March 25, 2016
By Chris Masters
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — University of Notre Dame women’s basketball associate coach/recruiting coordinator Niele Ivey has been chosen as the inaugural recipient of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division I Assistant Coach of the Year award, it was announced Friday by the WBCA.
The WBCA Assistant Coach of the Year award is presented to the recipient who demonstrates commitment to the program, to their student-athletes and head coach, their impact coaching on court, mentorship and impact on other coaches, as well as their professional manner and attitude.
“It’s an absolute honor to be recognized by my coaching colleagues for this award,” Ivey said. “I couldn’t even be considered if not for the opportunity given to me by my boss and mentor, Coach McGraw. I am so grateful to her for teaching me the game, believing in me and giving me the opportunity to coach at Notre Dame. I feel truly blessed and so appreciative for all the support from my family, friends and all the players I’ve worked with.”
Notre Dame associate coach/recruiting coordinator Niele Ivey has been chosen as the inaugural recipient of the WBCA Division I Assistant Coach of the Year award.
“Niele is a rising star in the coaching profession,” said Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame’s Karen and Kevin Keyes Family Head Women’s Basketball Coach. “She does so many things for us, from recruiting to working with our guards, and every year she continues to grow and develop as a coach. She is an integral part of crafting our offensive and defensive philosophy, and continues to expand her knowledge by going out and talking to other coaches about different aspects of the game.
“Niele is our recruiting coordinator and has become one of the best recruiters in the country, working tirelessly to add quality people to our program,” McGraw added. “She does a phenomenal job with our point guards, having been one of the great point guards to play at Notre Dame. I think Niele is one of the top assistant coaches in the country and we are lucky to have her at Notre Dame.”
Ivey is in her ninth season on the Fighting Irish coaching staff, having been promoted to associate coach last summer. A 2000 Notre Dame graduate, she has played an integral role on all seven Fighting Irish women’s basketball Final Four teams, the first two as a player and the past five as an assistant coach. During her nine seasons on McGraw’s staff, she has helped Notre Dame to a 283-43 (.868) record, along with nine conference championships (five regular-season conference titles and four league tournament crowns) and five Final Four appearances.
Ivey’s coaching success has extended to player development as well, with the former Notre Dame point guard tutoring the next generation of Fighting Irish backcourt greats, a roster that includes first-team All-Americans, WNBA first-round draft picks and USA Basketball Olympic Team finalists Skylar Diggins and Jewell Loyd, as well as current Notre Dame junior guard Lindsay Allen (Mitchellville, Md./St. John’s College), an honorable mention All-American, first-team all-ACC choice and two-time Nancy Lieberman Award finalist.
What’s more, Ivey has emerged as a rising star on the recruiting trail with a sharp eye for young up-and-coming talent. In fact, she has helped Notre Dame attract top-10 incoming classes the past seven years, with top-five groups during the past five seasons (incoming classes of 2012-16). Most recently, she played a leading role in the addition of next year’s historic freshman class that is the first ever to feature two different national high school players of the year in Gatorade National Player of the Year Erin Boley and Naismith Award selection Jackie Young.
No. 2/3 Notre Dame (33-1) has advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Championship for the seventh consecutive season and the eighth time in nine years. The top-seeded Fighting Irish will take on fourth-seeded (and No. 13/16-ranked) Stanford in the NCAA Lexington Regional semifinals at approximately 9 p.m. (ET) Friday at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. The game will be televised live on ESPN and WatchESPN.
For more information on the Notre Dame women’s basketball program, visit the main women’s basketball page on the University’s official athletics web site (UND.com/ndwbb), sign up to follow the Fighting Irish women’s basketball Twitter and Instagram pages (@ndwbb), like the program on Facebook or register for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the “Fan Center” pulldown menu on the front page at UND.com.
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Chris Masters, associate athletics communications director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2001 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women’s basketball and women’s golf programs. A native of San Francisco, California, Masters is a 1996 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, earned his master’s degree from Kansas State University in 1998, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).