Notre Dame’s Muffet McGraw Will Receive Wooden Coaching Honor

Notre Dame’s Muffet McGraw is going to receive the John R. Wooden Award’s Legends of Coaching honor, which is only awarded to those college basketball coaches who exemplify the standard of personal integrity and coaching success of the late UCLA legend.

Muffet McGraw has been named the recipient of 2017 Wooden Legends of Coaching Award. McGraw will receive the award at the College Basketball Awards in Los Angeles on April 7. McGraw is the third female coach to receive such an honor. Before her, the late Pat Summitt of Tennessee and Tara VanDerveer of Stanford were the only female coaches to be honored with this award.

McGraw spent 29 years guiding the Irish to the 2001 national championship at Notre Dame. In 2011, McGraw was inducted into the Hall of Fame of Women’s Basketball. There are other winners of the award as well, including the late Dean Smith of North Carolina, Roy Williams of Kansas, and Mike Krzyzewski of Duke.

The successful legacy of Muffet McGraw on the court is visible in the excessive amount of banners hanging above the Purcell Pavilion court. McGraw is entering her 35th year as a collegiate head coach and 30th year at Notre Dame. In the scores of basketball alumni of Irish women, who have been quite successful in their life and professions, McGraw’s legacy of success off the court is pretty visible. The John R. Wooden Award Committee recognized her dual-success and on Tuesday, the committee announced McGraw as its 2017 Legends of Coaching Award recipient.

This award is the most recent national honor for McGraw who is the three-time consensus national coach of the year.

 McGraw, the Karen and Kevin Keyes Family Head Women’s Basketball Coach, said it is humbling to receive an award like this, especially one which factors in collegiate ideals of coach Wooden off the court and on the court. She further added that it really is a credit to all of the great assistant coaches and student-athletes she has been fortunate enough to work with during her career.

“I am grateful for this honor and to be included with these legends of college coaching,” said Muffet McGraw.

McGraw has not only guided Notre Dame to 23 NCAA Championship appearances but also to the 2001 national championship and seven Final Fours, including five in a row from year 2011 to 2015. She is one of the five coaches [both male and female included] with seven Final Fours, 800 career wins, five appearances in the NCAA championship game, joining Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, Smith, Summitt and UConn’s Geno Auriemma.

In seven of the last eight years, Notre Dame has scored an amazing 100-percent NCAA Graduation Success Rate off of the court. In the meantime, McGraw is also involved in charitable endeavors. The Wooden Legends of Coaching Award is a lifetime achievement award, which is given to only one coach every year.

John Sill