this day, Drew’s shot remains an indelible image in tournament history.

Coach Drew: From Father to Son

Valparaiso returned to the tournament the next four seasons, losing each time in the opening round.
Following the 2002 season, which concluded with a loss to fourth-seeded Kentucky, Homer Drew resigned and turned the reins of the program over to his son, Scott, a longtime assistant. Scott wound up guiding Valparaiso to another Mid-Continent regular season title but settled for an NIT appearance.

Once Scott left, after that lone season, for Baylor, Homer returned to coach from 2004-11. During Homer’s second stint at the helm, the school left for the Horizon League. Yet another Drew, called Bryce, the program’s second all-time leading scorer, guided Valparaiso to tournament appearances in 2013 and 2015. He also took them to the National Invitational Tournament final in 2016. Altogether, Valparaiso was in the Horizon League for 10 seasons.

Lottich, a former Valparaiso assistant, won 24 games and made the NIT during his first season in 2017, but he’s posted just one winning record since.

All-Time Valparaiso Beacons Records

Points Scored

  • Alec Peters: 2,348
  • Bryce Drew: 2,142
  • Tracy Gipson: 1,785


  • Alec Peters: 996
  • Chris Ensminger: 910
  • Raitis Grafs: 841
  • Ryan Broekhoff: 841


  • Bryce Drew: 626
  • Ali Berdiel: 507
  • Erik Buggs: 425

Valparaiso Beacons FAQs



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