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Muffet McGraw (Notre Dame Head Coach); Biography, Age, Career, Marriage, Retirement

Muffet McGraw steps down as Notre Dame head coach

Muffet McGraw is an American former college basketball coach who most recently served as the head women’s basketball coach at Notre Dame, from 1987 to 2020 where she has compiled a 905-272 record over 33 seasons. She led her team to nine finals, seven championship game appearances, and two national championships in 2001 and 2018. On April 22, 2020, Muffet McGraw announced that she was stepping down from Notre Dame after 33 years as the Women’s head coach.

Muffet McGraw Biography

McGraw was born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Saint Joseph’s University and earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology. She played briefly professionally for the California Dreams of the Women’s Professional Basketball League.

Muffet McGraw Age

McGraw formerly Ann O’Brien was born on December 5, 1955. She is currently 64 years old.

Muffet McGraw Career 

McGraw has had a successful coaching career. She began her coaching career at Archbishop Carroll HS from 1977 to 1979 and later worked as an assistant coach at Saint Joseph’s from 1980 to 1982. From 1982 to 1987 she was the head coach at Lehigh University where one of her notable players was Cathy Engelbert. Muffet became the head coach at Notre Dame in 1987. During her stint as coach, she has received various accolades some of them include US Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) Coach of the year award, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Coach of the Year and the Naismith College Coach of the year in 2001. She was also inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011 and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017. She was also recognized in 2016 with the 2017 Legends of Coaching Award by the John R Wooden Award committee. She has also made history in that she is the 27th coach in NCAA history to win over 500 career games and is currently tied as the eighth head coach in NCAA Division I basketball history to reach 800 career wins. On April 1, 2018, McGraw achieved her 800th career victory at Notre Dame with a win over the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the National Championship game, her second national title with the Fighting Irish. On December 30, 2018, she notched her 900th career win against Lehigh, the team she began her collegiate coaching career in 1982.

Muffet McGraw Spouse Matt McGraw

One of Muffet McGraw’s biggest cheerleaders is her husband Matt McGraw whom she took his name when the couple got married. He is pretty hard to miss because of his enthusiastic and loud support for his wife and her program. Matt and Muffet met when Muffet was a criminal justice major and basketball player at St. Joseph’s Univerisity. At the time Matt was a criminal justice major at St Joe’s and he was working for the summer at Juvenile Probation of Chester County at the courthouse. Allison Hayes of ABC57 details the initial encounter with what began just like that – a spark and a detailed proposal, which happened in a department store photo booth.

“We were actually in a Woolworth’s Department Store if you remember those, the 5-and-10. And, they actually had a photo booth in there. And I said, ‘Let’s get a picture of the two of us in the photo booth.’ So we got in and I put in a quarter and as it started flashing I said ‘Will you marry me?’” Matt said.

“Well, we met in June, got engaged in December and we both knew. I mean, I could have got engaged in July, I knew right away,” Muffet said.

They got engaged in December 1977 and married the following October. The McGraws will be celebrating their 42nd wedding anniversary this fall. On their wedding day, Muffet said that she was wearing sneakers. Everyone found out as she pulled up her wedding dress for the garter toss. “When I pulled up my skirt to take off the garter, I had my sneakers on,” she said. “And so I was like ‘You know what this is going to be like for the next 50 years, so you better get used to it now.”

After a few years in Pennsylvania, as Muffet was the head coach at Lehigh, Matt encouraged her to take the Notre Dame job in 1988.

The McGraws have one son together named Murphy who is in his 20s. Murphy is a 2012 Indiana University graduate, who married Francesca Gardner in Paris (her hometown) in the spring of 2018.

Muffet McGraw Retirement 

Muffet McGraw abruptly retired on Wednesday with the 64 years old becoming the 13th woman inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of fame in 2017. She said in a statement, “It has been my great honor to represent the University of Notre Dame these past 33 years, but the time has come for me to step down as your head basketball coach,” she then added, “I am proud of what we have accomplished and I can turn the page to the next chapter in my life with no regrets, knowing that I gave it my best every day.”

Former Fighting Irish player and longtime assistant with the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies and a Notre Dame alumna coach Niele Ivey will take over Notre Dame. Niele Ivey was part of all nine Final Four appearances for the Irish, two as a player and seven as an assistant coach.



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