Muffet McGraw, the long-time head coach of Notre Dame women’s basketball, has decided to call it a career. The two-time national championship winner announced her retirement today.
“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 stated. “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.”
McGraw won 936 games as a head coach, including 842 for the Fighting Irish. She started her career at Lehigh University after serving as both a player and assistant coach at St. Joe’s in Philadelphia.
McGraw was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017. Her nine Final Four appearances ranks fifth all-time, and her 67 NCAA Tournament wins is fourth.
Niele Ivey, the long-time assistant to McGraw who had just left for the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies last August, has come back to replace her as head coach. Ivey won a national championship as a player with ND in 2001, and was part of the coaching staff for their 2018 title.
If anyone can keep an elite program at a high level for a sustained period of time, it’s someone that has been a part of what McGraw built in the Joyce Center. This should be as seamless a transition as is possible.