ESPN’s Andy Katz reported on Tuesday that Mike Brey would be interested in the head coaching vacancy Virginia.
With expectations sky high for Notre Dame this year, the heat could be turning up on Brey this off-season. Brey has Notre Dame in the NIT Final 4 in year when the actual Final 4 was supposed to be a real possibility so his stock probably won’t be too high right now for openings, but with openings at Arizona and most likely Kentucky, there might not be many top tier coaches available for schools like Virginia to target.
Would an opening at a school like UVA interest Brey? On the surface, it would seem like to make sense. He’d move from the Big East which is by far the toughest conference in college basketball to the much weaker ACC where his style of coaching would be a good fit. With the $32 million rennovation to the Joyce Center and improved facilities coming at Notre Dame, would Brey really be interested in walking away after spending the last 9 years building the program up to where it is?
Complicating matters here is how much heat will really be on Brey this off-season? Notre Dame was not expected to be anywhere near the NIT this year. After last year’s tournament concluded, many felt that Notre Dame would be a 2 or 3 seed in this year’s tourney. Instead the Irish missed out on the Big Dance all together despite having a Player of the Year candidate in Luke Harangody and one of the best shooters in college basketball in Kyle McAlarney. Will this season’s implosion result in pressure from the admin on Brey? Or has he built up enough good will over his 9 seasons at Notre Dame to avoid that?
The last time Notre Dame was in the Final 4 of the NIT came in Matt Doherty’s only season in South Bend. Doherty bolted for North Carolina that off-season. Could a return trip to the NIT Final 4 result in Doherty’s replacement bolting for an opening as well?