On August 26, 2019, Michaela Mabrey came home, joining Muffet McGraw’s staff as Assistant Coach. The 2016 graduate will work mainly with the team’s point guards.
“We are so excited to welcome Michaela Mabrey back as the newest member of our coaching staff,” Coach McGraw stated. “Michaela has tremendous experience, having played in three final fours and she understands what it takes to help our young team play at that elite level. She is familiar with our recruiting base and brings an energy and enthusiasm that will help her relate to our current and future student athletes.
“Michaela is familiar with our program, as well as what being a student athlete at Notre Dame entails. As a player, she was a great leader, always poised under pressure, and brought a positive, encouraging voice that her teammates all respected. We look forward to having her bring those same skills to our coaching staff.”
In her first year with the Irish, Mabrey was instantly recognized by the WBCA, landing on their Thirty Under 30 honoree list, which was created to recognize 30 up-and-coming women’s basketball coaches age 30 and under at all levels of the game. Each honoree has exemplified their involvement in community service, mentorship and impact on others, professional manner, and attitude and professional association involvement.
Mabrey worked closely with Katlyn Gilbert, Anaya Peoples and Marta Sniezek. Both Gilbert and Peoples thrived in their first full seasons, being named to the ACC All-Freshman Team. In fact, Gilbert was just 1-of-2 freshmen in all of Division I to average at least 13.5 points, 2.5 assists, 2.0 steals and 4.0 rebounds. Next, Peoples was clearly the early favorite for ACC Rookie of the Year. At the time of her injury on Jan. 12, Peoples led all ACC freshmen in rebounds (8.1), shooting percentage (.457) and steals (1.9), while ranking second in points (12.6). Lastly, Gilbert and Brunelle went down as the highest scoring freshmen duo in Notre Dame history.
Meanwhile, Sniezek wrote her name into the ND history book after taking 34 charges on the year. Sniezek also averaged 5.5 assists per game which ranked second in the ACC and 16th in the nation.
“Michaela came to Notre Dame confident, knowledgeable and ready,” Coach McGraw said. “I’ve been amazed with how she can break down film and do a scouting report. She can recruit with anybody, and against anybody, because she has that innate ability to relate to the players and the parents. The relationship she has fostered with the kids and developing them is something that you typically grow into, but she hit the ground running.”
Part of the winningest class in Notre Dame women’s basketball history (2012-16), Mabrey’s squads advanced to three Final Fours, including two title game appearances (2014 & 2015). The Irish also swept regular season and conference tournament titles all four years in which Mabrey was on campus (one Big East + three ACC). In addition, Mabrey served as a team captain in her final two seasons.
Over her time at Notre Dame, Mabrey emerged as one of the elite three-point shooters in the country. The New Jersey native finished her career with 228 made three-pointers (fifth all-time), a .396 three-point shooting percentage (sixth all-time) and played in 142 total games (ninth all-time). Michaela and her sister Marina were the only two Fighting Irish players to make at least 60 three-pointers in three seasons.
“Dreams do come true,” Mabrey exclaimed. “I am blessed to have the opportunity to share my experiences and knowledge with the next group of Notre Dame women’s basketball student-athletes. I thank God and Coach McGraw for allowing my path to come full circle back to Notre Dame. I can’t wait for this next chapter and to get this season started. Go Irish!”
After graduation, Mabrey became the coordinator of program and player development at the University of Miami for the 2016-17 season, aiding the staff in preparing scouting material and conducting on-campus recruiting visits. The following year, Mabrey moved to Miami (Ohio) as an assistant, where the Redhawks went on to produce a 21-11 record and recorded the biggest turn-around that year in NCAA Division I by a first-year coaching staff.
For the 2018-19 season, Mabrey accepted a Director of Recruiting position at LSU. There she coordinated the daily recruiting operational and logistical processes for the women’s basketball program.