June 29, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – She is the common link between all seven NCAA Final Four appearances for the University of Notre Dame women’s basketball program, and on Monday, the bond between Niele Ivey and her alma mater became that much stronger.
Ivey (first name is pronounced knee-L), a 2000 Notre Dame graduate and Fighting Irish assistant women’s basketball coach since 2007, has been promoted to associate coach while maintaining her role as the women’s basketball program’s recruiting coordinator, it was announced by Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame’s Karen and Kevin Keyes Family Head Women’s Basketball Coach.
In her current position, Ivey works closely with the development of Notre Dame’s point guards, while serving as the architect of program’s remarkable recruiting success, and making major contributions to game scouting, practice planning and summer camp coordination.
“Niele has done an amazing job in recruiting, scouting, the Xs and Os and in player development,” McGraw said. “She is one of the rising stars in our profession and she will be a great head coach.”
“It’s an absolute honor to receive this promotion,” Ivey said. “I’m at one of the best programs in the country, and learning every day from my boss, mentor and a Hall of Fame coach in Muffet McGraw. I’m so grateful for all that she has given me as a player and a coach. She has allowed me to have a lot of autonomy in so many areas and I can’t thank her enough for this amazing promotion and opportunity.”
Since Ivey joined the Notre Dame coaching staff eight years ago, she has helped the Fighting Irish post a 250-42 (.856) record, including five NCAA Women’s Final Four berths, four NCAA title game appearances and seven conference championships (four regular season, three tournaments split between the BIG EAST and ACC). In that same span, Notre Dame has been ranked among the top 20 in the nation in scoring offense, assists and assist/turnover ratio five times, punctuated with a school-record 86.1 points per game (second in the nation), 765 assists (second in the nation) and 1.39 assist/turnover ratio (fifth in the nation) in 2013-14.
In addition to her achievements in player development with such proteges as former two-time consensus first-team All-Americans Skylar Diggins and Jewell Loyd (both of whom went on to be chosen among the top three picks in the WNBA Draft) as well as current junior (and 2015 Associated Press honorable mention All-American) Lindsay Allen, Ivey has emerged as one of the elite recruiters in college basketball, with a sharp eye for young up-and-coming talent. In fact, she has helped Notre Dame attract top-10 incoming classes each of the past six years, including top-five groups during the last four seasons (incoming classes of 2012-15).
What’s more, Ivey has shown the ability to quickly flourish when it comes to scouting and in-game strategy. In the past five years alone, she has been directly responsible for creating the game plans that led to victories over Duke (six times), Tennessee (five times), Connecticut (three times), Maryland (three times), Louisville (three times), Syracuse (three times), Baylor (twice), UCLA (twice), Texas A&M and Purdue, among many others.
Ivey has been an integral part of the fabric of Notre Dame women’s basketball for most of the past two decades, beginning with her time as an All-America point guard for the Fighting Irish from 1996-2001. Her career (which was delayed by a knee injury five games into her freshman season) included a stint on Notre Dame’s first Final Four squad in 1997 and culminated with her leadership on the program’s first national championship in 2001 before a successful five-year WNBA career.
A native of St. Louis, Ivey graduated from Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in history. She and her son, Jaden (13), make their home in South Bend.
For more information on the Notre Dame women’s basketball program, sign up to follow the Fighting Irish women’s basketball Twitter pages (@NDsidMasters 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 Communications Director