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Sunday, June 23, 2024
The Observer

Niele Ivey to join Memphis Grizzlies as assistant coach

Notre Dame women’s basketball associate head coach and recruiting coordinator Niele Ivey is leaving the Irish to join the Memphis Grizzlies as an assistant coach. With her appointment, Ivey becomes the ninth active female coach in the NBA and the third female coach hired this offseason. Ivey expressed her gratitude for her time as a part of the Notre Dame family.

“There is no other place that has impacted me more as a player, coach and person than Notre Dame,” Ivey said in a tweet Monday afternoon. “I’ve gained friendships and relationships that will last a lifetime.”

Observer File Photo
Former Irish assistant coach Niele Ivey, center, sits alongside head coach Muffet McGraw during Notre Dame's 89-76 win over Georgia Tech on January of 2015 at Purcell Pavilion.

Hailing from St. Louis, Ivey played for the Irish from 1996-2001, being awarded a fifth year of eligibility due to a season-ending knee injury in her freshman campaign. She led the team in steals over her final four seasons and assists over her final three seasons, with her collegiate career culminating in leading the Irish to their program-first national championship in 2001 and Ivey herself being named a third-team AP All-American.

Ivey was selected 17th overall in the 2001 WNBA draft with the Indiana Fever, also playing with the Detroit Shock and the Phoenix Mercury during her professional career. After five seasons in the league and two seasons as an administrative assistant at Xavier University, she returned to Notre Dame as an assistant coach in 2007, promoted to recruiting coordinator in 2012 and again to associate coach in 2015. She was a member of all nine of Notre Dame’s Final Four appearances, taking the court in two as a player and coaching from the sideline in seven others.

She helped recruit and develop some of the programs most elite players, including All-Americans Skylar Diggins, Jewell Loyd, Lindsay Allen and Arike Ogunbowale.

As a player and coach, Ivey helped the Irish to a combined 385-55 record. According to the statement she released, she was especially thankful to Irish head coach Muffet McGraw for the opportunities she provided her.

“The biggest impact that I’ve had is from the relationship I have with Coach McGraw,” Ivey continued in her tweet. “I’m so grateful for Coach McGraw. She has been so much more than just a coach, mentor and boss. She believed in me and gave me my first opportunity at Notre Dame and I am forever grateful. I stand tall, confident and ready because of the tools she has instilled in me.”

Ivey’s appointment was announced along with fellow Memphis assistants Brad Jones, David McClure, Vitaly Potapenko, Neven Spahija and James “Scoonie” Penn. She will join them under first-year head coach Taylor Jenkins.