Mike Brey has new 10-year deal
Notre Dame coach Mike Brey has a new 10-year contract with the Fighting Irish.
The school announced the deal Tuesday. Brey's new contract will run through June 2022. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Brey had three years left on an extension he signed in 2008 that ran through the 2014-15 season.
When Brey was hired at Notre Dame in 2000, he was asked how long he planned on sticking around. The coach before Brey, Matt Doherty, left for North Carolina after just one season.
"I thought to myself and I answered it: 'This is the last stop if you handle it the right way,' " Brey recalled of his answer 12 years ago.
"It's looking more like we've handled it the right way and I'm honored and thrilled that this can be the last stop," Brey said Tuesday.
Brey said contract extension talks started last summer, but were put on hold during the season. Brey compared the confidence the university has given him with the contract to the confidence he tries to instill in his players.
"That gives me confidence as a coach. I think it makes you more fearless as a coach. Our profession is not the most secure. But when you know that you have that kind of support, I think you want to go for it even more," he said.
The 53-year-old Brey coached the Irish to a surprising 13-5 Big East record, 22-12 overall before the Irish lost to Xavier in the NCAA tournament second round in Greensboro, N.C.
Brey has become one of the fixtures in the Big East behind Hall of Fame coaches Jim Boeheim of Syracuse and Jim Calhoun of Connecticut. The Irish have been consistent throughout Brey's tenure, making the Joyce Center one of the toughest home courts in the league.
Brey has coached the Irish to eight NCAA tournament appearances and four NIT bids.
He is a three-time Big East Coach of the Year and coached a Big East Player of the Year in Luke Harangody.
Athletic director Jack Swarbrick called Brey the epitome of coach-educator.
"It is a thrill for me to have been able to work through a process that ensures for the next decade, an amount of time significantly longer than the career expectancy of any AD, that Mike will be the head coach and continue to lead this program and lead the nation in building young men," Swarbrick said.
With a foundation of Big East success and NCAA bids, Swarbrick said the program's goal should be national championships in the future.
"We're in business to win NCAA championships. If I didn't think Mike Brey couldn't win an NCAA championship in basketball, we wouldn't be sitting here today," Swarbrick said. "I believe he can. I believe this program can."
Brey recognized the challenge and said he thinks about it every day. The challenges and expectations are different now than when he arrived 12 years ago.
"I think when we got here, you were trying to survive the Big East. Now we're in a mode of thriving in the Big East. We've shifted gears," Brey said. "I'm so excited about where we're at, our momentum, our position and how we're thought of. The one thing that's really powerful to me is the basketball world, the basketball community really respects our program and how we do business."
At a time when the Irish continue to fight for independence in football, Brey offers the department a spokesperson for the benefits of being in a conference. Brey has continued to profess his desire to stay in the Big East as he turned the Irish into a league contender, finishing in the top four in four of the past six seasons.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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