Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, in Storrs, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

Notre Dame’s Muffet McGraw Steps Down

After 33 years, there will be a new coach pacing the sideline for Notre Dame women’s basketball.

Muffet McGraw, 64, announced on Wednesday that she would be stepping down from the helm of the Fighting Irish’s successful program.

McGraw’s announcement came out of thin air — shocking the sports community.

Coming to the Decision

Leaving your employer after 33 years, no matter the industry, can’t be easy. And for McGraw, she is leaving behind a community that adores her.

In her tenure, McGraw amassed a record of 848-252. Two of those wins represent national titles won in 2001 and 2018. And according to McGraw, that last championship-winning year is when she started questioning her timeframe.

After going 13-18 in 2019, McGraw attests that making a decision is never wise right after a season. But with things at a halt due to Covid-19, McGraw has had more than enough time to weigh the decision.

What’s Next?

Though she is retiring, don’t think that you have seen the last of Muffet McGraw.

In an interview with ESPN, McGraw gave insight on what’s to come for the legendary ball coach.

“This is a retirement from coaching,” McGraw said. “I am excited about the opportunity to continue to promote women’s equality and to speak on behalf of all women across the country. And to use my platform in any way I can. I’d like to get more involved in community work. I find I’ve turned into a real activist, and I’m really enjoying that. I hope a lot of things are in store, and definitely a different page than I’ve been on.”

Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick is looking forward to still having McGraw around.

“This is a great teacher, and we want to create platforms for her to teach,” Swarbrick said. “We have some specific ideas about programs which are being developed at the university. We want her to help our coaches. And we’d like to have her continue to represent the university publicly.”

In terms of who will take over, well, that’s already been determined.

Niele Ivey will replace Muffet immediately.

After spending a combined 17 years as a player and assistant, Ivey is no stranger to South Bend.

According to Swarbrick, Ivey’s familiarity with the program will help ease the transition.

About Ainslie Lee

Ainslie is a journalism major at the University of Florida where she specializes in Sports Media. Her main passion is college football as it was a huge part of her childhood. Ainslie serves as a current correspondent for the Ocala Star-Banner, a newspaper for the Ocala, Florida area. She currently covers Marion County high school sports.

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