Muffet McGraw takes Naismith honor
Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw was named the Naismith women's college coach of the year Monday.
McGraw also has won the 2013-14 women's coach of the year awards from The Associated Press, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and the Women's Basketball Coaches Association. McGraw beat out UConn's Geno Auriemma, South Carolina's Dawn Staley and North Carolina State's Wes Moore for the Naismith honor, selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's national voting body.
"I'm humbled and profoundly grateful to receive this year's Naismith coach of the year award," McGraw said. "What makes this so special is that it's entirely a team effort, from our amazing players to my equally outstanding coaching staff. Everything we have accomplished this year has been due to the hard work everyone has put in, from the first day of practice to the last day of the season."
McGraw also won the Naismith award in 2001 and 2013, and is only the third women's coach to win it three or more times. Former Tennessee coach Pat Summitt won five times, and Auriemma has won six times.
"Coach McGraw faced an incredible challenge heading into this season having to replace key players from last year, and she not only succeeded but has her team on the brink of something historic. It has been a remarkable run for the Irish, and that translates to tremendous leadership from the head coach," said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. "Muffet clearly demonstrated the qualities that great leaders have."
McGraw's Fighting Irish take on UConn in a matchup of undefeated programs in the national championship game Tuesday night (8:30 ET, ESPN and WatchESPN).