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Friday, March 1, 2024
The Observer

Fr. Pete discusses leadership, life with assistant basketball coach Ryan Humphrey

Wednesday night, Fr. Pete McCormick, director of Campus Ministry, hosted his third “Fr. Pete and Friends” talk of the semester in Duncan Student Center. Ryan Humphrey, men’s basketball assistant coach, was the guest speaker at the event.

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Fr. Pete McCormick sat down Tuesday night with men's basketball assistant coach Ryan Humphrey. The Talk was the the third installment of McCormick’s “Fr. Pete and Friends” talks which took place this semester.


McCormick began by asking Humphrey questions about his personal basketball career as a player at Notre Dame, in the National Basketball Association and overseas. Humphrey said playing overseas in thirteen different countries pushed him out of his comfort zone and made him appreciate all that he had when he came back home. Humphrey went on to discuss the role of faith in his life and as a coach.

Being a coach is his type of ministry, as it allows him to give back to young men, Humphrey said. 

“Everything that I go through is for a reason,” Humphrey said. “My faith … keeps me humble. When you think about it, we’re a small piece of the whole puzzle.”

Next, McCormick asked how Humphrey decided to go into coaching. Humphrey explained how he didn’t know what he wanted to do after his playing career. He said he likes sharing his story to give strength to those who do not know what they want to do with their lives. “It’s okay not to know, it’s okay to be scared, and it’s okay to fail,” Humphrey said.

McCormick and Humphrey continued their discussion on the topics of mentorship and Notre Dame basketball today.

At the end of the conversation the audience was given the opportunity to ask questions. Humphrey was asked how he fosters a team-focused mentality, to which he responded that he tells his players he loves them. 

“Once you spend time with people, and you see them through the ups and downs and they know it’s genuine, I think that’s the most important thing,” Humphrey said.

The first “Fr. Pete and Friends” talk, held in February, hosted Fr. Kevin Grove, C.S.C., who reflected on why faith matters. The second talk featured Steve Camilleri, executive director of South Bend Center for the Homeless, who spoke on friendship. 

Fr. Pete serves as the chaplain of the men’s basketball team. Men’s basketball coach Mike Brey was initially scheduled to talk, but McCormick said Brey had to cancel yesterday due to scheduling conflicts.

“I'm really grateful to coach Humphrey because he was like, ‘Yeah, absolutely I'll jump in,’” McCormick said. 

Humphrey said he has gotten to know McCormick well from traveling with him for games and was happy to help him out. Humphrey also mentioned he hoped to give back to Notre Dame students through the talk because twenty years ago, he was sitting in the students’ seats. 

“I think that the students here at Notre Dame are the leaders of the future,” Humphrey said.

McCormick said every student who comes to Notre Dame has been a leader or desires to lead in some way, shape or form. He said it is important to hear from a variety of backgrounds on important topics. 

“Faith, friendship, leadership — these are elements of our lives that … we're going to encounter in some way,” McCormick said.