Alumnus Helps Send Drexel to NCAA Tournament for first time in 25 Years

By Danica Fisher ’05, March 15, 2021
Zach Spiker ’00 coaches Drexel men’s basketball to a conference championship.

Drexel University made an appearance at the NCAA men’s basketball tournament for the first time in 25 years, thanks in part to Zach Spiker ’00, who is in his fifth year as the Dragons’ head coach. The team made it into the "big dance” after defeating eighth-seeded Elon 63-56 in the championship game of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) tournament on March 9. 

Though they led the game for the first four minutes, they were defeated by the No. 1-seeded University of Illinois in the first round on Friday, with a final score of 49 - 78. 

Spiker, a television-radio major and minor in sport studies and business, was named the 26th head coach in Drexel history in 2016 and just the sixth since the school became a member of Division I. In his four seasons at Drexel, Spiker has had six All-Colonial Athletic Association selections and two of his recruits have been named to the CAA All-Rookie Team. 

University of Massachusetts Amherst Athletics Director Ryan Bamford '00 played men’s basketball with Spiker, and they were roommates during their time on South Hill. 

“Like any good roommate and teammate, even now that we are in the same business, I talk to Zach often – anything from a coach perspective and some of the things I’m doing administratively, and he talks about some of the things he’s doing in coaching,” said Bamford. “We run a bunch of things off each other, and I’m so proud of what he’s done in his career. He’s just a wonderful coach with great integrity and a really good ambassador and alum for Ithaca College.” 

Drexel clinched the CAA championship after its preseason top-three ranking in the CAA and moved on to the 2021 NCAA tournament.

This story was updated on March 19 to reflect the final outcome of the game.