SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Notre Dame coach Mike Brey is staying with the Irish, and his reasoning is pretty simple.
“This is my home,” he said Monday.
Brey was thought to be a candidate to replace Gary Williams at Maryland, given his strong ties to the area. He has been at Notre Dame for 11 years, but he was born in Bethesda, Md., and attended and played at DeMatha High School, where he was later an assistant coach.
The 52-year-old Brey, who won The Associated Press coach of the year award after leading the Irish to a 27-7 record this past season, said he never interviewed for the Maryland job and did not have a meeting to discuss it because he knew he wanted to stay in South Bend.
Maryland hired Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon on Monday night.
“There really wasn’t much to it, other than some speculation from down there and I understand that with a coaching search,” Brey said earlier in the day.
“I didn’t need to meet with anyone on this because I knew where my frame of mind was. I’m flattered that they would inquire, but that’s kind of where it ended.”
Williams retired last week, and Brey acknowledged his personal connection to Maryland.
“When you go to their basketball camps when you are 10 years old, and when you have grown up around Maryland basketball and Lefty Driesell, certainly it tugs at your heart,” he said.
“Maryland also holds a special place in my heart because half of my family and half of my wife’s family graduated from there. But I feel really good about the momentum of our program here at Notre Dame. I mean, we have worked 11 years to get into this position and get some momentum. I really like where our recruiting is and I am honored to have ND next to my name.”
Brey talked a day after Irish forward Carleton Scott announced he would stay in the NBA draft. Without Scott, the Irish will only have two returning starters – Tim Abromaitis and Scott Martin. Two others, Ben Hansbrough and Tyrone Nash, used up their eligibility.
Brey said Scott impressed during a workout Saturday in New Jersey with several other players, improving his draft status. Brey said he was told by one NBA official that Scott could be a middle-to-late second-round pick.
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