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Notre Dame Basketball: Muffet McGraw’s statue will be unveiled outside Joyce Center in December


Big East Conference, 2013 Women’s Basketball Championships. XL Center, Hartford, Connecticut, USA Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

It’s finally happening. Notre Dame will unveil a Muffet McGraw statue outside of the Joyce Center in December. A large horde of Fighting Irish fans have been screaming for this to happen for a long time. While I never doubted the endgame, it did feel like it took a while to make this happen.

We’re VERY excited about this and have an intoxicating feelings mix of pride and gratefulness.

From the Notre Dame press release:

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The name Muffet McGraw has already been etched in the book of Notre Dame athletics history. Now, there will be physical representation on campus as well.

Prior to Notre Dame’s game against Purdue on Dec. 17, a statue of McGraw will be unveiled outside of the entrance to the Joyce Center. McGraw served as the Irish women’s basketball coach for 33 seasons from 1987-2020, made nine Final Fours, and won two national titles.

Notre Dame’s championships under McGraw earned distinction as collegiate sports lore in their own right, from Ruth Riley converting two free throws in the final seconds in 2001 to Arike Ogunbowale’s “Ice Twice” heroics in 2018. Adding to the storybook tales, both championship wins took place on Easter Sunday.

The 13th female coach inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017, McGraw racked up an impressive 936 career wins (ranks seventh all-time among Division I coaches), including 848 at Notre Dame. During the 2018-19 season, McGraw became the fourth-fastest coach to reach the 900-win milestone. McGraw’s competitive drive led to 31 20-win seasons and 11 30-win campaigns. She compiled 174 victories over ranked opponents. McGraw-led Irish squads accumulated 14 regular-season conference titles (including eight in a row from 2012-19) and 11 conference tournament championships (including six in her last eight years). She also earned seven conference Coach of the Year honors.

Overall, McGraw coached one women’s basketball hall of famer, five Olympians, 20 WNBA players (10 currently in the league), 22 All-Americans and 36 players who earned all-conference recognition.

A three-time consensus National Coach of the Year, McGraw not only built a women’s basketball power, but inspired a passionate fan base within the local community. Back on Jan. 15, 2001, the women’s program recorded its first official sellout, as more than 11,000 fans packed Purcell Pavilion to watch Notre Dame knock off the top-ranked UConn Huskies for the first time in program history. Speaking of the Huskies, Coach McGraw knocked off UConn five times in the NCAA Tournament, more than doubling the next team’s highest total. She defeated UConn nine times overall.