Homecoming: Former player Charel Allen joins Notre Dame women's basketball coaching staff

Anthony Anderson
NDI Correspondent

SOUTH BEND — Charel Allen is coming home — eventually.

The former Notre Dame women’s basketball standout has been hired as an Irish assistant coach, the school announced Wednesday afternoon.

Right now, the ND staff is in the midst of a busy recruiting period.

For her part, Allen’s already been sent on assignments to Richmond, Va., Shakopee, Minn., Orlando, Fla., and New Orleans.

“Charel brings a high-level mentality that leads to great player development,” Notre Dame head coach Niele Ivey said in a statement announcing Allen’s hire. “She possesses experience at every level — collegiately, professionally and internationally. She’s a rising star in this industry. She’s extremely passionate and loyal, and understands what it takes to excel as a student-athlete at Notre Dame.”

Notre Dame's Charel Allen, shown here in 2008, will rejoin the Irish women's basketball program as an assistant coach under Niele Ivey for the 2022-23 season.

“I’m extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity to work alongside such a powerful leader in Niele and her staff,” Allen said. “I can’t wait to get started.”

Allen spent the last five seasons as an assistant at Cal State Fullerton, joining the Titans the same offseason as head coach Jeff Harada. She added the title of associate head coach 14 months ago.

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Arriving at ND out of Monessen, Pa., in 2004, Allen went on to become a two-time All-Big East and two-time honorable mention All-American for the Irish to cap her final two seasons in 2007 and 2008.

Still 15th on Notre Dame’s career scoring list at 1,586 points, Allen also was the first player in program history to achieve the combination of 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 200 assists and 200 steals.

“A great hire!” Hall of Fame ex-Irish coach Muffet McGraw said of Allen in a tweet Wednesday. “I still remember Charel’s 35-point performance vs Oklahoma in ’08 for the win in OT to send us to the sweet 16. She’s an amazing talent and an even better person.”

Following her ND career, Allen played one season in the WNBA for the Sacramento Monarchs. She then embarked on a highly decorated eight-season playing career in Bulgaria, where she was a five-time Bulgarian League champion, four-time all-league first-team selection and the 2014 league player of the year.

As an assistant at Notre Dame, Allen joins Carol Owens and Michaela Mabrey on Ivey’s staff and fills the vacancy created when Coquese Washington was hired in late May as head coach at Rutgers.