July 11, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Matt Doherty saw part of his dreams finally come true.
The University of North Carolina offered Doherty a chance to coach his alma mater. Today, Doherty officially accepted the job and stepped down from his position as head coach of Notre Dame.
The Tar Heels announced the hiring of Doherty as the school’s new head coach at an evening press conference. He follows the likes of Bill Guthridge who coached the Tar Heels for three years. Prior to Guthridge, coaching legend Dean Smith coached the Tar Heels for 36 seasons.
Last season, Doherty led the Irish to a 22-15 record last year and an appearance in the NIT championship game. His first and only season with the Irish registers as Doherty’s only head coaching experience.
Although, Doherty can boast six years of assisting legendary Kansas coach Roy Williams. He also spent three years as an assistant at Davidson.
Doherty spent his playing days with the Tar Heels as well. He started on the 1982 championship squad. In his senior season with UNC, Doherty because just the second player in the history of the ACC to accumulate 1,000 career points, 400 rebounds and 400 assists.
On Saturday, Doherty met with North Carolina athletic director Dick Baddour and former coaches Dean Smith and Bill Guthridge.
Doherty became the clear-cut frontrunner when Kansas coach Roy Williams decided to remain with the Jayhawks. He also boosted his name on the list when Larry Brown and George Karl withdrew their names from the list.
“Our goal is to attract the very best coach we can find for the University of Notre Dame — and we will endeavor to do it in short order,” Notre Dame athletic director Kevin White said about the school’s plan of action. “Anticipating this eventuality, we have begun the process of talking to a wide array of college basketball contacts, and we are well-engaged in the process.”
The University did not release a list of candidates but many names are in the mix. One thing is certain that a decision must be made quickly to ensure that no time is lost on recruiting.