McGraw

ATLANTA -- After leading her Fighting Irish squad to their third consecutive NCAA Final Four, second Big East Conference regular-season title in a row and first Big East tournament championship, Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw has won the 2013 Naismith Women’s College Coach of the Year Award, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Tuesday. McGraw is only the fourth women’s college basketball coach in history to win the award two or more times.

McGraw was chosen from a group of finalists that also included California coach Lindsay Gottlieb, Dayton coach Jim Jabir and Baylor coach Kim Mulkey, the 2012 winner. McGraw was selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s National Voting Academy, which based its criteria on the coaches’ performances throughout the 2013 season. The vote was tabulated and certified by the accounting firm of Habif, Arogeti& Wynne, LLP.  HA&W is the largest independent accounting firm in Georgia and one of the top 50 firms in the United States.

“Muffet McGraw clearly prepared her team to perform brilliantly all season and is certainly deserving of the Naismith Women’s College Coach of the Year,” said Eric Oberman, Executive Director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “We want to congratulate coach McGraw and her fellow finalists and thank them for all they do to contribute to the growth and viability of basketball.”

"I'm so humbled and grateful to receive this award, and I accept it on behalf of the University of Notre Dame, my entire team and especially my outstanding staff, which I consider to be the best in the country — associate head coach Carol Owens, associate coach Beth Cunningham and assistant coach Niele Ivey. An honor like this is truly a team award, something that recognizes the success we all achieved together as a group this season, and I couldn't be prouder of everything we were able to accomplish,” McGraw said. “I would like to thank to the Atlanta Tipoff Club and its National Voting Academy for this award and for their continued support of this great game of basketball."

McGraw led the Irish to a 35-2 record and a Final Four appearance. In 26 seasons as head coach for Notre Dame’s women’s basketball program, McGraw has led the Fighting Irish to one NCAA Division I National Championship (2001), three national championship game appearances (2001, 2011, 2012), five Final Four appearances (1997, 2001, 2011, 2012, 2013) and 11 Sweet 16 trips amidst 20 total NCAA tournament appearances.