Notre Dame men’s basketball coach Mike Brey plans to step down at the end of the 2022-23 season, the program announced Thursday afternoon. Brey, 63, is in the middle of his 23rd season as head of the Notre Dame program.
“It’s been a great run for me and our program over the past two decades, but it’s time for a new voice to lead this group into the future,” Brey said in a statement released by the university. “I want to thank our student-athletes, assistant coaches and support staff who have played such an important role in the culture we have created.”
The Irish, who started this season with a 9-10 start, are 481-269 since Brey took over Notre Dame in 2000. The most successful coach in the program’s history, he led the Irish to an ACC tournament title in their first and only 30+ winning season in 2014 under his tutelage at the height of his tenure. That started a three-year run in which the team reached the NCAA tournament three straight seasons, winning 82-28.
Since then, Notre Dame has played just one NCAA tournament in that span and has not progressed past the second weekend of the tournament since back-to-back Elite Eight appearances in 2015 and 2016. The program won 24 games last season and appeared to be on the upswing after an 11-win 2020-21 season, but in 19 games this season, Notre Dame has struggled and is just a game above bottom in the ACC.
“Mike (Brey) and I have spoken many times over the past few years about a future change in leadership of the program, and during our most recent conversation we came to the mutual conclusion that the end of this season is the right time,” said Jack Swabrick , Notre Dame athletic director said. “Mike’s ability to be the most successful coach in the 119-year history of Notre Dame men’s basketball is a testament to his skills as a teacher of the game. His even greater legacy, however, lies in his achievements as an educator and mentor to the young men who played for him. In that sense, he represents this university and every coach I’ve worked with during my time at Notre Dame. For that reason, I look forward to working with Mike to define his future role at Notre Dame Athletics. “
An angry Brey after falling at home in Notre Dame’s fourth loss in their last five games against a run-down Florida state on Tuesday seemed to foreshadow the move following the loss to the Seminoles earlier in the week. In his post-game press conference, he lamented his inability to help this team win games and expressed frustration at not pressing the right buttons to turn things around.
“I certainly couldn’t help them much. I told them that. I said, ‘I did a terrible job with you guys.'” he said. “I [told the team], ‘I misunderstood you.’ I thought we were ready for the competition. That’s the boss’s responsibility. Totally accountable. Totally accountable.”
Brey led the Irish to back-to-back Elite Eight appearances in 2015 and 2016, but has made just one NCAA tournament appearance in the past six seasons.
Brey’s illustrious coaching career began in the 1980s as an assistant to Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski before spreading his wings and taking on his own head coaching stint in Delaware in 1995. There he went 99-52 in five seasons and previously jumped twice in the NCAA tournament to take the Notre Dame job.
Consistent victories as a stabilizing force defined Brey’s coaching career in both Delaware and Notre Dame, where he won big and helped lead the program through uncertainty. He was instrumental in leading Delaware from the NAC to the AEC in the mid-1990s, and after one season he was winning back-to-back regular-season titles in the new league. At Notre Dame, he also helped lead the program to a new conference when it transitioned from the Big East to the ACC in 2013. The first season in the ACC resulted in a 15–17 season before a 32-win season became a career-best.
Among active NCAA coaches at their current Division I schools, Brey’s 481 victories with Notre Dame ranks sixth. His 580 career wins ranks 75th all-time with Fran Dunphy.
“I leave this place with great gratitude to the University and proud of all that we have achieved together,” said Brey. “I look forward to working with Jack in any role that can help the Notre Dame family.”