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Notre Dame hires Grizzlies assistant Niele Ivey as women’s basketball coach

Notre Dame women's basketball coach Niel Ivey with Grizzlies

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 21: Niel Ivey of the Memphis Grizzlies warms up with players before the game against the Los Angeles Lakers on February 21, 2020 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

As a Grizzlies assistant coach, Niele Ivey was a pioneer – joining the small, but expanding, ranks of women coaching in the NBA.

Now, with Hall of Famer Muffet McGraw retiring as Notre Dame women’s basketball coach, Ivey will take the next step in her career.

Notre Dame release:

Notre Dame Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick announced Niele Ivey (‘01) as the fourth head coach in women’s basketball history on Wednesday.


Ivey played at Notre Dame, played in the WNBA, returned to South Bend to join McGraw’s staff then went to Memphis. It’s an impressive career arc.

If Ivey has ambitions of becoming an NBA head coach, this could be a step back. But Notre Dame women’s basketball coach is a prestigious job, and Notre Dame is her alma mater. It’s easy to see why this job would appeal to her – and why she’d appeal to the Fighting Irish.