National reaction to McGraw's retirement

Associated Press
ND Insider

Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw retired after 33 seasons Wednesday.

Following is some of the reaction across college basketball:

• “She pushed me and pulled things out of me I didn’t know I had. What she did for me in those four years, I came in as a girl and left as a woman."

WNBA player Kayla McBride, who played for Notre Dame from 2010-14.

• “It was a real surprise when I found out Muffet was retiring, as I’m sure it was to a lot of people. She leaves behind a great legacy of coaching, winning and competing that translated into a Hall of Fame career. We’re going to miss the competition and we’re going to miss the impact she had on our game. Congratulations to Muffet on a tremendous career. We had some memorable moments that will live forever in the history of women’s basketball.

UConn coach Geno Auriemma said.

• “I have much respect for her as a wife, mother and a coach. She is a Hall of Fame coach who has achieved it all in her career."

Baylor coach Kim Mulkey, whose team beat the Fighting Irish in the 2019 national championship game.

• “Muffet is a pioneer, a trailblazer, a fierce competitor, a champion, a leader and an advocate for women’s empowerment and equality. Her sustained success over decades has etched an incredible legacy in the archives of sport. It has elevated Notre Dame to one of the elite programs in the country, and I will forever be grateful for the privilege to have played for her."

Retired WNBA champion Ruth Riley, who made the game-winning free throws for Notre Dame in the 2001 national title game.

• “The relationships and the impact (McGraw and the assistant coaches) had on my life made me want to be able to give that to other people someday.”

WNBA player Natalie Achonwa, who played for Notre Dame from 2010-14.

• “I’ve learned so much from her. She empowers women and empowers us to use our platforms for good.”

WNBA player Arike Ogunbowale, who was part of Notre Dame’s 2018 national championship.

• “Muffet has meant so much to our game for as long as I can remember. As a woman, a mom, a leader, and a national champion, she was someone so many could look up to. ... She cemented her legacy with how much she always gave back to the game and wanted more opportunities for young coaches to get into it.”

North Carolina coach Courtney Banghart said.

• “Coach McGraw is a giant in the game of women’s basketball. She has coached and mentored thousands of young basketball players throughout her career, including me at Lehigh University. She also developed many elite players who have gone on to become transcendent stars in the WNBA and impacted countless players and people around the world through her empowering messages. I look forward to seeing the impact Muffet will continue to have as she embarks on her next chapter.”

WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert, who played for McGraw at Lehigh.

Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma and Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw shake hands before a Dec. 2, 2018 game in South Bend.