March 9, 2001

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Notre Dame women’s basketball head coach Muffet McGraw and seniors Ruth Riley and Niele Ivey have been selected as finalists for ESPN The Magazine’s college basketball awards. McGraw, the 2001 BIG EAST coach of the year, is up for coach-of-the-year honors along with Xavier’s Melanie Balcomb and Oklahoma’s Sherri Coale. The nominees for the ESPN The Magazine awards were determined through a vote of the 40-member USA Today/ESPN board of coaches that also votes on the USA Today/ESPN coaches’ poll.

Ivey and Riley both have been nominated for player-of-the-year honors at their respective positions. Ivey has been named one of three finalists for women’s college point of the year award. Also selected as finalists are Georgia’s Kelly Miller and fellow all-BIG EAST first-team selection Sue Bird of Connecticut. Riley, the 2001 BIG EAST player of the year, has been named a finalist for the center of the year along with Vanderbilt’s Chantelle Anderson and Tennessee’s Michelle Snow.

The inaugural ESPN The Magazine’s College Basketball Awards, which will be held from 7:00-9:00 p.m., on Wed., March 28, in Minneapolis, Minn. Also being presented that night will be the Wade Trophy. Voted on by the National Association for Girls and Women in Sports and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and awarded for academics and community service as well as player performance, the award was first presented in 1978 in the name of former Delta State coach Margaret Wade.

McGraw also has been selected as the WBCA District 1 coach of the year. McGraw joins the seven other district coaches of the year as finalists for the 2001 Russell Athletic/WBCA Division I National Coach of the Year Award, which will be announced at a banquet on March 28, in St. Louis in conjunction with the NCAA Women’s Final Four.

The district winners were selected by a vote of WBCA-member head coaches from each of the eight WBCA geographical districts. The national coach of the year will be determined by the WBCA coach-of-the-year committee.