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Notre Dame Basketball

Potential Notre Dame Candidates to Replace Mike Brey

January 20, 2023

Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey will retire following the 2022-23 season and the Fighting Irish will search for a new head man for the first time in 23 years. 

Jack Swarbrick will have the opportunity to interview candidates familiar with the program, but it’s also Notre Dame, so the coaching search will also be national. 

Despite the failures of the last few years, Brey is the all-time winningest head coach at Notre Dame and the job of replacing him won’t be easy as the university hasn't been in this position recently. 

Notre Dame does have perhaps the nation’s nicest practice facility and the Irish are still in the ACC, which makes it more than enticing even if the program needs built from the ground up. 

Potential Candidates (no order)

Martin Inglesby - Delaware Head Coach
Inglesby has to be on the list as he’s one of the few that not only understands Notre Dame, but how to win in South Bend. The former Notre Dame point guard was an assistant coach for his alma mater from 2009 to 2016 after spending six years as the Coordinator of Basketball Operations for the Irish. 

The Pennsylvania native has been the head coach at Delaware for the last seven years and has tallied a record of 106-94. Delaware has finished with two 20-win seasons under his guidance, including making the NCAA Tournament last season. 

Anthony Solomon - Notre Dame Associate Head Coach
There are few coaches with the reputation of Solomon in the college basketball world. Solomon has spent 35 years coaching college hoops and has been part of Notre Dame’s best teams under Brey. Notre Dame has made the Big Dance 10 times with Solomon on staff and that includes both runs to the Elite Eight. Solomon was on staff for Notre Dame’s legendary 2015 run where the Irish won the ACC Tournament by beating Duke and North Carolina in a 24-hour period. 

Solomon played point guard for Virginia and has had coaching stops at Delaware, Bowling Green, Manhattan, Richmond, Virginia, Clemson, Dayton (associate head coach) and Georgetown as an assistant. He was the head coach at St. Bonaventure from 2003-2007. It has been 20 years since his last head coaching job, but Solomon has grown and created winning environments at Dayton and Notre Dame. In fact, the 2019-20 Dayton team went 29-2 (18-0 in conference play) with the national player and head coach of the year and was set to be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament before the COVID pandemic hit. 

Solomon’s experience in South Bend is priceless as he knows how to win, but perhaps most importantly, he understands how to recruit for Notre Dame in today’s NIL and Transfer Portal climate. Development and passion for young people is important and Solomon checks those boxes as well. 

Monty Williams - Phoenix Suns Head Coach 
is it a long shot? Absolutely. The NBA life is much easier and Williams just agreed to a contract extension in July. The Suns are just 21-24 this season, but would that be enough to convince Williams to come to the college game and save his alma mater? 

He’s elite and a Notre Dame alum, so you have to at least make the call. 

Chris Quinn - Miami Heat Assistant Coach 
This season will mark Quinn’s ninth year as an assistant for the Heat, which makes him Erik Spoelstra’s longest-tenured assistant. Quinn, a graduate of Notre Dame, was a three-year starter and an All-Big East First Team selection as a senior. 

Quinn grew up in Ohio, so could he want to come back to Midwest and coach his alma mater? It seems like another long shot as a few sources feel he’s in line to become a head coach in the NBA sooner than later. 

That said, Notre Dame’s program has been built on development and Quinn specializes in developing young players. Quinn was doubled as an assistant coach and the Heat’s Director of Player Development from 2016-20. 

Sean Sweeney - Dallas Mavericks Assistant Coach
Never heard of Sweeney? That’s OK. Sweeney has been with the Mavericks since 2021 after stop with the Pistons, Bucks and Nets as an assistant. 

So how does he make this list? Sweeney is a South Bend resident in the offseason and a Notre Dame football season ticket holder. Marcus Freeman and Sweeney are friends and the Notre Dame football coach visited the Mavs prior to a Western Conference FInals game last spring. 

The downside is Sweeney has never been a head coach, but NBA experience is priceless and an easy sell on the recruiting trail. 

Pat Kelsey - Charleston Head Coach 
At 47 years old, Kelsey is younger and is looking to make the jump to big-time college basketball. Kelsey grew up in Cincinnati and was the associate head coach at Xavier from 2009-2012 before taking the head job at Winthrop in 2012 where he went 186-95 in nine seasons, which included two NCAA Tournament appearances. The College of Charleston hired Kelsey in 2021 and he’s been impressive. In year one, the Cougars finished 17-15, but so far this season, Kelsey’s team is 20-1 with a perfect 8-0 conference record. 

Overall, Kelsey boasts a career head coaching record of 223-111 and six 20-win seasons. 

Micah Shrewsberry - Penn State Head Coach 
Over the last few offseasons, Shrewsberry’s name has come up when talking to sources about Brey’s future. Shrewsberry is not a stranger to Indiana as he’s made stops at Wabash, DePauw, IU South Bend, Butler and Purdue. In fact, Shrewsberry was Brad Stevens’ right-hand man at Butler and then for the Boston Celtics from 2013-2019. 

Shrewsberry is in the middle of his second year as the head man at Penn State and has a career record of 26-23. He also runs a system similar to Brey’s that’s guard-heavy. 

Steve Pikiell - Rutgers Head Coach 
Pikiell is in the middle of his seventh year as the head man at Rutgers and has made the NCAA Tournament twice with the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers basketball is entertaining and the opposite of recent Notre Dame teams as there is athleticism all over the floor. 

Recruiting is important everywhere, but perhaps a little more at Notre Dame. The Irish need an uptick in recruiting and Pikiell would provide just that. 

Pikiell holds a career record of 308-271 as a head coach at Rutgers, Stony Brook (2005-16) and Wesleyan. 

Rick Pitino - Iona College Head Coach 
And for the folks who bring up Urban Meyer in every football coaching search - Pitino has his baggage and is 70 years old, but if Notre Dame wants to win now, it’s the bold move Swarbrick can make. The last three seasons at Iona have been quiet for Pitino off the court, but he’s made noise on the court. The Gaels made the NCAA Tournament in 2020-21 in his first season as head coach and went 25-8 in year two. Pitino currently has Iona 12-6 this season. 

Pitino’s career record: 696-288. He also knows the ACC and attendance at Purcell Pavilion would quickly rise. 

Other notable names: 
Darian DeVries - Drake Head Coach (106-43) 
Porter Moser - Oklahoma Head Coach (323-265) 
Dusty May - Florida Atlantic Head Coach (81-57) 
John Beilein - Detroit Pistons Senior Advisor (754-425) 

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