Dec. 17, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame head women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw, a two-time consensus national coach of the year and winner of more than 700 games in her illustrious career, was named to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, it was announced Tuesday.
McGraw will receive the Hall’s Silver Medal, which is presented annually in recognition of contributions to Indiana high school basketball other than as an Indiana high school player or high school coach. With the Silver Medal comes induction to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame as part of its Class of 2014, marking the fifth time the Fighting Irish coach has been chosen for a prestigious hall of fame, and first since her induction into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011.
“I’m humbled and overwhelmed to be chosen as the recipient of this year’s Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Silver Medal and to be a member of the Hall of Fame Class of 2014,” McGraw said. “My family and I have called Indiana home for 27 years and have come to understand exactly what the sport of basketball means to our state’s heritage and how important it is to proud Hoosiers everywhere.
“The Notre Dame women’s basketball program is pleased to have played a part in the growth of Indiana girls’ basketball throughout the past three decades and we are excited to continue that development in the future,” she added. “I would like to thank the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Directors for this honor and congratulate the other incredibly talented and successful members of the Hall of Fame Class of 2014. I look forward to being a part of the Hall of Fame celebration next April in Indianapolis.”
The others in McGraw’s Hall of Fame class include: Ellen DeVoe, Marilyn (Reckelhoff) Dippel, Laura Foreman, Greg Kirby (former head coach at Valparaiso High School and assistant at Valparaiso University), Kim (Barrier) McGuire (1986 Miss Basketball from Jimtown High School and one of the top players in Elkhart County history), Teri Moren (currently head coach at Indiana State), Lori (Meinerding) Morris-DeVries, Brenda (Kelsay) Simmons, Lisha (Robertson) Wilson and Jenny (Eckert) Zorger.
The ’14 class officially will be enshrined in the Hall during its 13th annual Women’s Awards Banquet on April 26, 2014, at the Primo Banquet Hall in Indianapolis. Earlier in the day, a free reception will be held at the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame museum in New Castle, Ind., before the evening’s induction banquet takes place. Reservations are available online now and tickets for the banquet will go on sale early in 2014. For more information, contact the Hall at (765) 529-1891 or go online to www.hoopshall.com.
McGraw will be the second Notre Dame selection, and first female, to receive the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame’s Silver Medal, following in the footsteps of former Fighting Irish All-America basketball player, and later Notre Dame coach and athletics director, Edward “Moose” Krause (’34), who received the Silver Medal in 1989. Other notables who have earned the Silver Medal include legendary men’s basketball coaches Bob Knight (1982) and Gene Keady (2001), as well as noted screenwriter and producer (and Indiana native) Angelo Pizzo, who received the honor last year and is best known for bringing two of history’s greatest sports movies to the silver screen, “Rudy” and “Hoosiers.”
McGraw also will be the 18th inductee with Notre Dame ties to earn a place in the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, and the third from the Fighting Irish women’s basketball program (all within the past six years). Former Notre Dame standout and Indianapolis native Mary Beth Schueth-Cain (’85) was inducted in 2008, followed a year later by former Fighting Irish great and 1982 Indiana Miss Basketball selection Trena Keys (’86).
Now in her 27th season at Notre Dame, McGraw has led the Fighting Irish to a 635-217 (.745) record, and she is the only Division I women’s coach in Indiana history to lead her team to multiple NCAA Final Four appearances. She came to South Bend in 1987 following a successful five-year tenure at head coach at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., and she sports a 32-year career mark of 723-258 (.737), making her one of the winningest coaches in NCAA Division I history.
Ask anyone familiar with women’s basketball about McGraw and her Notre Dame program and inevitably, you’ll hear the same two words — consistency and excellence. It’s no wonder, when you consider what McGraw and the Fighting Irish have achieved in the past 27 seasons:
- The 2001 NCAA national championship, defeating Purdue in the title game, 68-66. McGraw is one of only seven active Division I coaches to guide her team to a national title.
- Three trips to the NCAA Division I national championship game, including two of the past three NCAA title contests (2011 and 2012). McGraw is one of just three active Division I coaches (and seven all-time) with at least three appearances in the NCAA national championship game.
- Five trips to the NCAA Women’s Final Four, including each of the past three seasons (1997, 2001, 2011, 2012, 2013). McGraw is one of just four active Division I coaches (and six all-time) to lead her team to five Women’s Final Four appearances.
- 11 NCAA Sweet Sixteen trips, all in the past 17 seasons (1997-2013). The Fighting Irish are one of six programs in the nation that can make that claim.
- Two-time consensus National Coach of the Year, sweeping the four major coaching honors (Associated Press, WBCA, Naismith Trophy and USBWA) in both 2001 and 2013. McGraw is just the second NCAA Division I coach ever to sweep the “Big Four” awards twice in her career.
- Five-time conference Coach of the Year, most recently collecting her second BIG EAST Coach of the Year trophy in 2013. McGraw has earned top coaching honors in four different conferences during her career (the past three while at Notre Dame), having also garnered accolades in the East Coast (1983 – at Lehigh), North Star (1988), Midwestern Collegiate/Horizon League (1991) and BIG EAST (2001, 2013) conferences.
- Ranks eighth among active NCAA Division I coaches with 723 career wins (reaching the 700-win milestone on Feb. 5, 2013, at Villanova in her 957th game, making her the eighth-fastest to 700 wins in Division I history) and 17th among active Division I coaches with a .737 all-time winning percentage.
- Ranks seventh among active NCAA Division I coaches with 25 20-win seasons, including 23 seasons at Notre Dame with 20-or-more victories, as well as 19 in the past 20 years (1993-2013). Notre Dame also has posted 10 25-win seasons, five 30-win campaigns and two 35-win seasons in the past 17 years (1997-2013).
- 20 NCAA tournament appearances, including a current string of 18 consecutive NCAA tournament berths (the sixth-longest active run of consecutive appearances and eighth-longest streak at any time in NCAA tournament history). During this current streak (1996-2013), Notre Dame has won at least one NCAA postseason game 16 times.
- 101 wins over ranked opponents, including 87 in the past 15 seasons alone (1998-2013). In addition, 36 of those wins have come against top-10 opponents, including 13 against top-five teams and four against No. 1-ranked squads.
- 262 appearances in the Associated Press Top 25 poll (including an active school-record streak of 123 consecutive weeks in the AP poll). McGraw is ninth among active Division I coaches and 19th all-time in AP poll appearances. Notre Dame also has spent 151 weeks ranked among the top 10 teams in the nation, all in the past 18 seasons (1997-2014).
- Nine conference titles, including three BIG EAST Conference crowns (2001, 2012, 2013) during Notre Dame’s 18 years in that league (1995-96 through 2012-13). The Fighting Irish, who ran the table in their final BIG EAST season with a 16-0 record in 2012-13, also placed among the top four in the BIG EAST 15 times in their 18-year conference membership.
- Six conference tournament championships, including the program’s first BIG EAST Championship crown in 2013.
- 18 consecutive top-20 recruiting classes, dating back to the incoming class of 1997 (and including the incoming class of 2014, ranked as high as No. 3 in the nation). Notre Dame is one of just three programs in the nation that owns an active streak of that length.
- Ranks second on the all-time wins list (regardless of sport) in the 127-year history of Fighting Irish athletics, trailing only former men’s/women’s fencing coach Michael DeCicco (774-80 combined record from 1962-95).
- Far and away the winningest basketball coach (men’s or women’s) in school history, with noted men’s skipper Digger Phelps second on that list (393 wins).
- A perfect 100-percent NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) score in each of the past six years (2007-13). Notre Dame also is one of only four programs in the country to record a perfect GSR and play for the national title in the same season (something the Fighting Irish did in both 2010-11 and 2011-12).
Add it all up and you have the framework for a Hall of Fame career. And, on June 11, 2011, that’s exactly what McGraw became, as she officially was the first Notre Dame representative to be inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, an accomplishment now immortalized with a banner hanging in Purcell Pavilion.
Still, with all of those accomplishments in hand, McGraw has shown no signs of slowing down any time soon. In July 2012, the veteran head coach signed a landmark 10-year contract extension (believed to be among the longest contract agreements in NCAA women’s basketball history) that will keep her patrolling the Fighting Irish sidelines through the 2021-22 campaign.
Under McGraw’s guidance, the past 18-plus seasons (1995-96 to 2013-14) have been the most successful in Notre Dame’s history, reflecting the program’s remarkable BIG EAST Conference era and transition to its current home, the Atlantic Coast Conference. During that time, the Fighting Irish have compiled an impressive 475-137 (.776) record, including a sparkling 232-64 (.784) regular season mark in conference play (the second-best winning percentage in BIG EAST history).
Also during this near two-decade span, Notre Dame has averaged nearly 26 victories per year, with two 35-win seasons, five 30-win campaigns and 10 25-win seasons to its credit. What’s more, the Fighting Irish have one NCAA national championship (2001), three NCAA title game appearances (2001, 2011, 2012), five NCAA Women’s Final Four berths (1997, 2001, 2011, 2012, 2013) and 11 Sweet Sixteen showings since the 1995-96 season, which began the program’s current run of 18 consecutive NCAA Championship appearances.
Success for McGraw also has meant coaching great players. During her illustrious career, the Notre Dame skipper has coached 15 All-Americans, including 2001 consensus National Player of the Year Ruth Riley and four-time All-American (and two-time consensus first-team All-America choice) Skylar Diggins. McGraw also has worked with 14 players who have been selected for USA Basketball National Teams, with those players going on to win a total of 26 medals, including 12 golds.
In addition, McGraw has coached 27 players who have earned all-conference recognition a total of 55 times, including 20 first-team picks who have been chosen a total of 33 times, and has helped shape several other national award winners, namely a two-time Nancy Lieberman Award recipient (Diggins), two Frances Pomeroy Naismith award honorees (Niele Ivey in 2001, Megan Duffy in 2006) and two United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) National Freshman of the Year selections (Jacqueline Batteast in 2002 and Jewell Loyd in 2013).
Another sign of McGraw’s success has been her ability to prepare her players for the next level. No less than 25 Notre Dame cagers have gone on to play professionally (domestically or overseas), including 12 who either have been drafted or signed as free agents with WNBA teams. The past 13 seasons have seen the greatest influx of Fighting Irish talent into the WNBA, with 10 Notre Dame players having been selected in the league’s annual draft during that time, including the school’s first two WNBA lottery picks (Devereaux Peters in 2012 to Minnesota; Diggins in 2013 to Tulsa, both with the No. 3 overall choice), making the Fighting Irish just the second program in the 17-year history of the WNBA Draft to produce lottery (top-four) selections in consecutive seasons.
McGraw’s pupils also have thrived in the WNBA, with four winning league titles during their professional careers. Coquese Washington (`92) was the first to hoist the WNBA hardware with the Houston Comets in 2000, followed three years later by Riley with the Detroit Shock. Riley and Batteast then teamed up to help Detroit to its second crown in 2006, with Peters the most recent to join the club in 2013 with the Minnesota Lynx.
Dedicated to helping grow and further the sport in any way possible, McGraw has groomed 12 of her former players and/or assistant coaches who currently are serving on basketball staffs at either the high school or college level. Of those 12 proteges, four presently are Division I head coaches — Bill Fennelly (Iowa State), Kevin McGuff (Ohio State), Jonathan Tsipis (George Washington) and Washington (Penn State). McGuff and Washington (along with current Fighting Irish associate head coach Carol Owens) comprised McGraw’s assistant coaching staff on Notre Dame’s 2001 NCAA national championship squad, while McGuff and Owens also were on staff for the Fighting Irish during their run to the 1997 NCAA Final Four (that team also included Ivey and Beth (Morgan) Cunningham, both of whom are currently on McGraw’s staff).
A native of West Chester, Pa., McGraw earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Saint Joseph’s University (Pa.) in 1977. Following graduation, she coached for two seasons at Archbishop Carroll High School (50-3 record) in the Philadelphia suburb of Radnor, and two more at her alma mater as an assistant coach under Jim Foster (now the head coach at Chattanooga). In 1982, McGraw was named head coach at Lehigh, her teams compiling a sharp 88-41 (.683) record during her tenure with the Engineers (now known as the Mountain Hawks).
McGraw and her husband, Matt, celebrated their 36th wedding anniversary in 2013 and make their home in Granger, Ind. They are the proud parents of 23-year-old son Murphy, a 2012 Indiana University graduate who now lives in Milwaukee and works in the corporate offices for Kohl’s Department Stores.
McGraw’s fourth-ranked Fighting Irish are in the midst of an eight-day break for final exams before returning to action at 2 p.m. (ET) Sunday when they play host to Central Michigan to Purcell Pavilion. The game will be streamed live and free of charge on the official Notre Dame athletics multimedia web site, WatchND.
Tickets for all 2013-14 Notre Dame women’s basketball home games are available by contacting the Murnane Family Ticket Office by phone (574-631-7356) or in person (Gate 9 in the Rosenthal Atrium at Purcell Pavilion) from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) weekdays. Fans also can purchase tickets on-line through the official Notre Dame athletics ticketing web page (UND.com/buytickets).
For more information on the Notre Dame women’s basketball program, sign up to follow the Fighting Irish women’s basketball Twitter pages (@ndwbbsid or @ndwbb), like the program on Facebook (facebook.com/ndwbb) or register for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the “Fan Center” pulldown menu on the front page at UND.com.
— Chris Masters, Associate Athletic Media Relations Director