Muffet McGraw named top coach

Updated: April 6, 2013, 8:13 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW ORLEANS -- Notre Dame's Muffet McGraw is The Associated Press' women's college basketball Coach of the Year.

Baylor senior Brittney Griner, The Associated Press' women's college basketball Player of the Year, helped hand McGraw's team its only loss of the season back in early December. The Irish haven't lost since, winning a school record 30 straight games. Not bad for a team that graduated three starters from last season.

"I think she's one of the best players to play the game," McGraw said. "She definitely has been a really dominating presence in every way."

McGraw, who also won the award in 2001, received 24 votes. She did one of her best coaching jobs this season, getting the Irish back to the Final Four for a third straight season.

"She's well deserving of the award this year with what we lost," Notre Dame senior Skylar Diggins said. "To keep us winning like this that means a lot. She's a great person and knows how to win and motivate her players to give their all for her. When you have someone who cares about you, you'll do anything."

McGraw was happy to share the award with her coaching staff and team who were in attendance for the ceremony and let out a loud cheer when she accepted it.

Last year's winner, Griner's coach Kim Mulkey, was second with seven votes. Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb, who guided the Golden Bears to their first Final Four, was third.

"It's certainly an honor and truly a staff award," McGraw said. "I got the best staff in women's basketball and we definitely are a great team."

McGraw, who also won the award in 2001, became the second coach to win it multiple times. She joined UConn's Geno Auriemma -- a seven time recipient.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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