July 14, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – With a pump of his fist and a promise to remain for a long time, Mike Brey received his first standing ovation as head coach of Notre Dame basketball.
“I’m trained to do the job here,” Brey said in his opening remarks. “I have always thought that this is a place where I would love to come and do it for a long, long time.”
In front a sizable crowd in the basketball arena of the Joyce Center, athletic director Kevin White and University president Rev. Edward Malloy officially welcomed Brey as the 17th head coach of the men’s basketball program.
“We wanted someone of outstanding pedigree,” Malloy stated in his introduction.
The University got just what they wanted.
While Brey may not be a household name just yet, his coaching resume is outstanding. He started his career as an assistant to Morgan Wootten at high school basketball powerhouse DeMatha, located in Hyattsville, Md. He spent five years at DeMatha where he served as head junior varsity coach as well as varsity assistant.
“He is one the greatest young head coaches in America.” Wootten said. “Mike is the total package-he’s a teacher, educator, knows the game and can relate to his players extremely well.”
In 1987, he shifted from high school basketball to the collegiate ranks where he assisted Mike Krzyzewski at Duke for eight seasons. In those seasons, Duke advanced to the Final Four six times, play in four national title games and win the championship in back-to-back year in 1991 and 1992.
“What a perfect fit!” Krzyzewski said. “Mike has the background which is totally suited for the level of success that Notre Dame wants and deserves.”
Brey comes to the University having served as head coach at the University of Delaware. While at Delaware, he posted a record of 99-52. He coached the Blue Hens to two NCAA appearances in his five years as well as a couple America East titles.
Prior to Brey taking the floor, athletic director Kevin White dispelled all rumors about the selection process. White sensed that there could be a chance of boherty leaving so he conducted a pre-search that started July 5. The pre-search lasted about six days.
On July 11, the search kicked into an active one. By Wednesday, White had narrowed the field down to three candidates. He personally interviewed all three of the coaches.
Finally, he presented two of the finalists to a panel of three University executives. Malloy, University provost Nathan Hatch and board of trustees chairman Patrick McCartan composed the panel.
After the interviews, White offered the job at 12:30 am to Brey. The University offered the job only to Brey despite the rumors circulating that others received offers.