Muffet McGraw Announces Retirement

COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 1: Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Muffet McGraw waves to the crowd after cutting a piece of the net to celebrate beating Mississippi in the championship game of the 2018 NCAA Photos via Getty Images Division I Women's Basketball Final Four at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Ben Solomon/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Hall of Famer Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame’s legendary women’s basketball coach, is stepping down after 33 years at the helm. She will be replaced by Niele Ivey, who both played for and was an assistant under McGraw.

“I am so honored to be able to follow in the legacy that Coach McGraw built here at Notre Dame,” Ivey said in a statement. “My love and appreciation for Coach McGraw is beyond anything I can express. She’s more than a mentor, more than a friend, she’s one of the most influential people in my life.”

After graduating from Notre Dame, Ivey went on to play five seasons in the WNBA. She was most recently an assistant coach for the Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA.

In her 38 years as a head coach, McGraw won over 900 games and two national championships, both with Notre Dame. She won her first title in 2001, with Ivey on the roster, and then again in 2018, when Arike Ogunbowale’s back-to-back game winning shots propelled Notre Dame past Connecticut and Mississippi State to win the NCAA tournament.

Under McGraw, Notre Dame reached seven national title games, including six in the past decade. That kind of consistency is almost unheard of.

More impressive, however, may be McGraw’s insistent, passionate advocacy on behalf of women everywhere. McGraw was an outspoken leader throughout her career, and following Pat Summitt’s retirement and subsequent passing, she became the most prominent voice in college basketball demanding that more women be given head coaching opportunities.

To no one’s surprise, McGraw has already stated that she will continue to remain active within the university and the local communities.

Thank you, Coach McGraw, for both what you’ve done and for what you will continue to do.