Winningest Notre Dame coach Brey stepping down at end of season

Winningest Notre Dame coach Brey stepping down at end of season

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Mike Brey, Notre Dame’s winningest men’s basketball coach, has decided to retire at the end of his school-record 23rd season, school officials announced Thursday.

Brey, 63, arrived in July 2000, picking up a stagnant schedule and bringing it back to national prominence and title contention in two different conferences.

Brey’s 481 wins at Notre Dame ranks sixth among active coaches at their current schools and his 580 career wins ranks 50th in Division I history. Prior to joining the Irish, he coached Delaware for five seasons and earned two NCAA Tournament bids in his last three years with the Blue Hens.

The Notre Dame program fell on hard times after Digger Phelps retired in 1991. The Irish did not make an appearance in the 1990 NCAA Tournament until Brey’s first season in 2000-01 and did not only made three NIT appearances during that time.

Brey changed everything, taking Notre Dame to the NCAA Tournament 13 times and winning 15 games, tied for the most in school history. And the Irish were the only Division I school to make back-to-back Elite Eight races in the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

Lately, however, it’s been more of a challenge. The Irish ended a five-year tournament drought last season when they went 24-11, but have struggled to a 9-8 mark this season, going 1-5 in Coast Conference play. Atlantic.


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