GLENDALE, Ariz. - Muffet McGraw, who played basketball at St. Joseph's and began her college coaching career as an assistant there, is part of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame's Class of 2017, the Hall announced Saturday.
McGraw has coached 30 seasons at Notre Dame, leading the Fighting Irish to seven Final Four appearances and the national championship in 2001. She is one of only four Division I coaches with at least 800 career wins.
"It was a very emotional moment," McGraw said of receiving the news from the Hall of Fame. "I was home waiting for the call, and when it came in I was priming myself for disappointment. It had been a very disappointing week for us. So when he said, 'You're in,' I was overcome. I wanted to weep."
Notre Dame reached the Elite Eight of the women's NCAA tournament before being eliminated last week by Stanford. The Irish finished the season with a 33-4 record, boosting McGraw's overall career record as a head coach to 853-267. She began coaching at Archbishop Carroll High School in Radnor, then continued as an assistant at St. Joe's before beginning her first head coaching stint with a five-year run at Lehigh in 1982.
"Life is an amazing journey, and there are so many people along the way that have helped me in so many ways. And it's a great time to reflect back on all of them," McGraw said. "I think about my dad, who passed away a few years ago, who was probably my biggest fan. And my mom, who is 92. And I'm hoping she will be there in September [for the Hall of Fame induction in Springfield, Mass.]. But for me, my husband has been with me through every single step of my journey, and he's the one that I'm most excited to share this with."
McGraw, 61, nee Ann O'Brien, a native of Pottsville, attended Bishop Shanahan High School in West Chester. She and her husband, Matt McGraw, a West Chester University graduate whose career has been in financial services, will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary later this year.
The others members of the Class of 2017 slated for induction in September are Robert Hughes, the winningest high school coach of all time; Tracy McGrady, seven-time NBA all-star; Bill Self, two-time AP college coach of the year; Rebecca Lobo, women's national champion and Olympic gold medalist; Mannie Jackson, former player and CEO of the Harlem Globetrotters; Tom Jernstedt, a former NCAA administrator credited with creating the format of the current tournament; Jerry Krause, best known as general manager of the Chicago Bulls during the Michael Jordan years; Zack Clayton, a Philadelphia native, member of the Philadelphia Basketball Hall of Fame, and one of the greats of the African American professional era; Nick Galis, a Seton Hall graduate considered the best player in Greek basketball history; and, from the veterans committee, George McGinnis, a six-time all-star in the ABA and NBA and a former member of the 76ers.