Mike Brey

Mike Brey will retire as the Notre Dame Fighting Irish men’s basketball coach after this season.

Tom Nole of NDInsider reported the stunning news Thursday. “Source tells South Bend Tribune that Notre Dame coach Mike Brey will retire at end of season,” he tweeted. “Brey plans to tell team after practice today. The winningest coach in program history will have spent last 23 seasons at Notre Dame.”

Brey is one of the most outstanding coaches in Notre Dame’s illustrious history. Not just in men’s basketball, either. Through his 23rd season, Brey compiled a record of 481-267, a win percentage of 64.3 percent. In conference play, Brey is 223-169 with one conference championship: His first season with Notre Dame in the Big East in 2000-01.

Brey’s teams made the NCAA Tournament 13 times, most recently last season. They won at least one game nine times and made the second week three times. Famously, Brey and the Irish gave then-unbeaten Kentucky all that they could handle in the 2015 East Regional Final.

It goes without saying that Mike Brey is, and has been, one of the best coaches in college basketball this century. He began his career with the Delaware Blue Hens before going to Notre Dame in 2000. He never looked back after that and now he will go out as Notre Dame’s winningest coach ever.

The college basketball world reacted to the news of Brey’s retirement after it broke.

John Fanta waxed poetic. “A four-time conference coach of the year. 2011 National Coach of the Year. He’s been Notre Dame basketball for over two decades. Elite Eights in 2015 and 2016. In recent years, the Irish have fallen off, but Mike Brey’s had quite a ride in South Bend. Another retirement in CBB,” Fanta tweeted.

Kentucky Sports Radio’s Adam Luckett praised Brey as well and mentioned that famed 2015 team.

Michael Rothstein, who reported on Brey and the Irish for several seasons, praised Brey’s helpfulness over the years

Jessica Smetana provided a hilarious visual remembrance of Brey.

And college hoops insider Jeff Goodman knows exactly where you’ll find Mike Brey next year.

[Tom Nole]

About Chris Novak

Chris Novak has been talking and writing about sports ever since he can remember. Previously, Novak wrote for and managed sites in the SB Nation network for nearly a decade from 2013-2022