Notre Dame men's basketball: Brey gets 10-year extension
5:00 pm, June 18, 2012
Mike Brey is on the verge of remaining as the Notre Dame men's basketball coach for a long time - a very long time.
A source close to the Irish program confirmed early Monday afternoon that Brey, who is set to enter his 13th season in South Bend, has agreed to a 10-year contract extension with Irish athletic director Jack Swarbrick. Brey had three years left on the last extension he signed July 7, 2008.
The new deal is three years longer than the original contract of seven years that Brey agreed to when he arrived in July of 2000.
Brey, who was scheduled Monday night to speak at the Notre Dame Club of Chicago, was not available for comment. Brey and Swarbrick will address the media Tuesday morning.
A three-time Big East coach of the year and 2011 national coach of the year, the 53-year-old Brey is 260-134, as the Irish head coach. Only two current league coaches -- Jim Boeheim (Syracuse) and Jim Calhoun (Connecticut) -- have won more Big East games than Brey (132).
Keeping Brey on the Irish sideline for another decade will allow him to seriously challenge Digger Phelps as the winningest coach in school history. Phelps, who coached 20 years, won 393 career games in South Bend. Only Phelps and George Keogan (327 in 20 years) have won more career games as Irish coaches than Brey.
Less than three years, ago, some wondered if Brey might find himself on the proverbial head coach's hot seat late in the 2009-10 season. Following the loss of leading scorer Luke Harangody to a knee injury, the Irish were limping long at 6-8 in the Big East and in serious jeopardy of missing the NCAA tournament for a second consecutive season.
Notre Dame then won its final four regular-season games over Connecticut, Georgetown, Marquette and Pittsburgh.
All Notre Dame has done since being 6-8 is go 31-9 in the Big East with three consecutive NCAA tournament trips. The Irish have won at least 10 league games each of the last three seasons. Notre Dame, which never won double-digit league games prior to Brey's arrival, has done it eight times during Brey's tenure.
The Irish tied the school record for conference wins two years ago after going 14-4 and coming within one win of playing for the Big East Championship for the first time in school history. A year ago, Notre Dame finished 13-5 and earned a double-bye in the league tournament for a second consecutive season.
With all five starters back and one of the most highly-touted recruiting classes already on campus, Notre Dame is expected to be a preseason Top 25 pick and will be one of three teams - along with Louisville and Syracuse - picked in preseason to make a run at a regular-season championship.