Leigh Torbin | February 23, 2017
Notre Dame's Karen and Kevin Keyes Family Head Women's Basketball Coach Muffet McGraw has taken the penultimate step towards the sport's ultimate lifetime honor as she is included on the list of 14 finalists for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame's Class of 2017, announced on Saturday.
Also a finalist for enshrinement in 2016, McGraw will learn if is she is one of the latest enshrines on April 3 at the men's basketball Final Four in Glendale, Arizona. Joining McGraw as women's committee finalists are Rebecca Lobo, Kim Mulkey and the pioneering teams from Wayland Baptist University as a collective unit.
McGraw, who guided the Irish to the 2001 national championship and seven Final Four appearances, is the winningest single-sport coach in Irish lore with 756 wins. Over her 30-year coaching career, McGraw is 844-267 (.760), making her the sixth-winningest active coach nationally and the 10th-winningest all-time at the Division I level. She is the sixth-winningest female coach in women's basketball history and one of just four women to ever win 750 games at a single school.
She is the 2017 recipient of the Wooden Awards' Legends of Coaching Award, becoming just the third female to receive this honor, joining Tennessee's Pat Summitt and Stanford's Tara VanDerveer. She is the fourth women's coach to be recognized with this honor, joining Summitt, VanDerveer and UConn's Geno Auriemma.
Among her countless other career highlights:
- She is one of five coaches (men's or women's) in Division I history with 800 wins, seven Final Fours and five NCAA title game appearances, joining the elite company of Summitt, Auriemma, Duke men's coach Mike Krzyzewski and the late North Carolina men's coach Dean Smith, all of whom are enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
- McGraw is the only coach to be named the consensus national coach of the year three times, sweeping the Associated Press, Women's Basketball Coaches Association, Naismith Award and United States Basketball Writers Association honors in 2001, 2013 and 2014.