“Keeping with our theme of bringing back former players, Eric Atkins was a heck of a point guard and leader for us,” Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey said.
“He was one of those point guards, like Martin Ingelsby, that you watched and said ‘your going to be a heck of a coach one day.’ I am glad we can get him back in our program helping out with our day to day operations. He will be great working with all of our guys. It was not that long ago that he played, so he certainly can relate to what they are going through. He has a very bright future as a coach.”
“I’m really excited to come back to my alma mater, especially to be mentored by Coach Brey,” Atkins said.
“This is a big step toward a career in coaching for me and to be with all the former Irish greats on the staff now is an exciting opportunity. I was thinking about getting into coaching over the past year and reaching out to coaches back home around Maryland and Coach Brey. When this spot became available, I jumped at the chance.”
One of the most prolific point guards in Notre Dame men’s basketball history, Atkins concluded his career as the fifth Irish player to score 1,000 points (1,421) and post 500 assists (589). An iron man on the court, Atkins appeared in 133 contests (tied for second all-time) and started 105 (ninth all-time) - including 97 consecutive games in the starting five.
Leading the Irish into their first season in the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2013-14, he was the first Notre Dame player to earn an ACC Player of the Week award and is still the only Irish player to earn that designation in back-to-back weeks (Dec. 30, 2013, and Jan. 6, 2014). He was named a third-team all-ACC selection by the league’s coaches after averaging 13.0 ppg and 4.0 apg.
Atkins’ professional basketball career started in Greece, when he played 26 games for KAOD in 2014-15, averaging 7.0 ppg and 2.0 apg. He joined the Erie Bay Hawks in the NBA D-League for the 2015-16 season, playing in 24 games, averaging 6.5 ppg and 3.0 apg. Atkins also spent time on the Utah Jazz roster and the Idaho Stampede in the D-League during 2015.
Atkins replaces 2010 Notre Dame graduate Pat Rogers, who has joined former Irish assistant and Delaware head coach Martin Ingelsby on the Blue Hens team operations staff. In his role, Atkins will assist the Director of Basketball Operations, Harold Swanagan, with the day-to-day oversight of the program, help break down film for the coaching staff and administer the Notre Dame Boys Basketball Camps during the summer.
ATKINS HONORS AND AWARDS:
2014 All-ACC Third Team
2014 Notre Dame Monogram Club Team MVP
ACC Player of the Week (Dec. 30, 2013 and Jan. 6, 2014)
2011, 2012 Notre Dame Outstanding Playmaker Award
2013 Notre Dame Captain’s Award
BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll (Feb. 6, 2012, Dec. 3, 2012, and Jan. 21, 2013)
ATKINS NOTES: Played his prep career at Mount Saint Joseph High School in Baltimore, Md. … two-time Baltimore Catholic League MVP … started all 35 games as a junior in 2012-13, playing a team and career high 1,340 minutes (38.3 per game) … was the 54th player to reach 1,000 points in a career … hit the game-winning three point shot with 0.8 seconds remaining in an overtime victory over Boston College on Feb. 1, 2014 after sending the game into overtime with two free throws with one second remaining in regulation … scored 19 points with 11 assists in Notre Dame’s victory over #7/8 Duke on Jan 4, 2014, the program’s first home ACC contest … boasted a 2.37 career assist-to-turnover ratio.