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Niele Ivey To Muffet McGraw: "I'm Here Because Of You"

Screenshot from virtual news conference

NEW (Posted Apr. 23 at 1:05pm): 

The University of Notre Dame officially introduced Niele Ivey as the new head women’s basketball coach today.


Ivey played for Notre Dame. She was a part of the team that earned the Irish their first NCAA tournament win in 2001. Following the win, she spent five seasons playing for the WNBA on the Indiana Fever.  

Ivey returned to Notre Dame as an assistant coach under Muffet McGraw in 2007. She left ND to spend the last season as an assistant coach for the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies.

Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick says no other coach was considered to succeed the legendary 33 seasons of McGraw. In opening remarks at a virtual press conference Thursday, Ivey choked up when thanking McGraw. 

“To Coach McGraw...I’m here because of you...You believed in me.”

Ivey says being just one year removed from the program will help her jump into the new job. 

“And I’m just going to hit the ground running today. I'm going to reach out to those that I think will help this program and again I’m just going to rely on those relationships that I built and created when I was here.”

Ivey says she’s looking forward to taking the lessons she learned from McGraw and with the Grizzlies and putting her own stamp on the program.


Listen to a broadcast version of this story.

Notre Dame Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick announced Niele Ivey as the fourth head coach in women’s basketball history on Wednesday.

Ivey was a player and an assistant coach, logging a combined 17 years on Notre Dame’s campus. Ivey spent the past season as an assistant coach with the Memphis Grizzlies, before returning to follow in Muffet McGraw’s footsteps.

Ivey will address Irish fans as the new Karen & Kevin Keyes Family Head Coach for the first time on Thursday, April 23, at Noon ET as part of a virtual press conference.

Muffet McGraw announced on Twitter Wednesday that she is stepping aside as the head coach of the Notre Dame Women's Basketball team.

In the message she posted, "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 went on to say, "I can turn the page to the next chapter in my life with no regrets, knowing that I gave it my best every day."   

Under McGraw's leadership, the program won two national championships. 

Credit Screenshot from virtual press conference held Apr. 22, 2020
From L-R: ND Athletic Dir. Jack Swarbrick, Retiring ND Women's Basketball Coach Muffet McGraw and Matt McGraw, Muffet's husband

In a virtual press conference following her announcement McGraw says in retirement she will use her platform to continue to fight for equality.

"I am excited about the opportunity to continue to promote women’s equality and to speak on behalf of all women anywhere across the country and to use my platform any way that I

McGraw was Notre Dame’s third head coach. The women’s basketball program began in 1977, five years after the University began allowing women to enroll.

The 64-year-old McGraw became the 13th woman inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017. She won 936 games, with 842 coming at Notre Dame. McGraw is one of five Division I men’s or women’s basketball coaches with at least 930 wins, nine Final Fours and multiple titles. Her national championships were won in 2001 and 2018.

Notre Dame has announced that Niele Ivey will be the new head coach. Here is a link to ND's announcement.