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    Fighting Irish

     Muffet McGraw  

    Karen and Kevin Keyes Family Head Women's Basketball Coach

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


    IRISH EXTRA: Irish Women Savor Fifth Straight NCAA Final Four Opportunity

    Second-half defense proved key in Notre Dame's 77-68 win over Baylor Sunday night in the Oklahoma City Regional final.


    McGraw Appreciates Notre Dame's Run More Than Ever

    Irish head coach appreciates the accomplishment of reaching a fifth straight Final Four.


    #2 Irish Headed To Fifth Straight Final Four After Downing #5/6 Baylor, 77-68

    Lindsay Allen scored 23 points to help top-seeded Notre Dame defeat second-seeded Baylor.


    Elite Eight Preview: (1) #2 Notre Dame vs. (2) #5/6 Baylor

    Fighting Irish and Bears meet in the NCAA tournament for third time in four years.


    #2 Irish Meet #5/6 Baylor Sunday In NCAA Elite Eight

    Notre Dame making its fifth consecutive Elite Eight appearance, seventh in school history (8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN/WatchESPN; listen on WatchND).


    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 Regional Final - Notre Dame vs. Baylor (USATSI)

    Notre Dame beats Baylor 77-68 to reach a fifth straight Final Four.


    Notre Dame vs. Stanford - NCAA Tournament

    NCAA Tournament


    NCAA Tournament - Notre Dame vs. DePaul

    Second Round action of the NCAA Tournament


    No. 2 Notre Dame vs. No. 7 Florida State: ACC Tournament

    No. 2 Notre Dame takes down No. 7 Florida State in the ACC Tournament, 71-58


    Notre Dame vs. Miami - ACC Championships

    No. 2 Notre Dame wins 77-61 over Miami

    Entering 28th season at Notre Dame in 2014-15: 663-218 (.753)
    33rd season overall: 751-259 (.744)
    "If we searched for an entire year. I don't think we would find anyone better suited for our program."

    With those words, former University of 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 27 seasons:

    • 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.

    • Four trips to the NCAA Division I national championship game, including three of the past four NCAA title contests (2011, 2012 and 2014). McGraw is one of just three active Division I coaches (and five all-time) with at least four appearances in the NCAA national championship game.

    • Six trips to the NCAA Women's Final Four (1997, 2001, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014). McGraw is one of just three active Division I coaches (and five all-time) to lead her team to six Women's Final Four appearances.

    • 12 NCAA Sweet Sixteen trips, all in the past 18 seasons (1997-2014). The Fighting Irish are one of five teams in the nation to make that claim. • Three-time consensus National Coach of the Year, sweeping the four major coaching honors (Associated Press, WBCA, Naismith Award and USBWA) in 2001, 2013 and 2014. McGraw is the first NCAA Division I coach ever to sweep the "Big Four" awards three times in her career.

    • Six-time conference coach of the year, most recently collecting her first Atlantic Coast Conference coach of the year trophy in 2014. McGraw has earned her six coaching honors in five different conferences during her career (the past five awards while at Notre Dame), having also garnered accolades in the East Coast (1983 - at Lehigh), North Star (1988), Midwestern Collegiate/Horizon League (1991), BIG EAST (2001, 2013) and Atlantic Coast (2014) conferences.

    • Ranks 10th all-time among NCAA Division I coaches with 751 career wins (reaching the 700-win milestone on Feb. 5, 2013, at Villanova in her 957th game, making her the eighth-fastest to 700 wins in Division I history), and 16th all-time among Division I coaches with a .744 career winning percentage.

    • Ranks eighth among NCAA Division I coaches with 26 20-win seasons, including 24 of her 27 seasons at Notre Dame with 20-or-more victories, as well as 20 in the past 21 years (1993-2014). The Fighting Irish also have posted 11 25-win seasons, six 30-win campaigns and three 35-win seasons in the past 18 years (1997-2014) under McGraw's tutelage.

    • Made 21 NCAA Championship appearances, including a current string of 19 consecutive NCAA Championship berths (the sixth-longest active run of consecutive appearances and eighth-longest streak at any time in NCAA Championship history). During this current streak (1996-2014), Notre Dame has won at least one NCAA postseason game 17 times.

    • Won nine conference titles, including the past three in a row outright in both the BIG EAST (2012, 2013) and ACC (2014). The Fighting Irish also have run the table in their last two conference seasons, going 16-0 in both the BIG EAST (2012-13) and ACC (2013-14), the latter being the first 16-0 record by an ACC school in 11 seasons. Under McGraw's guidance, Notre Dame has placed among the top four in the final conference standings 24 times in the past 27 seasons.

    • Earned seven conference tournament championships, including each of the past two seasons as members of the BIG EAST (2013) and ACC (2014). • Collected 112 wins over ranked opponents, including 98 in the past 16 seasons (1998-2014). In addition, 43 of those wins have come against top-10 opponents, including 15 against top-five teams and four against No. 1-ranked squads.

    • Made 275 appearances in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, entering the 2014-15 season (including an active school-record streak of 136 consecutive weeks in the AP poll). McGraw is eighth among active Division I coaches and 16th all-time in AP poll appearances (as of the final 2013-14 poll). Notre Dame also has spent 164 weeks ranked among the top 10 teams in the nation, all in the past 18 seasons (1997-2014).

    • 18 consecutive top-20 recruiting classes, dating back to the incoming class of 1997 (and including the incoming class of 2014, 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 127-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 (2007-14). In that time, Notre Dame is one of four programs in the country to record a perfect GSR and go on to play for the national title in the same season (something the Fighting Irish did in 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2013-14).

    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 19 seasons (1995-96 to 2013-14) have been the most successful in Notre Dame's history, reflecting the program's remarkable BIG EAST Conference era and transition to its current home, the ACC. During that time, the Fighting Irish have compiled an impressive 504-138 (.785) record, including a sparkling 248-64 (.795) regular season mark in conference play, finishing their 18-year BIG EAST tenure with the second-best winning percentage (232-64, .784) in that league's history.

    Also during this near two-decade span, Notre Dame has averaged more than 26 victories per year, with three 35-win seasons, six 30-win campaigns and 11 25-win seasons to its credit. What's more, the Fighting Irish have one NCAA national championship (2001), four NCAA title game appearances (2001, 2011, 2012, 2014), six NCAA Women's Final Four berths (1997, 2001, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014) and 12 Sweet Sixteen showings since the 1995-96 season, which began the program's current run of 19 consecutive NCAA Championship appearances.

    The 2013-14 season proved to be one of historic success for McGraw and Notre Dame, as the Fighting Irish not only advanced to the NCAA Women's Final Four for the fourth year in a row (and the NCAA national championship game for the third time in four seasons), but they also stormed through their inaugural season in the ACC, winning both the conference regular-season and tournament championships with a combined 19-0 record, becoming the first league school since 2002-03 to do so (and the first ever to do it in its inaugural ACC season). Notre Dame posted a near-spotless overall 37-1 record (highlighted by a 37-game winning streak to open the season, the longest by any Fighting Irish program in a team-only sport since World War II) and chalked up 14 wins against ranked opponents while setting school records for wins, winning percentage and scoring average (86.1 ppg.), and leading the nation in field- goal percentage (.506), the program's first NCAA team statistical title in any category other than win-loss percentage since 2001 (when Notre Dame led the nation in field-goal percentage defense, three-point percentage and blocked shots).

    For her efforts, McGraw swept the "Big Four" national coach-of-the-year accolades (Associated Press, Women's Basketball Coaches Association, United States Basketball Writers Association and Naismith) for the second consecutive season and the third time in her storied career, becoming the first NCAA Division I coach ever to pull off that feat and just the second to do so in back-to-back seasons.

    • • •

    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 received national coach-of-the-year honors from the WBCA, USBWA, AP and the Atlanta Tipoff Cub (Naismith Award). Ruth Riley joined McGraw for the latter two honors, earning AP and Naismith player-of-the-year laurels, and she also was recognized as the nation's top student-athlete when she was named the CoSIDA Academic All-Americar 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 21 of their NCAA Championship appearances, the first coming in 1992 and the second in 1994. Yet, Notre Dame's first NCAA Championship 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 AP 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 Women's 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 Championship 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-Americar honoree, the fourth player in the history of the program to earn Academic All-Americar 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 Saint Joseph's University, 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 Saint Joseph's University 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 AP 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.

    • • •

    Throughout her storied coaching career, success for McGraw has meant developing great players, including recent consensus first-team All-Americans Skylar Diggins (2012, 2013) and Kayla McBride (2014). Both also earned conference player-of-the-year honors while earning their degree under the Golden Dome (Diggins - 2012 and 2013 BIG EAST; McBride - 2014 ACC).

    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 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 quintet of Diggins, McBride, Riley, Morgan and Gaither highlight an impressive list of 16 Fighting Irish players who have garnered All-America honors during McGraw's career. The Hall of Fame coach also has worked with 15 players who have been selected for USA or Canada Basketball National Teams (Diggins and McBride currently are part of the 2014-16 USA Basketball National Team player pool), with those Notre Dame players earning 25 medals, including 13 golds (highlighted by Riley's gold with the '04 U.S. Olympic Team. In addition, McGraw has coached 27 players who have earned all-conference recognition a total of 58 times, including 21 first-team picks who have been chosen a total of 35 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 27 Notre Dame cagers have gone on to play professionally (domestically or overseas), including 14 who either have been drafted or signed as free agents with WNBA teams.

    The past 14 years have seen the greatest influx of Fighting Irish talent into the WNBA, with 12 Notre Dame players having been selected in the league's annual draft since 2001, including five top-10 picks in the past three years and the school's first three WNBA lottery selections (Devereaux Peters in 2012 to Minnesota; Diggins in 2013 to Tulsa; McBride in 2014 to San Antonio, all with the No. 3 overall choice), making Notre Dame just the second program in the 18-year history of the WNBA Draft to produce lottery (top-four) picks in three 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 the Atlanta Dream before retiring a year later.

    Riley's bid for a third WNBA crown in 2013 was stopped, but only at the hands of another former Notre Dame All-American, as Peters helped the Minnesota Lynx to the 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-Americansr with Riley twice earning that honor and going on to be named to the 2001 Academic All-Americar Team Member of the Year (for all sports, besting such notables as Duke men's basketball player Shane Battier and Purdue football player Drew Brees, in addition to earning the NCAA Top VIII Award and an NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship. Riley subsequently was inducted into the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Famer in 2012.

    • • •

    McGraw's knack for developing talent also extends to the coaching ranks. No less than 13 of her former players and/or assistant coaches currently are serving as coaches at the 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 now serves 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 subcommittees focused on growing the sport, including her recent participation in 2013 at the NCAA "White Paper Summit," 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 is one of the predominant women's basketball figures 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 in 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 Saint Joseph's University 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 and her husband, Matt, celebrated their 37th wedding anniversary in 2014, and they have a 24-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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