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Men’s Basketball: Brey named Big East Coach of the Year

Chris Hine | Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Irish coach Mike Brey earned Big East Coach of the Year honors for the 2006-07 season Tuesday. Brey becomes the second Notre Dame coach after John MacLeod in 1997 to win the award.

Under Brey, the Irish are 125-62 overall (60-36 Big East) and have made the NCAA Tournament three times (2001, 2002, 2003), reaching the Sweet 16 in ’03.

This season, the Irish won 11 games in conference play for the first time since 2001 and won all 18 of their contests inside the Joyce Center.

“There’s no better coach day to day that’s into it with his players on and off the court,” Notre Dame guard Colin Falls said. “He just understands 18 to 21-year-old kids and that’s probably his greatest strength.”

The Irish were projected to finish 11th in the Big East coming into this year, and their chances of a strong finish seemed to diminish when the university suspended sophomore guard Kyle McAlarney in December.

But under Brey’s leadership, Notre Dame finished fourth and earned a bye in the first round of the Big East tournament.

The Irish tip off Thursday at 2 p.m. against either Syracuse or Connecticut in the second round of the Big East tournament.

The Notre Dame game will be televised on ESPN.