It won't be Tampa Brey after potential landing spot at USF doesn't work out for former Irish head coach

Tom Noie
South Bend Tribune
Mike Brey apparently won't be getting back into college coaching anytime soon.

One strange college basketball season for now former Notre Dame coach Mike Brey continued down that bizarre path Tuesday evening. 

It’s a road that won’t include Brey, the winningest coach in Notre Dame program history, taking over as the new coach at the University of South Florida next season after all. 

Coaching search:Who's in line to replace Mike Brey at Notre Dame? It might not be such a long list

According to published reports out of Florida on Monday, Brey was supposedly in line to succeed Brian Gregory, who was fired after six seasons. Brey had a standing relationship with USF athletic director Michael Kelly — both are from the Washington, D.C. area — and he reportedly had agreed to a three-year contract to coach the Bulls, who haven’t been to the NCAA Tournament since 2012 when they were members of the Big East. 

A press conference at USF was expected as soon as Wednesday — the day of Brey’s 64th birthday — to introduce him to Tampa. Make that Tampa Brey. 

Brey told ESPN’s Pete Thamel on Tuesday evening that he never was offered the USF coaching job. He said that he’d likely take this year off and explore possible avenues of working in television as a college basketball analyst. That remains an option.

Don't rule out Brey working in the NBA − specifically the Atlanta Hawks − in some capacity, be it administrative or as an assistant coach for new Hawks coach Quin Snyder. Brey has known Snyder since their days as assistant coaches at Duke.

Brey told some close to him as recently as last week that working in television — maybe for Fox and its coverage of the Big East — wasn’t all that appealing. Staying in college coaching was, and it was the USF job that made it so. 

Brey could not be reached for comment. One way or another, he was planning to relocate to Florida — and split his time between there and Washington — to be closer to his son, Kyle, and his wife and three grandchildren. 

Notre Dame, meanwhile, continues to work toward finding a replacement for the guy who spent 23 seasons in South Bend. Brey announced Jan. 20 that last season would be his last. 

Now, maybe it’s his last, for a long time. Maybe forever. 

Follow South Bend Tribune and NDInsider columnist Tom Noie on Twitter: @tnoieNDI. Contact: (574) 235-6153.