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    Fighting Irish

    Muffet McGraw  
    Muffet McGraw

    Head Coach

    Alma Mater:
    Saint Joseph's (Pa.) '77


    Irish Fall Short in Bid to Unseat Connecticut in NCAA Women's Basketball Title Game

    Irish Don't Have Enough Answers for Tall, Talented and Unbeaten Huskies


    Unbeatens Notre Dame, UConn Set for Historic Title Game

    AP Preview of the NCAA National Championship Game (Tuesday, 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN)


    #2 Irish Set To Meet #1 Connecticut Tuesday In NCAA National Championship Game

    Notre Dame faces former BIG EAST rival for fourth consecutive year at Final Four, and fifth overall (8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN/WatchESPN; listen on Michiana's Pulse FM or nationwide on Westwood One/NCAA Radio Network).


    Irish Beat Maryland, Advance to Third NCAA Title Game in Three Seasons

    Unbeaten and second-ranked Notre Dame retained its perfect women's basketball record Sunday night.


    Muffet McGraw Sweeps National Coach Of The Year Honors

    Notre Dame head coach is first NCAA Division I skipper ever to sweep 'Big Four' national coaching honors three times in her career.


    WBB: Coach McGraw's Contract Extension

    Notre Dame Women's Basketball coach Muffet McGraw signs a 10 year contract extension


    2011-12 Athletics Highlight Video

    Debuted each year at the OSCARS - the year-end highlight video provides a look back at all 26 varsity sports competed at the University of Notre Dame and is created in cooperation with the Student Welfare and Development Office and LeSea Broadcasting.


    WBB: WNBA Draft Feature

    Devereaux Peters and Natalie Novosel are both selected in the first round of the 2012 WNBA Draft.


    WBB: Awards Banquet - Devereaux Peters


    WBB: Awards Banquet - Natalie Novosel


    NCAA Final Four: Notre Dame Vs. Maryland

    USATSI Gallery


    Final Four Gallery- Saturday

    Final Four Gallery- Saturday


    A Season In Photos: 2013-14 Notre Dame Women's Basketball

    A Season In Photos: 2013-14 Notre Dame Women's Basketball


    NCAA Regional Final: Notre Dame vs. Baylor (USATSI)

    The Irish topped the Bears 88-69 to advance to the Final Four for the fourth straight season.


    Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma State - NCAA Tournament

    Notre Dame defeats Oklahoma State, 89-72, in the NCAA Tournament

    Entering 27th season at Notre Dame in 2013-14: 626-217 (.743)
    32nd season overall: 714-258 (.735)

    "If we searched for an entire year. I don't think we would find anyone better suited for our program."

    With those words, former Notre Dame director of athletics Gene Corrigan announced the hiring of Muffet McGraw as the third head coach of the Fighting Irish women's basketball program on May 18, 1987. Corrigan may not have realized it at the time, but he also ushered in an era of unparalleled success in women's basketball at Notre Dame, brought to life on the shoulders of a 5-foot-6 dynamo who accepts nothing less than the very best from herself, her players and her program.

    Ask anyone familiar with women's basketball about McGraw and her Notre Dame program and inevitably, you'll hear the same two words -- consistency and excellence. And it's no wonder, when you consider what McGraw and the Fighting Irish have achieved in the past quarter-century:

    • The 2001 NCAA national championship, defeating Purdue in the title game, 68-66. McGraw is one of only seven active Division I coaches to guide her team to a national title.

    • Three trips to the NCAA Division I national championship game, including in the past two NCAA title contests (2011 and 2012). McGraw is one of just three active Division I coaches (and seven all-time) with at least three appearances in the NCAA national championship game.

    • Five trips to the NCAA Women's Final Four (1997, 2001, 2011, 2012, 2013). McGraw is one of just four active Division I coaches (and six all-time) to lead her team to five Women's Final Four appearances.

    • 11 NCAA Sweet Sixteen trips, all in the past 17 seasons (1997-2013). The Fighting Irish are one of six programs in the nation to make that claim.

    • Two-time consensus National Coach of the Year, sweeping the four major coaching honors (Associated Press, WBCA, Naismith Award and USBWA) in both 2001 and 2013. McGraw is just the second NCAA Division I coach ever to sweep the "Big Four" awards twice in her career.

    • Five-time conference Coach of the Year, most recently collecting her second BIG EAST Coach of the Year trophy in 2013. McGraw has earned her five coaching honors in four different conferences during her career (the past four awards while at Notre Dame), having also garnered accolades in the East Coast (1983 - at Lehigh), North Star (1988), Midwestern Collegiate/Horizon League (1991) and BIG EAST (2001, 2013) conferences.

    • Ranks eighth among active NCAA Division I coaches with 714 career wins (reaching the 700-win milestone on Feb. 5, 2013, in her hometown of Philadelphia at Villanova in her 957th game, making her the eighth-fastest to 700 wins in Division I history) and 17th among active Division I coaches with a .735 career winning percentage.

    • Ranks seventh among active NCAA Division I coaches with 25 20-win seasons, including 23 of her 26 seasons at Notre Dame with 20-or-more victories, as well as 19 in the past 20 years (1993-2013). The Fighting Irish also have posted 10 25-win seasons, five 30-win campaigns and two 35-win seasons in the past 17 years (1997-2013) under McGraw's tutelage.

    • 20 NCAA tournament appearances, including a current string of 18 consecutive NCAA tournament berths (the sixth-longest active run of consecutive appearances and eighth-longest streak at any time in NCAA tournament history). During this current streak (1996-2013), Notre Dame has won at least one NCAA postseason game 16 times.

    • Nine conference titles, including three BIG EAST crowns (2001, 2012, 2013) during Notre Dame's 18 years in that league (1995-96 through 2012-13). The Fighting Irish, who ran the table in their final BIG EAST season with a 16-0 record in 2012-13, also placed among the top four in the BIG EAST 15 times in their 18-year conference membership.

    • Six conference tournament championships, including the program's first BIG EAST Championship crown in 2013.

    • 98 wins over ranked opponents, including 84 in the past 15 seasons (1998-2013). In addition, 35 of those wins have come against top-10 opponents, including 13 against top-five teams and four against No. 1-ranked squads.

    • 255 appearances in the Associated Press Top 25 poll (including an active school-record streak of 116 consecutive weeks in the AP poll entering the 2013-14 season). McGraw is ninth among active Division I coaches and 20th all-time in AP poll appearances (entering the 2013-14 season). Notre Dame also has spent 144 weeks ranked among the top 10 teams in the nation, all in the past 15 seasons (1997-2013).

    • 17 consecutive top-20 recruiting classes, dating back to the incoming class of 1997 (and including the incoming class of 2013, ranked as high as No. 3 in the nation). Notre Dame is one of just three programs in the nation that owns an active streak of that length.

    • Ranks second on the all-time wins list (regardless of sport) in the 126-year history of Fighting Irish athletics, trailing only the late Michael DeCicco (774-80 combined record with men's/women's fencing from 1962-95).

    • Far and away the winningest basketball coach (men's or women's) in school history, with noted men's skipper Digger Phelps second on that list (393 wins).

    • A perfect 100-percent NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) score in each of the past seven years (2007-13). Notre Dame also is one of only four programs in the country to record a perfect GSR and play for the national title in the same season (something the Fighting Irish did in both 2010-11 and 2011-12).

    Add it all up and you have the framework for a Hall of Fame career. And, on June 11, 2011, that's exactly what McGraw became, as she officially was the first Notre Dame representative to be inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, an accomplishment now immortalized with a banner hanging in Purcell Pavilion.

    Still, with all of those accomplishments in hand, McGraw has shown no signs of slowing down any time soon. In July 2012, the veteran head coach signed a landmark 10-year contract extension (believed to be among the longest contract agreements in NCAA women's basketball history) that will keep her patrolling the Fighting Irish sidelines through the 2021-22 campaign.

    "For more than 25 years, Muffet has led our women's basketball program and represented this University with distinction," said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame's president. "Her teams have excelled on the court and in the classroom, and I am absolutely delighted that she will continue to lead the Irish for many more years."

    "We are thrilled to be able to enter into a decade-long agreement with Muffet, who is not only the face of Notre Dame women's basketball, but increasingly, the face of women's basketball, given all that she's accomplished," said University vice president and director of athletics Jack Swarbrick. "She's taken this program to a place where it's annually in the conversation for the national championship, which is the model all coaches want to follow. She's also playing an important role in the game nationally, and her peers recognize those contributions, as well as the quality of her program here at Notre Dame. Off the court, she has created a program that has a lasting community identification and a special connection between the University and the city of South Bend, which is one of those unique points of intersection that universities have to be careful to build and maintain, and she's done that for us in a really remarkable way."

    Under McGraw's guidance, the past 18 seasons (1995-96 to 2012-13) have been the most successful in Notre Dame's history, reflecting the program's remarkable BIG EAST Conference era. During that time, the Fighting Irish compiled an impressive 466-137 (.773) record, including a sparkling 232-64 (.784) regular season mark in conference play, the second-best winning percentage in BIG EAST history.

    Also during this near two-decade span, Notre Dame has averaged nearly 26 victories per year, with two 35-win seasons, five 30-win campaigns and 10 25-win seasons to its credit. What's more, the Fighting Irish have one NCAA national championship (2001), three NCAA title game appearances (2001, 2011, 2012), five NCAA Women's Final Four berths (1997, 2001, 2011, 2012, 2013) and 11 Sweet Sixteen showings since the 1995-96 season, which began the program's current run of 18 consecutive NCAA Championship appearances.

    In 2012-13, McGraw and Notre Dame capped off an impressive three-year stretch (101-14 record) with not only the program's third consecutive trip to the NCAA Women's Final Four, but also a sweep of the BIG EAST regular season and tournament titles (the first team other than Connecticut in 20 years to pull off that feat). The Fighting Irish finished the 2012-13 campaign with a 35-2 record (including a school-record 30-game winning streak) and perfect 16-0 BIG EAST mark, made all the more remarkable by the fact that McGraw was able to guide Notre Dame throughout a seamless transition after losing three starters (and four seniors) from the previous year's NCAA national runner-up squad (a four-player contingent that included two All-Americans/WNBA first-round draft picks and accounted for 40 percent of the team's scoring and rebounding from that 2011-12 club).

    To be sure, the night of April 1, 2001 is one McGraw and the Fighting Irish faithful will never forget. On that memorable Sunday evening in St. Louis, Notre Dame defeated Purdue, 68-66 as McGraw's 14th Fighting Irish team won the school's first NCAA women's basketball championship. It was the second Final Four appearance in five years for McGraw's troops, who became the only NCAA champion to erase double-figure deficits in both of its Final Four contests. Having coached the Fighting Irish to their best ever regular-season record at 26-1 and a (then) school-record 34 wins (the second 30-win campaign in school history), and having guided Notre Dame to its best record (34-2) and season winning percentage (.944), McGraw earned numerous national awards for her efforts. For the first time in her career, she won national coach-of-the-year honors from the WBCA, Sports Illustrated for Women and Associated Press, as well as the Atlanta Tipoff Club, which named her the Naismith Women's College Coach of the Year. Ruth Riley joined McGraw for the latter two honors, earning AP and Naismith player-of-the-year laurels. Riley also was recognized as the nation's top student-athlete when she was named the CoSIDA Academic All-America® Team Member of the Year. In addition, the New York Athletic Club honored McGraw with the 2001 Winged Foot Award, which is presented annually to the coach of the NCAA champion. She also was selected as the WBCA District I Coach of the Year and was voted the BIG EAST Coach of the Year for the first time.

    McGraw has led the Fighting Irish to all 20 of their NCAA Tournament appearances, the first coming in 1992 and the second in 1994. Yet, Notre Dame's first NCAA Tournament win didn't come until after it joined the BIG EAST Conference in 1996 when, as the 12th seed in the Midwest region, the Fighting Irish stunned fifth-seeded and 15th-ranked Purdue, 73-60, in Lubbock, Texas. The success of that 1995-96 campaign and a 23-8 record earned McGraw national recognition as well, as she was named the WBCA District II Coach of the Year.

    One season later, McGraw and the Fighting Irish made an even bigger national statement, going all the way to the Final Four. Notre Dame compiled a gaudy 31-7 record (at the time the most wins in school history) and the first 30-win season in the program's history. Also, for the first time ever, the Fighting Irish were ranked in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today polls from the preseason until the end of the year. Notre Dame earned its first-ever top 10 ranking at the end of November and achieved all-time high finishes in both final polls, finishing fifth in the ESPN/USA Today rankings and 15th in the AP poll.

    McGraw and the Fighting Irish got to the 1997 NCAA Final Four the hard way, beating three consecutive ranked opponents on the road. In its NCAA first-round game in Austin, Texas, Notre Dame cruised to a 93-62 victory over Memphis. Its second round contest matched the Irish up with Texas. Undaunted by the hostile Longhorn crowd, Notre Dame pulled off an 86-83 upset of its 14th-ranked hosts. Making their first-ever Sweet Sixteen appearance, the Fighting Irish erased a nine-point halftime deficit and went on to defeat eighth-ranked Alabama, 87-71 in Columbia, S.C. Notre Dame then claimed the East Regional championship and booked its first trip to the Final Four with a 62-52 win over No. 22 George Washington. An 80-66 loss to eventual national champion Tennessee couldn't dampen what remains a defining season in the program's history.

    The 1997-98 campaign was expected to be a transition year as the Fighting Irish lost four starters from that first Final Four team. However, it turned out to be perhaps the best coaching effort of McGraw's career, punctuated by one of the most stunning upsets of the 1998 NCAA Tournament when Notre Dame beat sixth-ranked and top-seeded Texas Tech in the second round of the Midwest Regional before a stunned Lady Raider crowd at Lubbock Municipal Coliseum. That win propelled McGraw's team into the Sweet Sixteen for the second year in a row, resulted in a final ranking of 17th in the ESPN/USA Today poll and made McGraw a finalist for the Naismith Coach of the Year award.

    During the 1998-99 season, McGraw's charges posted an impressive 26-5 mark and spent a (then) school-record 16 consecutive weeks ranked in the top 10. Notre Dame was undefeated (8-0) against non-conference opponents, registering wins at home against UCLA (99-82) and Duke (84-57), both of whom were ranked sixth at tipoff.

    The accomplishments of the Notre Dame program in `98-'99 made McGraw a finalist for the Naismith Award for the second consecutive season. In addition, Riley became the first player to earn first-team AP All-America honors. Riley also was a first-team CoSIDA Academic All-America® honoree, the fourth player in the history of the program to earn Academic All-America® accolades.

    The 1999-2000 campaign continued Notre Dame's rise up the national ladder, as the Fighting Irish duplicated their record-setting accomplishment of the 1998-99 campaign, finishing with, at the time, the best winning percentage in school history (.844) en route to a 27-5 campaign and return to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. Notre Dame spent all but two weeks in the top 10 of the AP poll and held down the No. 5 ranking (then an all-time high) for seven of the 18 weeks.

    That would all set the stage for the memorable events of 2000-01 and Notre Dame's ascension into the ranks of college basketball's elite programs.

    To understand the competitive fire that has fueled much of McGraw's success, you have to go back to her playing days. A four-year starter at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia, Pa., she captained the 1976-77 Hawk team that finished 23-5 and was ranked third nationally. In four seasons at SJU, McGraw helped her team compile a 59-12 mark, while participating in the regional Eastern Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (EAIAW) tournament once and the national AIAW tourney once.

    She received her bachelor's degree in sociology from SJU in 1977. Following graduation, she coached for two seasons at Philadelphia's Archbishop Carroll High School where she guided her teams to a 50-3 record, including a 28-0 mark during her second year. In that `78-79 season, she led her squad to the Catholic League title and was named coach of the year for the Philadelphia Catholic League.

    McGraw then played point guard for one year with the California Dreams in the Women's Professional Basketball League (WBL). She returned to her alma mater in 1980, serving as an assistant coach for two seasons under Jim Foster (now the head coach at Chattanooga).

    In 1982, McGraw was named head coach at Lehigh University, leading that school to unprecedented success. Her teams were 88-41 (.683) during her five-year tenure. She was named East Coast Conference Coach of the Year following her first season with the Engineers (as they were then known) in 1982-83. Her `84-85 and `85-86 teams posted back-to-back 20-win seasons, finishing 20-8 and 24-4, respectively. The latter squad won the most games in women's basketball history at the school, while claiming both the ECC regular-season and tournament titles.

    In her first season at Notre Dame (1987-88), McGraw took a team which finished 12-15 the previous year and guided that squad to a 20-8 mark, including the program's first-ever win over a ranked opponent (78-66 at No. 17 Duke) as she was named North Star Conference Coach of the Year.

    The following year, McGraw and the Fighting Irish moved into the Midwestern Collegiate Conference (MCC) -- now known as the Horizon League -- and set about establishing a standard of excellence in that conference that has yet to be duplicated.

    In seven years as a member of the MCC, Notre Dame won five regular season and tournament championships, including four consecutive tournament crowns from 1989-92. McGraw's teams never finished lower than second in the regular season standings and advanced to the semifinals of the conference tournament all but once. Notre Dame wound up compiling an 87-15 (.853) record in MCC regular-season games and was 13-2 (.867) in tournament play.

    While her teams' successes in the MCC were impressive, McGraw and the Fighting Irish had their sights set on bigger goals. The first of those aims was achieved on Dec. 28, 1990, when Notre Dame announced its presence on the national basketball scene with a historic 71-66 win over No. 11 Louisiana Tech in the first round of the Texaco-Hawk Classic in McGraw's hometown of Philadelphia. The next evening, the Fighting Irish upended McGraw's alma mater, Saint Joseph's (Pa.), 72-53, in the championship game, causing Hall of Fame sportswriter Mel Greenberg to note in the Philadelphia Inquirer the following day, "They were the kind of wins that get a team noticed on the national level."

    Those words proved prophetic only days later when, on Dec. 31, 1990, the Fighting Irish women's basketball program earned the school's first national ranking. Notre Dame entered the Associated Press poll at No. 25 and remained in both the AP and USA Today polls for the next nine weeks, climbing as high as 19th in the AP and 18th in the USA Today poll.

    The next important step in the growth of Notre Dame women's basketball under McGraw's tutelage came in 1992, when the Fighting Irish, despite a 14-17 mark (the only losing season McGraw has experienced during her 30-year head coaching tenure), rallied to win the MCC Tournament with a 59-54 upset of top-seeded Xavier in the championship finale. The win earned Notre Dame its first-ever berth in the coveted NCAA Tournament field via the league's automatic bid.

    Two years later, the Fighting Irish was back in the NCAA Tournament, once again earning the MCC's automatic bid. This time, Notre Dame garnered additional respect from the NCAA Selection Committee, picking up a home game in the first round against Minnesota. However, the plucky Gophers pulled out a tough 81-76 decision at the Joyce Center, abruptly ending the season for the Fighting Irish. Still, the lessons McGraw and her charges learned in those first two NCAA Tournament appearances would prove invaluable -- since that time, Notre Dame has won at least once in all but two of the 18 NCAA Tournaments it has played in (1996-2012), posting a 41-19 (.683) record in NCAA postseason play that ranks among the top 10 in tournament history.

    Throughout her storied coaching career, success for McGraw has meant developing great players. Most recently, she tutored two-time consensus first-team All-America (and four-year All-American) guard Skylar Diggins. The South Bend native was a two-time BIG EAST Player of the Year (2012, 2013) and twice earned the Nancy Lieberman Award as the nation's top point guard, in addition to collecting five gold medals with USA Basketball and going on to be selected No. 3 overall in the 2013 WNBA Draft.

    Riley, the 2001 BIG EAST Player of the Year, became the third Notre Dame player to earn AP All-America honors when she was named in `99 to the third team. Riley, who was a unanimous first-team all-BIG EAST selection in 2000 and was the `99 BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year, also earned WBCA honorable mention All-America honors. She also was a member of the `99 U.S. World University Games team and proudly represented her country as a member of the gold medal-winning 2004 U.S. Olympic Team.

    Two other players whose names are forever linked to elevating the Notre Dame program to national prominence are `97 graduates Beth Morgan (now Beth Cunningham and in her second year as associate coach on McGraw's staff) and Katryna Gaither. The two-time Kodak (now WBCA Coaches') and AP honorable mention All-Americans both scored more than 2,000 points during their careers, becoming the first two players from the same team in NCAA history (male or female) to reach that milestone. To this day, they still rank second and third, respectively, on the Fighting Irish career scoring list, while Gaither also stands as the school's second all-time leading rebounder behind Riley. Both players went on to careers at the professional level with the now-defunct American Basketball League (ABL) and the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA).

    The quartet of Diggins, Riley, Morgan and Gaither highlight an impressive list of 15 Fighting Irish players who have garnered All-America honors during McGraw's career. The Hall of Fame coach also has worked with 14 players who have been selected for USA Basketball National Teams, with those players going on to win a total of 26 medals, including 12 golds (highlighted by Riley's gold with the '04 U.S. Olympic Team and the last of Diggins' five golds coming with the 2012 USA Basketball 3x3 World Championship Team). In addition, McGraw has coached 27 players who have earned all-conference recognition a total of 55 times, including 20 first-team picks who have been chosen a total of 33 times, and has shaped several other national award winners, namely two Frances Pomeroy Naismith award recipients (Niele Ivey in 2001, Megan Duffy in 2006), a two-time Nancy Lieberman Award honoree (Diggins in 2012 and 2013) and a pair of selections as United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) National Freshman of the Year in Jacqueline Batteast (2002) and Jewell Loyd (2013).

    Another sign of McGraw's success has been her ability to prepare her players for the next level. No less than 25 Notre Dame cagers have gone on to play professionally (domestically or overseas), including 12 who either have been drafted or signed as free agents with WNBA teams.

    The past 13 years have seen the greatest influx of Fighting Irish talent into the WNBA, with 10 Notre Dame players having been selected in the league's annual draft since 2001, including the school's first two WNBA lottery picks (Devereaux Peters in 2012 to Minnesota; Diggins in 2013 to Tulsa, both with the No. 3 overall choice), making the Notre Dame just the second program in the 17-year history of the WNBA Draft to produce lottery (top-four) selections in consecutive seasons.

    Perhaps no former Fighting Irish player has achieved greater success at the professional level than Riley. Less than a month after being named the 2001 NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player, Riley was taken with the fifth overall pick in the WNBA Draft by the Miami Sol, where she spent her first two pro seasons. When the Sol folded in 2003, she was the No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA dispersal draft by the Detroit Shock, quickly becoming a crowd favorite in the Motor City.

    With Riley in the starting lineup, Detroit rolled to the league title with a storybook "worst-to-first" finish in `03, and Riley herself was named the WNBA Finals MVP, becoming one of just two players in women's basketball history to earn Finals MVP honors at both the NCAA and WNBA levels. She also is one of only nine players in women's basketball lore to earn championships in NCAA, WNBA and Olympic competition. Riley came back to earn a second WNBA title with Detroit in 2006, before being traded to the San Antonio Silver Stars in 2007. Once she arrived in the Alamo City, Riley helped the Silver Stars to five consecutive playoff appearances, including the franchise's first trip to the WNBA Finals in 2008. She returned to the WNBA Finals for a fourth time in 2013 with her third different squad, the Atlanta Dream.

    Riley's bid for a third WNBA crown was stopped, but only at the hands of another former Notre Dame All-American, as Peters helped the Minnesota Lynx to the 2013 title, marking the fifth time a Fighting Irish alum hoisted the WNBA hardware. The others who have won pro titles include Coquese Washington with the 2000 Houston Comets, and Jacqueline Batteast, who was Riley's teammate in Detroit in 2006.

    McGraw's teams also have been stellar in the classroom. Since she arrived at Notre Dame in 1987, every women's basketball player who completed her athletic and academic eligibility at the University has graduated. Additionally, two Fighting Irish players -- Riley and Duffy -- have been named CoSIDA first-team Academic All-Americans® with Riley twice earning that honor and going on to be named to the 2001 Academic All-America® Team Member of the Year (for all sports, besting such notables as Duke men's basketball player Shane Battier [now with the NBA's Miami Heat] and Purdue football player Drew Brees [now with the NFL's New Orleans Saints]), in addition to earning the NCAA Top VIII Award and an NCAA postgraduate scholarship. Riley subsequently was inducated into the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame in 2012.

    McGraw's knack for developing talent also extends to the coaching ranks. No less than 12 of her former players and/or assistant coaches currently are serving as coaches at either the high school or college level. In addition, four of her former pupils are presently NCAA Division I head coaches: Bill Fennelly, another former aide who is piloting Iowa State; Kevin McGuff, a Notre Dame assistant for six seasons who now is the head coach at Ohio State; Jonathan Tsipis, a Fighting Irish assistant for nine years who is in his second season as head coach at George Washington, and Coquese Washington, a 1991 Notre Dame graduate and eight-year veteran on McGraw's staff who now is in charge at Penn State. McGuff, Washington, and current Fighting Irish associate head coach Carol Owens comprised McGraw's assistant coaching staff on Notre Dame's 2001 NCAA national championship squad, while McGuff and Owens also were on McGraw's staff for Notre Dame's run to the 1997 NCAA Final Four (with a roster that included two of McGraw's current assistants -- Beth (Morgan) Cunningham and Niele Ivey).

    On a national level, McGraw is widely regarded as a champion for student-athletes. In June 2002, she accepted an invitation from U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige to join the Commission on Opportunity in Athletics. Created 30 years after the passage of the Title IX anti-discrimination law, the 15-member panel examined ways to strengthen enforcement and expand opportunities to ensure fairness for all college athletes. McGraw was the only women's basketball coach on the Commission, which also included former WNBA great Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, former U.S. National Soccer Team captain Julie Foudy and two-time Olympic gold medalist Donna DeVarona.

    In the summer of 2004, McGraw served with the WBCA's Special Committee on Recruiting and Access, which helped create numerous proposals to the NCAA that clarified and strengthened national recruiting guidelines. McGraw's work on that committee led to her selection in 2005 as a member of the WBCA's Board of Directors, serving as the Division I Legislative Chair for that body through June 2011. Her efforts to preserve and improve the status of college athletics were recognized by the WBCA in 2009, when she was chosen to receive the prestigious Carol Eckman Award, which goes annually to an active WBCA coach who exemplifies Eckman's spirit, integrity and character through sportsmanship, commitment to the student-athlete, honesty, ethical behavior, courage and dedication to purpose.

    Since 2011, McGraw has been front and center as a member of numerous NCAA and WBCA sub-committees focused on growing the sport, including her recent participation in the NCAA "White Paper Summit" in 2013, discussing recommendations presented in Val Ackerman's "White Paper" evaluation of women's college basketball earlier in the year.

    On top of her tireless work at Notre Dame, McGraw often is in demand as a featured speaker at various camps, luncheons and other fundraisers around the country. For several years, she has been a co-chair for the annual "Run, Jane, Run" golf tournament in South Bend, which benefits local chapters of the YWCA. McGraw also has been at the forefront of numerous charitable events in the South Bend area, from book drives for area school children and donations to local food pantries, to silent auctions and receptions that benefit cancer charities.

    McGraw had her first book published in 2003, teaming with Bradley University professor Paul Gullifor to pen Coaching Success: Muffet McGraw's Formula for Winning -- In Sports and In Life.

    Born Dec. 5, 1955, in Pottsville, Pa., and raised in nearby West Chester, McGraw remains one of the predominant women's basketball figures ever to come from the Philadelphia metro area. In 1986, she was inducted into the Saint Joseph's University Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, followed by her enshrinement into the Philadelphia Big Five Women's Hall of Fame in 1989. In November 2002, McGraw's alma mater came calling once again, inducting her into the SJU Athletics Hall of Fame.

    In 1997, McGraw was named an honorary alumna by the Notre Dame Alumni Association and received an honorary monogram from the Notre Dame Monogram Club.

    McGraw is devoted to maintaining a strong family as well. She and her husband, Matt, celebrated their 36th wedding anniversary in 2013, and they have a 23-year-old son, Murphy, a 2012 Indiana University graduate, who now works in the corporate offices for Kohl's Department Stores in Milwaukee. The McGraws live in Granger, Ind.

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