FORT WAYNE – Notre Dame mens basketball coach Mike Brey has had plenty of success in 12 years with the program.
And the Irish and coach are expecting even more success over the next decade.
Notre Dame announced Tuesday that Brey, 53, signed a 10-year extension, which will keep him with the Irish through the 2021-22 season.
I think it makes you more fearless as a coach, Brey said of the extension during a news conference. You know our profession is not the most secure. When you know you have that kind of support, I think you want to go for it even more. Its an honor.
New Haven forward V.J. Beachem, who will join Notre Dame next season, said he is happy the Irish coach will be with the program for a long time.
Its a great sense of security knowing hes locked in for 10 years, not only for me, but for the guys coming after me, Beachem said. Its a great feeling. I know he feels even better about it.
Brey breathed life into a program that missed the NCAA tournament 10 straight years before he arrived in 2000. Brey is 260-132 overall and 133-89 in Big East regular-season and tournament games. He has been named Big East coach of the year three times and was the 2011 national coach of the year.
Brey has led the Irish to eight NCAA tournament appearances, but Notre Dame has not reached the Sweet 16 since 2003.
Athletic director Jack Swarbrick said he believes Brey can lead the Irish to a national title.
We are in business to win NCAA championships, Swarbrick said. If I didnt think Mike would win an NCAA championship in basketball, we wouldnt be sitting here today. I believe he can. I believe this program can.
The Irish return all of their starters from last seasons 22-12 team that reached the NCAA tournament despite losing All-Big East preseason selection Tim Abromaitis to a knee injury. And they will add center Garrick Sherman, who sat out last season after transferring from Michigan State, and freshmen Cameron Biedscheid and Zach Auguste as well as Austin Burgett, which has Brey envisioning a Final Four run.
In the last six years, where were at and how were recruiting and how its coming together, and what our guys are talking about, thats something that is realistic, Brey said. Those big dreams you want to dream, theyre worth dreaming now. As Jack said, they ground work is laid. Weve got to do a better job of figuring out how to get us there in March.