MEET THE STAFF…
GLENN AND STACEY MURPHY HEAD MEN’S BASKETBALL COACH, MIKE BREY
In 17 seasons as head men’s basketball coach at the University of Notre Dame, Mike Brey has guided the Fighting Irish to 382 victories, an average of 22 victories per season, three trips to the NCAA Sweet 16, back-to-back NCAA Elite Eight appearances in 2015 and 2016 and the 2015 ACC Championship.
Second on the all-time wins list at Notre Dame and boasting 481 career wins as a head coach, Brey has led the Irish through the program’s most sustained period of excellence since his hiring in July of 2000.
The 2016-17 Fighting Irish began the season with a nine-game win streak while capturing the 2016 Legends Classic Championship with wins over Colorado and Northwestern at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Notre Dame began the Atlantic Coast Conference season with five victories, then rattled off six consecutive victories to close the conference season and earn a double-bye in the ACC tournament. Victories over No. 21/21 Virginia and No. 16/17 Florida State propelled the Irish to their second ACC Championship game appearance in four years as a member of the conference.
The Irish earned a fifth seed in the 2017 NCAA Championship, defeating Princeton before falling to fourth-seeded West Virginia in Buffalo, New York. The 2016-17 Notre Dame team set program records for wins in a three-year span (82) and matched the school records for wins in a four-year span (97) and NCAA tournament victories in a four-year run (seven).
ASSOCIATE HEAD COACH, ROD BALANIS Only one person has been with Mike Brey since he was named the University of Notre Dame’s head basketball coach in July 2000, and that is Notre Dame Associate Head Coach Rod Balanis. Beginning his 18th season as a member of the Fighting Irish coaching staff, no individual has been more loyal and understands better the model of consistency that Brey has built on the hardwood at Notre Dame than Balanis.
Balanis became the coordinator of basketball operations in July 2000 and was one of Brey’s first hires when he became the Irish head coach. Following three seasons in that position, Balanis was promoted to assistant coach in May 2003 and has moved to associate head coach for the 2016-17 season.
ASSISTANT COACH, RYAN AYERS
Ryan Ayers is entering his second season with the Fighting Irish in 2017-18. Under Ayers’ tutelage, the Notre Dame perimeter of V.J. Bechem, Matt Farrell and Steve Vasturia all earned honorable mention all-ACC honors in 2016-17 while helping the Irish advance to the ACC championship game and the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Ayers saw action in all four years on the Irish roster appearing in 117 games and making 51 starts. He served as team captain in 2008-09 alongside teammates Zach Hillesland, Kyle McAlarney and Luke Zeller. A sweet shooting swing guard/forward, Ayers is fourth on the all-time list for career three-point shooting percentage (.424) and is 11th in three-point field goals made (170).
ASSISTANT COACH, RYAN HUMPHREY Ryan Humphrey is entering his second season at Notre Dame in 2017-18. He returned to his alma mater in the summer of 2016-17 after serving as the Director of Player Development at Northwestern University and finishing off an outstanding professional basketball playing career.
Humphrey was a key component of Mike Brey’s first Notre Dame squad that returned Irish basketball to national prominence. A transfer from Oklahoma who sat out the 1999-2000 season due to NCAA regulations, Humphrey averaged 14.1 points and 9.0 rebounds per game in 2000-01, earning third-team all-BIG EAST honors and helping the Irish finish with a 20-10 and claim the program’s first-ever conference title by finishing first in the BIG EAST West Division.
DIRECTOR OF BASKETBALL OPERATIONS, HAROLD SWANAGANHarold Swanagan, a forward on the University of Notre Dame men’s basketball team from 1998-02, is in his ninth season as the Director of Men’s Basketball Operations after being named to the position on July 15, 2009. Previously, he served as the athletic department’s coordinator of student welfare and development from 2005-09.
As director of basketball operations, Swanagan plays an integral role in the overall day-to-day operations of the Irish basketball program. Swanagan also serves as the director of the Notre Dame basketball summer camps. He works closely with Notre Dame’s marketing department and student welfare and development office in coordinating the team’s community service efforts.
VIDEO COORDINATOR, ERIC ATKINS
Eric Atkins is entering his second season at the Video Coordinator at the University of Notre Dame. He helps with the day-to-day oversight of the program, breaks down game film for the coaching staff and aides the administration of the Notre Dame Boys Basketball Camps during the summer.
A 2014 Notre Dame graduate, three-time Irish captain and all-ACC selection, Atkins was one of the most prolific point guards in Notre Dame men’s basketball history. He concluded his career as the fifth Irish player to score 1,000 points (1,421) and post 500 assists (589). An iron man on the court, Atkins appeared in 133 contests (tied for second all-time) and started 105 (ninth all-time) – including 97 consecutive games in the starting five.