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New Faces

Nov. 22, 2000

On July 14, Notre Dame ushered in a new era of Notre Dame basketball by naming Mike Brey as its 17th head coach. Brey brings in a tremendous amount of experience to the position. The FANSzine takes a look at the new head coach in the first of the New Faces segment. Today, the FANSzine examines his younger years in the first part of this series.

The new head coach dispelled the notion immediately that he did not come from a Notre Dame family.

“I think a lot of the media assumed, that I came from a Notre Dame family,” Brey said. “One that watched Notre Dame play every Saturday afternoon. I guess I disappointed them because no I did not. My touch with this University came from its basketball program.”

It would seem strange to most people that Brey’s touch with the University came by watching the trail of recruits who found their way to South Bend.

“Notre Dame was really kicking into gear under Coach [Digger] Phelps and they had a pipeline of guys who came from D.C.,” he said. “Watching Notre Dame basketball really pulled me to this University,”

Brey hails from an athletic family. A majority of his family still remains very involved in both high school athletics as well as collegiate.

“I grew up in the atmosphere of teaching and coaching,” he said.

His father worked as a high school athletic director while his mother coached at George Washington University. In fact his mother, participated in the 1956 Olympics in swimming in Melbourne, Australia.

With a majority of his family participating in sports, Brey began at an early age to get involved in athletics, himself. He started out playing basketball at a young age. His uncle, who spent some time at Duke, really got the young Brey interested.

The Rockville native use to make an hour commute to play basketball at DeMatha High School in Hyattsville, Maryland.

“I did not know how fortunate I was at the time,” Brey said about his time at DeMatha.

He played two seasons under DeMatha head coach Morgan Wootten. While at DeMatha, Brey’s teams finished 55-9.

“I certainly learned a lot being a high school player there for three years,” Brey said. “The high school program there is run more like a college program. When I went to college, I was much more prepared than some freshman because of the high school program I was in.”

Upon his completion of high school, he enrolled at Northeastern Louisiana State. He spent three years, 1977-80 at the school where he left his mark. Brey led the team in steals and assists. To this day, he still stands at fifth in all-time assists with 311.

He made a decision after his junior season at Northeastern Louisiana State to transfer to George Washington. Brey sat out the 1980-81 season due to the transfer. In his first and final season, he served as captain at George Washington. Brey averaged 5 points and 4.8 rebounds.

Upon his graduation of college in 1982, Brey returned back to his roots and DeMatha High School to become not only a teacher but a coach as well.