Notes: Notre Dame's Muffet McGraw honored with Pat Summitt Award; Thursday game postponed

Tribune Staff Report
Former Notre Dame women's basketball head coach Muffet McGraw, right, celebrates with current women's basketball head coach Niele Ivey after an NCAA college basketball game against Connecticut on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Michael Caterina)

SOUTH BEND — Former Notre Dame women's basketball coach Muffet McGraw has earned another lifetime achievement honor as the NCAA announced she is the recipient of the 2023 Pat Summitt Award, which spotlights an individual who has greatly contributed to the development of collegiate athletes, making a positive impact on their lives.

McGraw was chose by NCAA President Mark Emmert and will receive the award at the NCAA Convention in San Antonio in January 2023.

"Congratulations to Muffet McGraw for this incredible honor and special recognition,”said current head women's basketball coach Niele Ivey, McGraw's successor. “The impact that Coach has made on our university and women’s college basketball is both immense and inspiring.

“Pat Summitt was a pioneer and trailblazer with her stamp on all of athletics, and she will always be the standard for coaches to follow.”

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In addition to McGraw’s award, Emmert chose Jim Nantz, the legendary voice of March Madness, for the Gerald R. Ford Award. The honor recognizes a figure who has proven to be an advocate for college athletics over the course of their career. 

McGraw, who retired from Notre Dame in 2020, posted an 848-252 record over 33 seasons in South Bend. She led the Irish to nine Final Fours, seven national championship appearances and two national titles in 2001 and 2018. She is one of just six Division I women’s basketball coaches to win multiple national titles and one of five coaches — male or female — with more than 930 wins, nine Final Fours and multiple championships. 

Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw celebrates after defeating Mississippi State in the final of the women's NCAA Final Four college basketball tournament, Sunday, April 1, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. Notre Dame won 61-58. Notre Dame won 61-58. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

McGraw’s teams made 26 appearances in the NCAA Tournament, including 24 consecutive trips, which was the fifth longest streak in NCAA women’s basketball tournament history. Her 67 tournament victories rank fourth all-time. 

“I am humbled to receive an award with Pat Summitt’s name on it,” McGraw said. “She was the voice of women’s basketball and a role model for coaches of all sports. I am glad that we are keeping her legendary career in our hearts and minds through this prestigious award.”

The award was established in 2017, and previous winners include Herb Magee, Nancy Stevens, David Williams II, Percy Bates, Julie Soriero and Joan Cronan. The winner receives a $10,000 honorarium to donate to an organization that combats or researches neurological diseases.

The 2023 NCAA Convention is scheduled for Jan. 11-14 in San Antonio. McGraw and Nantz will be presented their awards during the NCAA Saluting Excellence Luncheon at 11:30 Central time Friday, Jan. 13. The Convention also includes the presentation of NCAA Honors Celebration awards on Wednesday, Jan. 11, and, for the first time, the NCAA Woman of the Year on Thursday, Jan. 12.

Thursday's game with Lafayette postponed

On Tuesday Notre Dame announced Thursday's game at Lafayette in Easton, Pa., has been postponed due to "health and safety protocols," within the Lafayette program. The game was scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday at the Kirby Sports Center.

Both schools are looking at possible dates to reschedule. Notre Dame's Saturday home game with Merrimack is still on.

Notre Dame guard Olivia Miles is ACC player of the week

For the second time in her career, Notre Dame point guard Olivia Miles has been named the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Week. 

Notre Dame's Olivia Miles celebrates as she walks off the court after an NCAA college basketball game against Connecticut on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Michael Caterina)

Miles, who was a preseason All-ACC selection, helped the Irish (7-1) to a 1-1 week, including a 74-60 victory over third-ranked UConn. The 5-10 New Jersey native posted 21 points, eight rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block in the top-five win. She scored Notre Dame's first seven points, and she had 13 by the end of the first 10 minutes.

It was the second time this year she has hit the 20-plus mark and the third time in eight games that she has been Notre Dame’s leading scorer. 

The Irish fell to then-No. 20 Maryland at the buzzer on Thursday, but Miles was a constant presence. She had a team-leading seven assists in addition to 14 points and four rebounds. 

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Between the two games, Miles went 16-of-27 from the floor (.593) and averaged 17.5 points against two ranked foes. 

Miles is averaging 16.4 points, 7.1 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game through eight contests.

Dallas Wings guard and ND alum Arike Ogunbowale is a Forbes 30-under-30

Former Notre Dame national champion and current Dallas Wings guard Arike Ogunbowale was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30: Sports List. 

“Arike Ogunbowale hit two of college basketball’s most iconic shots ever while at Notre Dame in 2018 and has gone on to become a WNBA scoring champion in 2020, and a two-time All-Star,” Forbes.com reads. “She is a founding member of LeBron James’ ‘More Than a Vote’ initiative and is an investor in media startup Just Women’s Sports.”

Notre Dame’s Marina Mabrey (3), Arike Ogunbowale (24) and Kathryn Westbeld (33) celebrate after winning the Notre Dame vs. Mississippi State NCAA Women’s Tournament National Championship game Sunday, April 1, inside Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Tribune Photo/MICHAEL CATERINA)

Since being chosen as the No. 5 overall pick in the 2019 WNBA draft, Ogunbowale has played in 117 games for the Wings. Over four seasons, the 5-8 guard has posted 19.8 points per game and has a lifetime 35.5 percent 3-point mark. Her 19.7 points per contest in 2022 were tied for the third-best mark in the league with former Irish All-American and Phoenix Mercury guard Skylar Diggins-Smith. 

Off the court, as the Forbes anecdote mentions, Ogunbowale helped start “More Than A Vote.” The organization encourages African Americans across the country to register to vote and cast a ballot on Election Day. 

Just Women’s Sports is a hub for all things women’s athletics, including both professional and collegiate sports with primary focuses on the NWSL, WNBA and NCAA basketball.

While in South Bend, Ogunbowale made the two legendary three-pointers against UConn in the 2018 Final Four and Mississippi State in the 2018 National Championship. She was named the tournament’s MVP that season and was the ACC Athlete of the Year.


  • Who: Merrimack College (1-6) at Notre Dame, Saturday
  • When: Saturday at noon.
  • Where: Purcell Pavilion, South Bend, Ind.
  • Radio: WQLQ (99.1 FM)
  • Tickets: Available