Notre Dame head coach Mike Bray plans to step down at the end of the season, capping a 23-year spell at South Bend where he became the winningest coach in men’s basketball program history.
“It’s been an amazing journey for me and our show over the past two decades, but it’s time for a new voice to lead this group into the future,” Bray said in Thursday’s announcement. “I want to thank our student-athletes, assistant coaches, and support staff who have played such a major role in the culture we have created.”
One of the most popular members of the coaching staff, Brey has led Notre Dame to 13 NCAA Tournaments, including back-to-back Elite Eight appearances in 2015 and 2016. He has three seasons at the helm, including a Sweet 16 run in 2003.
After a four-year hiatus, Bray, 63, led Notre Dame back to the championship last season, beating Rutgers in the First Four and Alabama in the first round before falling to Texas Tech. The Irish finished last season 24-11, 15-5 in the ACC – one game ahead of Duke for the ACC regular season title.
Going into the season, Brey was 472-259 while at Notre Dame, earned three Big East Coach of the Year honors and led the Fighting Irish to the 2015 ACC Championship. He led the program to 16 20-win seasons.
“Mike and I have talked a lot in recent years about a future transition in program leadership and during our last conversation we came to the mutual conclusion that the end of this season is the right time,” Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick said in a statement. That Mike is the winningest coach in the 119-year history of Notre Dame men’s basketball is indicative of his skill as a teacher of the game. However, his greatest legacy lies in his accomplishments as a mentor and mentor to the youth he played for. In that sense, he represents this university as well as Any coach I’ve worked with during my time at Notre Dame. Because of this, I look forward to working with Mike to define his future role at Notre Dame Athletic.”
The Fighting Irish are in the midst of their worst season under Brey, starting 1-7 in ACC play and 9-10 overall after losing at home Tuesday to Florida State.
After defeating the Seminoles, Bray discussed the struggles of this year’s team.
“I take care of our leadership and our captains,” Berri told reporters. “They have ownership to themselves, but I certainly couldn’t help them much. I just told them, ‘You guys did an awful job. I thought we’d be more up to the competition there. That’s the boss’s responsibility. Totally responsible.'”
Before being hired by Notre Dame in 2000, Bree was the head coach at Delaware State for five seasons, leading the Fightin’ Blue Hens to two NCAA Tournament appearances and two America East regular season titles.
The Maryland native began his college coaching career as an assistant under Mike Krzyzewski at Duke from 1987 to 1995. He also spent time as an assistant at legendary high school senior Morgan Wooten at DeMatha Catholic High School (Maryland), where he played high school ball. .
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