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‘Jeff is Like a Son to Me’ – Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey Prepares for Final Home Game Against Pitt



Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey takes the floor in South Bend for the final time in Irish colors Wednesday night against the Panthers (21-8, 14-4 ACC). 

Brey is in his 23rd and final season as head coach of the Irish (10-19, 2-16) and is stepping away from the program following the end of the year.

Pitt sits atop the ACC standings while Notre Dame places 14th after making the NCAA Tournament last season, winning first-four and first-round games. The Panthers are 10-18 against the Irish since Brey was hired including games in the Big East and ACC.

“I’m excited about it. The people coming back, I think we have 30 of our former players coming back.” Brey said Monday. “I’m trying not to concentrate on how good Pittsburgh is and that they could be the regular season champion. They have the ACC Coach of the Year in Jeff, in my opinion. They are really good.”

He ranks sixth among DI coaches in wins at their current school (472) and is the winningest head coach in Notre Dame history following being appointed head coach on July 14, 2000. Brey holds a special place in his heart for Pitt head coach Jeff Capel on and off the court. 

“Jeff is like a son to me,” Brey said. “I coached him and watched him grow. I know his father is darn proud of him, looking down. He deserves it.”

Brey mentioned having a HORSE shooting rematch with Capel before the game and how happy he if for Capel turning the Panthers around in year five. 

“We should do that pregame,” Brey said. “I still get in his head with some of those bank free throws or left-handed stuff.

“I’m so proud of Jeff Capel. He had to have a big year and he has. He’s the ACC Coach of the Year. I think it’s brilliant how he’s reinvented his team. We have one heck of a challenge on Wednesday night.” 

Regardless of the outcome, Brey is excited for his emotional night… no matter what. 

“I made my mind up yesterday I’m going to enjoy it. Win, lose, or draw,” Brey said.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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