NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Muffet McGraw has signed a landmark contract extension that will keep her firmly at the helm of the Notre Dame women’s basketball program through the 2021-22 season. The 10-year extension, which is believed to be one of the longest contract agreements in NCAA women’s basketball history, was announced Monday by Notre Dame vice president and director of athletics Jack Swarbrick.
“We are thrilled to be able to enter into a decade-long agreement with Muffet, who is not only the face of Notre Dame women’s basketball, but increasingly, the face of women’s basketball, given all that she’s accomplished,” Swarbrick said. “She’s taken this program to a place where it’s annually in the conversation for the national championships, which is the model all coaches want to follow. She’s also playing an important role in the game nationally, and her peers recognize those contributions, as well as the quality of her program here at Notre Dame. Off the court, she has created a program that has a lasting community identification and a special connection between the University and the city of South Bend, which is one of those unique points of intersection that universities have to be careful to build and maintain, and she’s done that for us in a really remarkable way.”
|• Has spent 25 years at the Notre Dame helm|
|• Maintains a 591-215 record with the Irish|
|• Ranks eighth among active women’s basketball coaches for career victories|
|• Led Notre Dame to the 2011 national title|
|• Has coached the Irish to four NCAA Final Four appearances|
“For more than 25 years, Muffet has led our women’s basketball program and represented this University with distinction,” said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president. “Her teams have excelled on the court and in the classroom, and I am absolutely delighted that she will continue to lead the Irish for many more years.”
“It’s a privilege to be able to represent Notre Dame, in what is certainly the greatest job in the world, for another 10 years,” McGraw said. “I’ve been so blessed to work with some incredibly talented people, both in terms of the student-athletes that have come through Notre Dame, and the coaches and staff who have been part of our success through the years. We also have a tremendous administration, and I’m grateful to both Jack and Father Jenkins for their support, as well as the support of our amazing fans, who are absolutely the best in the country.”
The 2001 consensus National Coach of the Year and a five-time National Coach of the Year finalist, McGraw has compiled a sparkling 679-256 (.726) record in 30 seasons as a head coach, including a 591-215 (.733) record during her 25-year career at Notre Dame, placing her as the second-winningest coach (in any sport) in the 125-year history of Fighting Irish athletics. She currently ranks eighth among all active NCAA Division I women’s basketball coaches, and 14th all-time in Division I, for career victories, while also placing 13th among active coaches (across all three NCAA divisions), and 20th all-time (for all divisions), in that category. In addition, she is 17th among active Division I coaches, and 20th all-time, for career winning percentage, as well as seventh among active Division I coaches, and ninth all-time with 24 20-win seasons (the latter count including 22 20-win, nine 25-win and four 30-win campaigns at Notre Dame).
When it comes to postseason play, McGraw is among the very best to ever walk a college sideline. The longtime Fighting Irish coach has led Notre Dame to the 2001 NCAA national championship, along with three appearances in the NCAA national championship game (1997, 2011, 2012) and four trips to the NCAA Women’s Final Four (1997, 2001, 2011, 2012). McGraw is one of just three active Division I coaches (and seven all-time) to guide her teams to at least three NCAA national championship games, and she is part of an elite group of five active Division I coaches (and eight all-time) to make four NCAA Women’s Final Four appearances.
What’s more, McGraw has made Notre Dame a fixture in the NCAA Championship, leading the Fighting Irish to 19 tournament appearances (1992, 1994, 1996-2012), including a current streak of 17 consecutive berths that is the sixth-longest active string of its kind, as well as the eighth-longest run of consecutive appearances in the 31-year history of the NCAA tournament. Under McGraw’s tutelage, Notre Dame has reached the NCAA Sweet 16 (regional semifinals) 10 times in the past 16 seasons, and four times in the past five years, both feats that only six other programs in the country can match.
McGraw’s name also is peppered liberally throughout the NCAA Division I Championship record books. She is fourth in Women’s Final Four winning percentage (.571, 4-3 record), tied for eighth in tournament wins (37; also sixth among active coaches), 10th in both tournament winning percentage (.673, 37-18 record; also fourth among active coaches) and tournaent games coached (55; also seventh among active coaches), and tied for 13th in tournament appearances (19; also tied for sixth among active coaches).