“My favorite quote of all time about everything is, what you allow is what will continue. And so when you wonder why do we always do this? And then you think, well, I’ve always been allowing it to happen.“
ON THE BENCH
Muffet McGraw, a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame coach, who patrolled the Notre Dame women’s basketball sidelines for 33 years. McGraw hoisted the NCAA national championship trophy in both 2001 and 2018 – becoming the sixth different women’s basketball head coach to win multiple NCAA titles.
McGraw was the 13th female coach inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017. She had previously been inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011 and the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014
Her legendary career included an impressive 936 career wins (ranks sixth all-time among Division I coaches), including 848 at Notre Dame. During the 2018-19 season, McGraw became the fourth-fastest coach to reach the 900-win milestone.
Coach McGraw led the Irish to seven NCAA title game appearances (2001, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2018 and 2019), including six in her last decade of coaching. Meanwhile, her nine Final Four appearances rank as the fifth most all-time. All-in-all, McGraw’s teams have qualified for 26 NCAA Tournaments, earning 67 tournament wins along the way.
Most importantly, Coach McGraw has always been about women empowerment and social justice, always encouraging her players to use their platform and voice. Back at the 2019 Final Four in Tampa, McGraw’s speech about gender inequality in the sports realm went viral and got the attention of President Obama and Hillary Clinton.
This past fall semester, McGraw taught a class at Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business (Sports Leadership: How Leaders Make Teams Flourish) and worked as a poll worker on Election Day. This month, she returned to basketball as a women’s basketball studio analyst for the ACC Network. She will contribute to coverage on “All ACC” and “Nothing But Net” throughout the college basketball season.
“You learn so much from losing. Failing is such a big part of growing confidence and learning your craft. I didn’t see that initially. I didn’t look at it as, this is what I learned from that situation“
- Full Court Press Competitive Nature (3:05)
- Hating to Lose (5:17)
- Moving On – Approaching a New Team Identity Every Year (6:20)
- This is What I Need to Do – Accountability (7:48)
- Be in Each Other’s Weddings – Culture (10:28)
- You Have to Argue – Hiring Staff (12:24)
- A Special Obligation (13:43)
- What You Allow is What Will Continue (15:39)
- Why This Bench (17:56)
I think that Notre Dame is the most amazing place in the world. I’ve been here 30+ years, and I still get excited when I walk across campus and see the sun shining off the golden dome. When I see the band marching across the practice field, I just get chills. I look at my players and think about how lucky they are to have the opportunity to be at this university.
In this world of sports and the world we live in today, it’s so important to me to be at a place where integrity matters. We’re going to not just follow the letter of the law, but we’re going to follow the intent of what the rules are supposed to be. That’s what we pride ourselves on. I want us to be a shining beacon of this is what you’re supposed to do.
We’re certainly lucky that you’ve been here and continue to be here representing this place. You are as prominent a national leader as we have in this program right now. And we’re fortunate to have your voice and you doing it. Thanks for being part of Notre Dame. Thanks for being with us today. Thanks. I appreciate your support.
“Worse thing is somebody that always says yes. If everyone agrees with you at all your meetings, that wouldn’t be good day and I think a lot of people like that. I enjoy diversity of thought. You have to argue.”