June 13, 2002
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Kevin McGuff, an assistant women’s basketball coach at the University of Notre Dame for the last six seasons, has been named the new head coach at Xavier University. McGuff was introduced at a press conference Thursday afternoon on the Xavier campus in Cincinnati, Ohio. He replaces Melanie Balcomb, who left XU to become the head coach at Vanderbilt University last month.
McGuff, 32, joined the Notre Dame staff in June 1996 after spending three years as an assistant on the women’s basketball staff at Miami (Ohio) University. During his time with the Irish, McGuff assisted with the coordination of Notre Dame’s recruiting and scouting efforts, as well as practice planning and the day-to-day operations of the office. His six-year stint with the Irish produced a sparkling 160-39 (.804) record, averaging better than 26 victories per season and at least 20 wins every year he was on the bench. Notre Dame also qualified for the NCAA Tournament in each of his six seasons, making four trips to the Sweet Sixteen (1997, 1998, 2000, 2001), two Final Four appearances (1997, 2001) and winning the school’s first NCAA championship in 2001.
McGuff’s efforts helped the Irish land six consecutive top-20 recruiting classes from 1997-2002, including the ’01-02 freshman corps, which was ranked third-best in the nation by the Blue Star Index, and next year’s rookie class, which is ranked eighth nationally by the same publication. In addition, McGuff was named one of the top five assistant coaches in the country by Women’s Basketball Journal in 1999.
“Without question, Kevin is one of the brightest young coaching minds in the country,” 16th-year Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw said. “There’s no one who is a better fit or a better choice for Xavier University than Kevin. He will have great success down there. We certainly appreciate everything he did for our program and we will miss him. However, we understand this is a tremendous opportunity for him and wish him all the best.”
McGuff becomes the fifth former McGraw assistant to currently hold a head coaching position at the college level. The others are Sandy Botham (Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Liz Feeley (Smith College), Bill Fennelly (Iowa State) and David Glass (Virginia Commonwealth). A total of 14 former McGraw players and/or assistants are now in the coaching ranks at either the high school or college level.
A nationwide search will begin immediately to identify McGuff’s replacement.
— ND —