Notre Dame's Muffet McGraw Named 2014 Naismith Women's Coach of the Year
NOTRE DAME’S MUFFET MCGRAW NAMED 2014 NAISMITH
WOMEN’S COLLEGE COACH OF THE YEAR
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 7, 2014) – On the verge of possibly winning her first national title since 2001, Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw was named winner of the 2014 Naismith Women’s College Coach of the Year Award, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today. McGraw is only the third women’s college basketball coach in history to win the award three or more times (she also won in 2001 and 2013).
McGraw was chosen from a group of finalists that included University of Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma, University of South Carolina coach Dawn Staley and North Carolina State University coach Wes Moore. She was selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s National Voting Academy, which based its criteria on the coaches’ performances throughout the 2013-14 women’s college basketball season.
First created in 1987, Tennessee’s Pat Summitt claimed the inaugural award, and then an additional four more. Auriemma has claimed six Naismith Women’s Coach of the Year honors.
The vote was tabulated by the accounting, tax and business consulting firm Habif, Arogeti & Wynne, LLP. HA&W is a top 50 US accounting firm and a 2013 "Best of the Best" firm, as named by Inside Public Accounting.
“Coach McGraw faced an incredible challenge heading into this season having to replace key players from last year, and she not only succeeded but has her team on the brink of something historic. It has been a remarkable run for the Irish and that translates to tremendous leadership from the head coach,” said Eric Oberman, Executive Director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “Muffet clearly demonstrated the qualities that great leaders have, and our voters rewarded her with the Naismith Award.”
ABOUT THE WINNER
McGraw led the Irish to their best start and longest winning streak in program history.
The Irish are 37-0 and set to play UConn (39-0) for the championship on Tuesday, April 8 – the first title matchup featuring two undefeated teams in NCAA history.
Notre Dame went 16-0 in the ACC, and won both the conference regular season and tournament titles, becoming the first ACC school ever to win the league title in its first season in the conference.
Notre Dame defeated Baylor to earn their fourth straight Final Four berth. The victory over Baylor was their first in five meetings.
The Irish have made the NCAA Tournament 24 of the 27 years of McGraw’s tenure with Notre Dame.
Named unanimous choice as ACC Coach of the Year, the sixth time in her career she's been a conference Coach of the Year and second year in a row (also BIG EAST in 2013).
McGraw has won the Naismith Coach of the Year award twice (2001 & 2013).
In 27 seasons she has amassed a record of 663-217 (.753).
“I'm humbled and profoundly grateful to receive this year's Naismith Coach of the Year award,” said McGraw. “What makes this so special is that it's entirely a team effort, from our amazing players to my equally outstanding coaching staff. Everything we have accomplished this year has been due to the hard work everyone has put in, from the first day of practice to the last day of the season. On behalf of our entire program and the University of Notre Dame, I'd like to thank the Naismith Awards and the Atlanta Tipoff Club for this incredible honor."
ABOUT THE ATLANTA TIPOFF CLUB
Founded during the 1956-57 season, the Atlanta Tipoff Club, an Atlanta Sports Council property, is committed to promoting the game of basketball and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of those who make the game so exciting. The Atlanta Tipoff Club administers the Naismith Awards, which have become the most prestigious national honors in all of college basketball. Named in honor of Dr. James Naismith, inventor of the game of basketball, the Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T recognizes the top Men’s and Women’s College Basketball Players of the Year. Other Naismith Awards are presented to the Men’s and Women’s College Basketball Coaches of the Year, Boy’s and Girl’s high school basketball players and coaches of the year, high school scholar-athletes, basketball officials, student sections and overall contributors to the game. The Naismith Trophy was first presented to UCLA’s Lew Alcindor (later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) in 1969. Old Dominion’s Anne Donovan won the inaugural Women’s Naismith Trophy in 1983.