Muffet McGraw Is Stepping Down As Notre Dame’s Women’s Basketball Coach

Muffet McGraw is among the most legendary women’s basketball coaches of all-time, having accrued 936 wins in her career, including 842 in her 33 years at Notre Dame. During that time, the Irish went to nine Final Fours and won a pair of national titles, most recently in 2018, and McGraw was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017.

On Wednesday, McGraw and Notre Dame announced that she would be stepping down as head coach of the Irish in a move that stunned the hoops world. McGraw said “the time has come to step down,” and issued thanks to Notre Dame’s leadership, the fans, and players she coached over her tremendous 33-year tenure in South Bend.

Not only was McGraw a tremendously successful coach, but she also used her platform to speak out about issues of gender inequality and the need for more women in leadership positions not just in sports but across politics and business. Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick also issued a statement of appreciation for McGraw and for how much she cared about not just helping the women she coached become better basketball players, but also developing skills beyond the court.

“It is inevitable and appropriate that as we mark Muffet’s retirement from coaching today, much of the focus will be on the remarkable record of competitive success that makes her a Hall of Fame coach,” Jack Swarbrick stated. “But my reflections go more to her as an educator, friend, and role model. Every time I had the privilege of stepping into her classroom, be it at practice or courtside during a game, I was struck by how much she cared about her students and how important it was for her to use basketball as a vehicle to help develop future leaders.

“Winning over 900 games and two national championships make Muffet a legendary coach; nurturing “strong confident women who are not afraid to use their voice and take a stand” makes Muffet a teacher who made a difference in the lives of every student-athlete she taught. While we will not have the benefit of Muffet as our coach going forward, we will make certain that through her ongoing work with Notre Dame Athletics we continue to enjoy all that she has to offer as an educator, friend, and role model.”

McGraw retires ranking sixth among D-1 coaches in wins, fifth in Final Four appearances, fourth in NCAA Tournament wins, and won three National Coach of the Year awards. Former Notre Dame player, assistant coach and, most recently, assistant coach with the Memphis Grizzlies, Niele Ivey will take over as the Irish’s new head coach.