Muffet McGraw retires from Notre Dame

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Muffet McGraw retired suddenly from the Notre Dame women’s basketball program on Wednesday.

The legendary head coach collected two national championships and 936 wins during her storied career.

Spending the past 33 seasons on the sidelines at Notre Dame, McGraw compiled one of the most impressive NCAA basketball coaching profiles in modern history. McGraw and Notre Dame became pillars of success during her tenure. The program reached nine Final Fours and played in the national title game seven times. The Irish claimed national titles in 2001 and 2018.

“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.”

Finishing with a career record of 936-251, McGraw started her head coaching career with five seasons at Lehigh. Although McGraw didn’t make a postseason appearance at Lehigh, she slowly turned Notre Dame into a postseason juggernaut. Beginning with her eighth season in South Bend, McGraw took Notre Dame to 22 consecutive women’s NCAA tournaments.

The Irish were particularly dominant over the last decade. McGraw and Notre Dame made the women’s Final Four an incredible eight times in nine seasons from 2011 through 2019. The program also made it to at least the Sweet Sixteen every season of the 2010 decade.

McGraw also made a big impact by coaching plenty of future WNBA stars and All-Americans. Ruth Riley was McGraw’s first big star in the late ’90s. The torch was passed through the years as new stars like Skylar Diggins-Smith, Jewell Loyd, Brianna Turner and Arike Ogunbowale all thrived under McGraw.

Notre Dame will replace Muffet McGraw with former assistant coach Niele Ivey. Ivey played for Notre Dame and coached under McGraw from 2007 until 2019.