Posted - 06/19/2012 : 08:23:47
Mike Brey is on the verge of remaining as the Notre Dame men’s basketball coach for a long time – a very long time.
A source close to the Irish program confirmed early Monday afternoon that Brey, who is set to enter his 13th season in South Bend, has agreed to a 10-year contract extension. Brey had three years left on the last extension he signed July 7, 2008 that ran through the 2014-15 season.
The extension is three years longer than the original contract of seven years that Brey signed when he arrived in July of 2000.
Brey, who was scheduled Monday night to speak at the Notre Dame Club of Chicago, was not available for comment. Brey and athletic director Jack Swarbrick will discuss the contract extension during a press conference on campus Tuesday morning.
“It’s huge for Notre Dame basketball,” said former Irish guard Ben Hansbrough, the 2011 Big East Player of the Year. “As a player, there’s not one of us who would ever have anything bad to say about coach Brey. We love him.
“He’s one of the best coaches in college basketball.”
A three-time Big East Coach of the Year and 2011 national Coach of the Year, the 53-year-old Brey is 260-134, as the Irish head coach. Only two current league coaches – Jim Boeheim (Syracuse) and Jim Calhoun (Connecticut) – have won more Big East games than Brey (133, regular-season and tournament wins).
“What he’s done at Notre Dame is unbelievable,” Hansbrough said. “He’s just a wizard at knowing how to push the right buttons and get the most out of you. I’ll always be a life-long fan of coach Brey.”
Keeping Brey on the Irish sideline for another decade will see him seriously challenge Digger Phelps as the winningest coach in school history. Phelps, who coached 20 years, won 393 career games in South Bend. Phelps and George Keogan (327 wins also in 20 seasons) are the only Irish coaches to win more career games than Brey.
Less than three years, ago, some wondered if Brey might find himself on the head coach’s proverbial hot seat. Coming off a post-season trip to the National Invitation Tournament in 2008-09, a year many picked the Irish as a sleeper NCAA Tournament Final Four team, Notre Dame was 6-8 in the Big East and had just lost leading scorer and rebounder Luke Harangody to a knee injury. The Irish were in serious jeopardy of missing the NCAA Tournament for a second consecutive season.
Notre Dame then won its final four regular-season games against perennial powers Connecticut, Georgetown, Marquette and Pittsburgh.
Since being 6-8 in the league, Notre Dame is 31-9 in the Big East with three consecutive NCAA Tournament trips. The Irish have won at least 10 league games each of the last three seasons and at least 20 overall each of the last six.[...]
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