Legendary Notre Dame women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw retires after Hall of Fame career

After an illustrious 33-year career leading the Notre Dame women’s basketball team, Hall of Fame coach Muffet McGraw announced Wednesday that she is retiring from coaching. A formal announcement will be made in a virtual press conference at 4 p.m. ET, with her retirement effective today. Former Fighting Irish player and current Memphis Grizzlies assistant coach Niele Ivey will take over the program.

“It has been my great honor to represent the University of Notre Dame these past 33 years, but the time has come for me to step down as your head basketball coach,” McGraw said in a statement. “I want to thank Monk Malloy and Father Jenkins for giving me the opportunity to coach the game I love at a university I love. I have learned much about leadership from the many athletic directors with whom I have served, and in particular, I want to thank Jack Swarbrick for his unwavering support.

“I am grateful to have worked with the best assistant coaches in the business, and I have been blessed to coach so many phenomenal women.

“To the best fans in the country, it was my honor and privilege to play for you.”

Notre Dame said in its press release that she will remain active in the university and local communities.

McGraw turned 64 in December and was coming off consecutive Final Four appearances in 2018 and 2019 before the 2019-20 season was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic. Notre Dame was 13-18 on the season and 8-10 in conference play before the season was abruptly canceled.

In her coaching career, McGraw won 936 games, ranking sixth all-time among Division I coaches, including 842 wins at Notre Dame. She was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017, becoming just the 13th female coach ever to be inducted into the elite group. Prior to her reign at Notre Dame she had a five-season stint at Lehigh, where she went 88-41. She was the second-winningest active women’s coach prior to her resignation, behind only UConn coach Geno Auriemma.

McGraw was named AP Coach of the Year four times during her career and was a three-time winner of the Naismith Coach of the Year award. She won two national championships with the Irish, in 2001 and 2018, and led them to nine Final Four appearances.

“I am proud of what we have accomplished and I can turn the page to the next chapter in my life with no regrets, knowing that I gave it my best every day,” McGraw said.

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