March 9, 1999
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — John MacLeod has resigned as men’s basketball coach at the University of Notre Dame, University director of athletics Michael A. Wadsworth announced tonight.
“I feel like we were able to make major contributions to the growth of Notre Dame basketball,” MacLeod said.
“I think everything is in place for Notre Dame to make a positive move. I appreciate the opportunity to work here at Notre Dame and I wish the best for the young men who are part of the program.”
“I met with John late this afternoon and he informed me of his decision,” Wadsworth said.
“John always has been an exemplary representative of the University. I appreciate all that he and his staff have done for the program and I thanked him for that.
“At this time, I would hope to be able to name a successor at some point prior to the spring signing date (April 7). In the meantime, I do not expect to comment on any aspect of the hiring process until such time as we are prepared to announce a new head coach.”
The 1998-99 season marked MacLeod’s eighth as Irish head coach and those eight seasons produced a combined 106-124 (.461) record. His two winningest teams — 18-15 in his initial season in 1991-92 and 16-14 in 1996-97 — advanced to the National Invitation Tournament. The Irish fell in the championship game in ’92 and advanced to the quarterfinal round in ’97. MacLeod was named BIG EAST Coach of the Year in 1996-97.
Prior to his hiring by Notre Dame on May 4, 1991, MacLeod’s head coaching tenure included the following stops:
One season (1990-91) with the NBA New York Knicks.
Three seasons with the Dallas Mavericks (1987-88 through 1989-90).
Fourteen seasons with the Phoenix Suns (1973-74 through 1986-87).
Six seasons with the University of Oklahoma (1967-68 through 1972-73), including two appearances in the NIT.
MacLeod’s 18 professional seasons produced a combined 707-657 (.518) record and 11 playoff appearances, while his 14 collegiate seasons featured a 196-193 (.504) mark. Those 32 seasons overall combined for a 903-850 (.515) mark. His 900th victory as a collegiate and pro coach came in Notre Dame’s Jan. 30 home win over Providence.
MacLeod’s eight seasons at Notre Dame marked the fourth-longest tenure in Irish men’s basketball history — behind only the 20 seasons each coached by George Keogan (1923-24 to 1942-43) and Digger Phelps (1971-72 to 1990-91) and the 13 by John Jordan (1951-52 to 1963-64).
Three individuals who played with the Irish under MacLeod — LaPhonso Ellis, Monty Williams and Pat Garrity — went on to become NBA first-round draft picks. Garrity was named BIG EAST Player of the Year in 1996-97.
All 20 senior scholarship members of his Notre Dame teams have received their degrees (of those who entered and remained four years) — and Phil Hickey and Antoni Wyche will add to that list in May.