In 17 seasons as head men’s basketball coach at the University of Notre Dame, Mike Brey has guided the Fighting Irish to 382 victories, an average of 22 victories per season, three trips to the NCAA Sweet 16, back-to-back NCAA Elite Eight appearances in 2015 and 2016 and the 2015 ACC Championship.
Second on the all-time wins list at Notre Dame and boasting 481 career wins as a head coach, Brey has led the Irish through the program’s most sustained period of excellence since his hiring in July of 2000.
The 2016-17 Fighting Irish began the season with a nine-game win streak while capturing the 2016 Legends Classic Championship with wins over Colorado and Northwestern at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Notre Dame began the Atlantic Coast Conference season with five victories, then rattled off six consecutive victories to close the conference season and earn a double-bye in the ACC tournament. Victories over No. 21/21 Virginia and No. 16/17 Florida State propelled the Irish to their second ACC Championship game appearance in four years as a member of the conference.
The Irish earned a fifth seed in the 2017 NCAA Championship, defeating Princeton before falling to fourth-seeded West Virginia in Buffalo, New York. The 2016-17 Notre Dame team set program records for wins in a three-year span (82) and matched the school records for wins in a four-year span (97) and NCAA tournament victories in a four-year run (seven).
In 2014-15, the Irish captured the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament championship en route to a final 32-6 record - the 32 victories representing the second-most for an Irish men’s basketball team. The team advanced to the Elite Eight of the 2015 NCAA Championship for the first time since 1979 and finished fifth in the final USA Today/Coaches poll and eighth in the Associated Press ranking. It marked the first time since the 1978-79 campaign that a Notre Dame squad finished in the top 10 of the final national rankings. Brey also led the Irish to the second-best season turnaround from the previous year, as Notre Dame improved to win 17 more games than it did in 2013-14.
The 2015-16 season proved to be another step forward for the program, as they earned the first-ever win over Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium for an Irish men’s basketball team, knocked off top-ranked North Carolina at Purcell Pavilion and made another memorable run to the NCAA Elite Eight, defeating Michigan, Stephen F. Austin and Wisconsin in dramatic fashion. Notre Dame is the only team in Division I to make the NCAA Elite Eight in each of the past two seasons.
Brey was named head coach at Notre Dame on July 14, 2000. In his first season with the Irish, he led the team to the 2001 Big East West Division championship while finishing Notre Dame’s time in the Big East fourth on the all-time coaching wins list. Sixteen of his 17 teams at Notre Dame have advanced to the postseason, with 12 of those squads advancing to NCAA tournament play.
In 2011, Brey was the recipient of both the Associated Press and the Henry Iba/USBWA National Coach of the Year award. He was named Big East Coach of the Year in 2007, 2008 and 2011, and three of his players have been named Big East Player of the Year. During the 2013-14 season, Brey became the 17th active Division I coach to reach 300 wins at his current institution.
Before arriving at Notre Dame, Brey was the head basketball coach at the University of Delaware, where he compiled a 99-52 mark from 1995-2000 and won America East Co-Coach of the Year honors in 1998. Prior to his time at Delaware, he was an assistant coach at Duke University. During his eight years at Duke, the Blue Devils advanced to the Final Four six times and won back-to-back national championships in 1991 and 1992.
Prior to entering the collegiate ranks, Brey played for and coached with legendary high school coach Morgan Wootten at DeMatha High School. He played two years at DeMatha, helping the Stags to a 55-9 record. After his graduation from George Washington, Brey spent five seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, helping DeMatha compile a 139-22 record, four league titles and a number-one ranking by USA Today in 1984.
Brey serves on the Coaches vs. Cancer National Council and has helped raise over two million dollars for the organization. He also has partnered with the American Heart Association to create the Men of Heart initiative, raising funds and awareness for men’s heart health. Brey is on the National Advisory Board of the Positive Coaching Alliance. He has also been inducted into the University of Delaware and the George Washington University Athletics Halls of Fame.
AN ATHLETIC FAMILY
Brey was a standout guard in his collegiate playing days, competing for three seasons at Northwestern Louisiana State (now Northwestern State) from 1977-80. He led the team in assists and steals all three years and still ranks among the top 10 in career assists at Northwestern State. He played his final collegiate season at George Washington in 1980-81 after sitting out the 1979-80 season as a transfer. He averaged 5.0 points and 4.8 rebounds per game for the Colonials, serving as team captain and eventually earning the team’s Most Valuable Player Award.
Brey comes from an athletic family of educators. His late father, Paul, was a high school athletics director in Maryland while his mother, the late Betty Mullen, was the women’s swimming coach at George Washington. Betty was perhaps the family’s most accomplished athlete, as she attended Purdue University and swam for the AAU team in West Lafayette, Indiana. For a time, she held the world record in the butterfly events and competed for the United States at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia. Betty’s brother, Jack Mullen, played guard at Duke University and was a member of the school’s first ACC championship team in 1950.
Brey’s mother passed away on March 21, 2015, hours before Notre Dame defeated Butler 67-64 in overtime of the NCAA Tournament in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He coached the game that night as a tribute to his mother and the inspiration she provided to him throughout his career, with the Irish team only learning of his mother’s passing after the conclusion of the game. Brey’s father, Paul, passed away on Dec. 20, 2015.
Brey’s younger sister, Brenda, swam competitively at LSU and is a physical education teacher in the Rockville, Md., area. His younger brother, Shane, was a high school standout at Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Md.
Born March 22, 1959, Brey is a 1982 graduate of George Washington with a degree in physical education. Brey has two children - Kyle and Callie - and a granddaughter, Olivia Marie. Kyle was a tight end and fullback for the University of Buffalo from 2006-09, then moved into the coaching ranks as a quality control coach at Kansas, Youngstown State and Ohio State. He is currently the head football coach at Ardery Kelly High School in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Brey inherited a talented roster, including All-American Troy Murphy and current Director of Basketball Operations Harold Swanagan. Coming off a 22-15 mark from a season before and just missing out on a berth in the NCAA Championship, Brey helped Notre Dame take the next step and return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 1988-89 season, finishing 20-10 overall, 11-5 in the Big East Conference and winning the Big East West Division Championship. The Irish defeated Xavier 83-71 in their first appearance in the NCAA tournament in 12 years, then fell to Mississippi in the second round.
If 2000-01 marked the return of Notre Dame basketball to the national scene, the 2001-02 season verified that the program was there to stay. A third-straight 20-win season (22-10), a 10-6 mark in the Big East (good for second in the division) earned the team a #8 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Irish defeated Charlotte in the first round, then battled #1 seed Duke into the game’s final moments before falling to the Blue Devils 84-77. The season featured six sold out games in Purcell Pavilion (the most in six seasons) and Notre Dame’s first appearance in the Big East tournament semifinals. Current Irish assistant coach Ryan Humphrey served as one of Brey’s three team captains during the season and earned first team All-Big East honors.
It was another giant step forward for the program in 2002-03, as Notre Dame advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the first time since 1987, defeating Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Illinois in the first two rounds of the tournament in Indianapolis, Ind., before falling to Arizona in Anaheim, Calif. The 24-10 campaign featured a program-first three consecutive wins over top-10 ranked teams, as the Irish defeated #10 Marquette, #8 Maryland and #2 Texas in consecutive outings.
Notre Dame returned to the NCAA tournament with a 24-8 overall record and 11-5 mark in the Big East, as Brey earned his first Big East Coach of the Year award. The Irish began the season with a 15-2 record, the program’s best start since 1978-79, and finished the year 18-0 at Purcell Pavilion - the first undefeated season at home since 1968-69.
A 25-8 record, along with a 14-4 final total in Big East play would earn Brey his second straight conference coach of the year award and the Irish returned to the NCAA Tournament to defeat George Mason before falling to Washington State in the second round. During the season, the Irish pushed their home-court winning streak to 37 games.
The run of postseason appearances continued for the Irish, with a trip to the NIT semifinals capping a 21-15 overall record. The team was led by Ryan Ayers, a current assistant coach with the Irish, and Luke Harangody, who became the first play to lead the Big East in scoring and rebounding in back-to-back seasons. The season was highlighted by the team’s 39th consecutive home court victory over Furman on Nov. 30, 2008, eclipsing the 60-year old school record that was set at the Notre Dame Fieldhouse from 1943-48. The team eventually pushed the homecourt win streak to 45 games, the longest in the nation at the time, before it was ended against Connecticut on January 24, 2009.
Notre Dame returned to the NCAA tournament for the sixth time in 10 years, finishing the season with a 23-12 record and 10-6 record in the Big East. The Irish won six of their last eight games, including three victories over ranked opponents and advanced to the Big East tournament semifinals for the third time. Senior point guard Tory Jackson became the second player to lead the Big East in assists for three consecutive seasons, joining Syracuse’s Sherman Douglas.
A fifth consecutive 20-win season culminated with a 27-7 record, 14-4 in Big East play that earned Brey the Associated Press Coach of the Year Award. Reaching as high as fourth in the national polls during the year, the Irish would finish ranked 14th, the program’s highest mark since the 1978-79 campaign. Notre Dame also received a #2 seed to the NCAA Tournament, the highest seed earned in the Brey era at Notre Dame. For the third time in five seasons, the Irish finished undefeated at home with a 17-0 record.
Poised to take another step forward, a key injury to All-America candidate Tim Abromaitis in the preseason forced Brey to reset the roster. The reset worked, as the team finished 22-12 overall and returned to the NCAA tournament for the eighth time in 12 years under Brey’s leadership. The Irish advanced to the Big East semifinals for the third consecutive season and won a program-best nine consecutive conference games. Another highlight of the season was Notre Dame’s 67-58 victory over #1 Syracuse at Purcell Pavilion on Jan. 21, 2012, the 10th win over a top-ranked team for the Irish and the sixth straight at Purcell (an NCAA record).
The final season of Big East competition for the Irish saw the team finish 25-10 overall and advance to their fourth straight NCAA tournament appearance. The Irish finished 5-4 against nine ranked opponents during the year and advanced to the semifinals of the Big East Tournament for the fourth time. Brey finished his time in the Big East as the league’s fourth all-time winningest coach with 146 wins, behind Jim Boeheim (416), Jim Calhoun (309) and John Thompson (231).
After missing out on the postseason for the first time in the Brey era, the 2014-15 team bounced back in memorable fashion, compiling perhaps the finest season in Notre Dame basketball history. Led by seniors Jerian Grant and Pat Connaughton, the Irish finished 32-6, won the ACC Championship tournament in just the second year in the conference and advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight to battle number-one seed Kentucky in the most-watched collegiate basketball game on cable television. The Irish ended up as just the third team to win the ACC tournament in the state of North Carolina by posting wins over Duke and North Carolina along the way.
Working off the momentum of the 2014-15 season and the NCAA Elite Eight run, the Irish owned March again to become the only school in the country with back-to-back visits to the Elite Eight in the past two seasons. Rallying to defeat Michigan, Stephen F. Austin and Wisconsin, the Irish would fall to North Carolina in the East Regional Final. The season also featured the program’s first victory at Cameron Indoor Stadium over Duke and a victory over number-one ranked North Carolina in Purcell Pavilion.
The Irish posted a remarkable 9-0 start to the 2016-17 season, the best nine-game record of the Mike Brey era at Notre Dame. The 9-0 start included a perfect run through the Legends Classic, marking the third in-season tournament title of the Brey era. The team then posted a 5-0 start in ACC play to set the program standard for a conference record through five games. Memorable home court victories over No. 9/9 Louisville and No. 14/15 Florida State set the stage for a run to the ACC Championship game.
- 382-187 (.671) record at Notre Dame - 17 seasons
- 481-239 (.668) overall career record - 22 seasons
- 2015, 2016 NCAA Elite Eight Appearances
- 2003, 2015, 2016 NCAA Sweet 16 Appearances
- 16 20-win seasons (13 at Notre Dame)
- 14 NCAA championship appearances (12 at Notre Dame)
- Fourth all-time in Big East Conference wins (146-97, .601)
- 2016-17 Notre Dame led the nation in free throw percentage and set a new ACC record (80.0)
- 2007-08 Notre Dame led the nation in assists per game (18.4)
- 1995-96 Big East West Division Champions
- Most wins by a first-year head coach at Notre Dame (20)
- 1998, 1999 America East Conference Champions
- First head coach at Delaware to post three consecutive 20-win seasons
- 2012 Associated Press Coach of the Year
- 2012 United States Basketball Writers Association Henry Iba Coach of the Year
- 2012 Basketball Times Coach of the Year
- 2012 CollegeInsider.com Jim Phelan Coach of the Year
- 2011 Basketball Times Coach of the Year
- 2011 Big East Coach of the Year
- 2008 Big East Coach of the Year
- 2008 Skip Prosser Award
- 2007 Big East Coach of the Year
- 2003 NABC District 10 Coach of the Year
- 1997 America East Co-Coach of the Year
- University of Notre Dame Honorary Monogram (2006)
- Delaware Athletics Hall of Fame
- George Washington University Athletics Hall of Fame
- DeMatha High School Distinguished Alumnus Award
- 2003 Coaches vs. Cancer Champion Award
- 2014 Ray Meyer Coach Award
MILESTONE WINS AT NOTRE DAME
- 1 - vs. Sacred Heart, 104-58, Nov. 18, 2000
- 100 - vs. Georgetown, 70-64, Feb. 15, 2005
- 200 - vs. Providence, 93-78, Dec. 30, 2009
- 300 - vs. Georgia Tech, 65-62, Feb. 26, 2014
MILESTONE CAREER WINS
- 1 - Delaware 100, Washington (MD) 58, Nov. 27, 1995
- 50 - Delaware 66, Boston University 58, March 7, 1998
- 100 - Notre Dame 104, Sacred Heart 58, Nov 18, 2000
- 200 - Notre Dame 62, Providence 61, Feb. 19, 2005
- 300 - Notre Dame 74, USF 73, Jan. 5, 2010
- 400 - Notre Dame 82, Binghamton 39, Nov. 14, 2014
- Jerian Grant, 2014-15
- Troy Murphy, 2000-01
SECOND TEAM CONSENSUS ALL-AMERICANS
- Ben Hansbrough, 2010-11
- Luke Harangody, 2007-08 and 2008-09
- Bonzie Colson, Second Team, 2016-17
- Jerian Grant, First Team, Consensus, 2014-15
- Ben Hansbrough, Second Team, 2010-11
- Luke Harangody, First Team, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10
- Ryan Humphrey, Second Team, 2001-02
- Troy Murphy, First Team, Consensus, 2000-01
NBA DRAFT SELECTIONS
- 2015, Jerian Grant, 1st Round, 19th Selection, Washington Wizards
- 2001, Troy Murphy, 1st Round, 14th Selection, Golden State Warriors
- 2002, Ryan Humphrey, 1st Round, 19th Selection, Utah Jazz
- 2015, Pat Connaughton, 2nd Round, 41st Selection, Portland Trailblazers
- 2016, Demetrius Jackson, 2nd Round, 45th Selection, Boston Celtics
- 2010, Luke Harangody, 2nd Round, 52nd Selection, Boston Celtics
CURRENT NBA PLAYERS
- V.J. Beachem, Los Angeles Lakers
- Pat Connaughton, Portland Trailblazers
- Jack Cooley, Sacramento Kings
- Jerian Grant, Chicago Bulls
- Demetrius Jackson, Houston Rockets
CONFERENCE PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
- 2011, Ben Hansbrough, Big East
- 2008, Luke Harangody, Big East
- 2001, Troy Murphy, Big East
- Bonzie Colson, 2017, First Team
- Demetrius Jackson, 2016, Second Team
- Zach Auguste, 2016, Third Team
- Jerian Grant, 2015, First Team, 2013 Second Team
- Pat Connaughton, 2015, Third Team
- Eric Atkins, 2014, Third Team
- Jack Cooley, 2013 First Team, 2012, Second Team
- Ben Hansbrough, 2011, First Team
- Tim Abromaitis, 2011, Third Team
- Luke Harangody, 2010, 2009, 2008, First Team
- Kyle McAlarney, 2008, First Team
- Russell Carter, 2007, First Team
- Colin Falls, 2007, First Team
- Chris Quinn, 2006, First Team
- Chris Thomas, 2003-04, Second Team, 2002, 2005, Third Team
- Matt Carroll, 2003, First Team
- Ryan Humphrey, 2002, First Team
- Ryan Humphrey, 2001, Third Team
- Troy Murphy, 2001, First Team
COSIDA ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICANS
- Chris Quinn, 2006
- Tim Abromaitis, 2010, 2011
February 21, 2001 - Notre Dame 76, Boston College 75
Martin Ingelsby’s off balance jumper knocks off 10/9 Boston College.
February 24, 2001 - Notre Dame 85, Virginia Tech 61
Notre Dame claims the BIG EAST West Division title.
March 16, 2001 - Notre Dame 83, Xavier 71
First NCAA tournament victory at Notre DAme since 1989.
January 12, 2002 - Notre Dame 56, Pittsburgh 53
Notre Dame scores final eight points to end 23/25 PIttsburgh’s 10-game win streak.
February 9, 2001 - Notre Dame 116, Georgetown 111 (4OT)
Then the longest game in BIG EAST history, Chris Thomas plays all 60 minutes.
December 2, 2002 - Notre Dame 92, Marquette 71
Chris Thomas’ 32 points and 10 assists lead the Irish past Dwyane Wade’s 13th-ranked Golden Eagles.
December 7, 2001 - Notre Dame 78, Maryland 67
Senior transfer from Maryland, Danny Miller, scores 17 as the Irish take down 9/8 Maryland in Washington, D.C.
December 8, 2001 - Notre Dame 98, Texas 92
Irish post their third consecutive victory over a top-10 ranked team, knocking off 2/2 Texas to claim the BB&T Classic tournament title.
February 9, 2003 - Notre Dame 66, Pittsburgh 64
Chris Thomas finds Torin Francis for a lay up with .6 seconds remaining in a matchup of two top-10 teams at Purcell Pavilion.
March 22, 2003 - Notre Dame 68, Illinois 60
Notre Dame earns its first NCAA Sweet 16 berth of the Brey era with a dominating win over the Big Ten tournament champions.
February 9, 2004 - Notre Dame 80, Connecticut 74
Recovering from losing five of their last seven games, Notre Dame knocks off fifth-ranked Connecticut.
January 30, 2005 - Notre Dame 78, Connecticut 74
Connecticut enters the Joyce Center ranked (17/19) and leaves with a loss, as Torin Francis and Dennis Lattimore dominate in the paint.
February 8, 2005 - Notre Dame 68, Boston College 65
Notre Dame ends 4/4 Boston College’s 20-game win streak to begin the season.
December 7, 2006 - Notre Dame 99, Alabama 85
Notre Dame overwhelms 4/4 Alabama, led by Russell Carter’s 27 points.
November 25, 2008 - Notre Dame 81, Texas 80
A classic battle in the Maui Invitational, 8/8 Notre Dame defeats 6/6 Texas behind 29 points from Luke Harangody.
November 30, 2008 - Notre Dame 83, Furman 61
Notre Dame cruises to its school-record 39th straight home court victory over the Paladins.
January 5, 2008 - Notre Dame 88, Seton Hall 79
The Irish set the school record for consecutive wins at home (45) and match the BIG EAST record (20) as Luke Harangody scores 30 points with 16 rebounds.
February 12, 2009 - Notre Dame 90, Louisville 57
Notre Dame posts its largest victory over a BIG EAST opponent in dominating fashion over 5/5 Louisville.
January 4, 2011 - Notre Dame 73, Connecticut 70
March 5, 2011 - Notre Dame 70, Connecticut 67
Notre Dame sweeps the season series with eventual national champion Connecticut.
January 7, 2012 - Notre Dame 67, Louisville 65 (OT)
Another classic Notre Dame - Louisville overtime slug match highlighted by Eric Atkins tying the game to force overtime, then scoring the final six points of the game.
January 21, 2012 - Notre Dame 67, Syracuse 58
Inspired by a video of previous Irish teams knocking off number one, Notre Dame claims the program’s eighth victory over the Associated Press top-ranked team.
February 18, 2012 - Notre Dame 74, Villanova 70
Down 14 in the second half, a furious rally at Villanova pushes the game into overtime, where underclassmen Jerian Grant and Pat Connaughton hit key three-point field goals to cap the rally.
November 29, 2012 - Notre Dame 64, Kentucky 50
Bolstered by a raucous student body, Notre Dame blows by 8/8 Kentucky.
February 9, 2013 - Notre Dame 104, Lousivlle 101 (5OT)
The longest game in school history is highlighted by Jerian Grant scoring 12 points in the final 28 seconds of regulation while Garrick Sherman scores all 17 of his points in the five overtime periods.
January 4, 2014 - Notre Dame 79, Duke 77
Notre Dame defeats 7/7 Duke in the program’s first Atlantic Coast Conference game.
January 5, 2015 - Notre Dame 71, North Carolina 70
The Irish claim the program’s first win in five trip to Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
March 14, 2015 - Notre Dame 90, North Carolina 82
Notre Dame turns a 63-54 deficit into a 80-66 lead en route to the program’s first ACC title.
March 21, 2015 - Notre Dame 67, Butler 64 (OT)
A Sweet 16 NCAA berth is earned in overtime, as Pat Connaughton blocks Butler’s final regulation shot attempt, then hits a key three pointer in overtime.
January 16, 2016 - Notre Dame 95, Duke 91
Bonzie Colson leads the Irish to the program’s first victory at Cameron Indoor as Notre Dame outscores 9/9 Duke.
February 6, 2016 - Notre Dame 80, North Carolina 76
Notre Dame earns its third consecutive victory over North Carolina, this time knocking off the 2/1 Tar Heels.
March 20, 2016 - Notre Dame 76, Stephen F. Austin 75
Rex Plfueger tips in the game-winning basket in the game’s final seconds to push the Irish to their second consecutive Sweet 16.
March 25, 2016 - Notre Dame 61, Wisconsin 56
Demetrius Jackson’s two steals in the game’s final minutes caps a remarkable comeback to deliver a second straight NCAA Elite Eight appearance.
March 9, 2017 - Notre Dame 71, Virginia 58
March 10, 2017 - Notre Dame 77, Florida State 73
Notre Dame earns its second ACC championship game berth in four seasons and claims its first victory over Virginia as an ACC opponent.