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  1. #1

    Default ESPN: Muffet McGraw: The Stress Test

    http://www.espn.com/espnw/feature/26...spnw:ncw:index

    Good article on McGraw:

    The good news, or, depending on your perspective, bad news, is that this pregame paranoia is standard. McGraw has been this way since the first college game she coached at Lehigh 37 years ago. She used to escape by walking the mall on game days. Then she cleaned the house. Now she buries herself in a movie, book, puzzle or game.

    "When I think about how many game days I've had, that's 1,100 days of my life that I've spent in a cocoon of stress," McGraw says. "I could have been ... I don't know ... living."

    Instead, she has been winning. In December, McGraw won the 900th game of her career, against Lehigh no less. This March she's coaching Notre Dame in her 25th NCAA tournament and is two wins away from taking the Irish to their ninth Final Four, the third most of any active coach.

    In 2017, McGraw was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and in the wake of Tennessee coach Pat Summitt's death in 2016 has become the prominent, take-no-crap female voice in the game.
    No matter the puzzle the NCAA women's basketball selection committee spits out, you can typically count on one thing in the NCAA tournament: Notre Dame facing Connecticut. It has happened in six of the past eight tournaments, twice for the championship.

    The rivalry is one based on respect and fierce competitiveness. McGraw and Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma have known each other for more than 40 years. But given McGraw's competitiveness, directness and fight for female coaches, it's no surprise that she and the button-pushing Auriemma have traded barbs over the years.

    "I just think he likes to have somebody to bully," McGraw says. "It was Pat for a while. I don't back down from him. And he is always right. That's what he does. He's part of the old boys' network that is pretty strong. They get away with more from the officials, they can say things to the players that they would never take from a female coach. That's just the way it is."

    Before the 2014 national championship game, which both teams entered undefeated, Auriemma explained the tension in his relationship with McGraw is a byproduct of the women's game: "We're supposed to play each other, try to beat each other's brains in, try to win a national championship and compete like hell, Muffet and Geno. And then we're supposed to get together afterwards and go have a bottle of wine?" he said. "That s--- is just not going to happen."


  2. #2

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    I strongly dislike Geno and his arrogance. Go Muffet n Go Irish !

  3. #3

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    https://thinkprogress.org/this-top-w...-5f3b6d06609b/

    Another good article on Muffet: "Think Progress": Muffet McGraw is done hiring men.
    Muffet McGraw will never forget the first time she called a timeout.

    It was 1977. Her team, St. Joseph’s, was playing in a big tournament game. They’d just given up six unanswered points, the players were blowing assignments, missing shots, not even trying to grab rebounds. Something had to be done.

    So, McGraw — then Muffet O’Brien — got the referee’s attention and called for play to stop.

    The only problem? She was just a player at the time.

    Her coach was not impressed with his point guard’s initiative. “He was livid,” McGraw recalled, laughing hysterically as she thinks back to her coach’s exasperated reaction. “I was like, I thought we needed it!”
    Up until seven years ago, McGraw always had one male assistant on her staff. At the time, it felt obligatory: The AAU basketball ranks were filled with male coaches, and the scouting services were run by men. In order to have ready access to that network, McGraw figured that she’d better have a man on her staff.

    And for a time, she admits, she found the optics appealing. “I kind of liked the idea that a woman was in charge,” McGraw said. “My team could see that like, I’m the boss. Yeah, he’s working for me.”

    But in 2012, when her former assistant coach Jonathan Tsipis departed Notre Dame to become the head coach at George Washington, Beth Morgan Cunningham — a former Notre Dame superstar who had spent the past nine years as the head coach at Virginia Commonwealth University — gave her a call.

    Cunningham began the conversation with a caveat: “Look, I know you always like having a guy on your staff, but … ”

    McGraw wasn’t a hard sell. She instantly realized Cunningham would be a perfect fit for her coaching staff. Cunningham was experienced, possessed institutional knowledge, and had the even-keeled temperament needed to balance out McGraw’s intensity.

    “At that point I said, ‘Why didn’t I do this before? What took me so long?’” McGraw said.
    McGraw is not the only coach to find success with all-female staffs. Leading the way is Tara VanDerveer, the head coach of the No. 2-seeded Stanford Cardinal. She has never had a man on her coaching staff since she was hired back in 1985.

    She tells ThinkProgress that it’s no accident. “I actually think that all basketball staffs, male and female, would benefit from having both men and women on them, but because we’re not included in men’s basketball, I feel a responsibility to help develop women in women’s basketball,” VanDerveer said.

  4. #4

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    We are seeing a very small number of women in the NBA but nothing close to the number of men coaching women's teams. I agree with Tara and Muffet's approach and hope programs continue to hire qualified women's coaches.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by GringaGopher View Post
    We are seeing a very small number of women in the NBA but nothing close to the number of men coaching women's teams. I agree with Tara and Muffet's approach and hope programs continue to hire qualified women's coaches.
    Agreed, I'm a dude and because of the imbalance of coaches and lack of equity in pay, to me it is important in women's basketball that more women head coaches and assistants are needed. The Lynx coach Reeves is right about this to, need more women head coaches in the women's game.

    Sent from my SM-J327P using Tapatalk
    Last edited by gopherdudepart2; 04-04-2019 at 08:09 PM.

  6. #6

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    Muffet is doing the jig ! Irish eyes are smiling.

  7. #7

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    Although I was cheering for Notre Dame against UConn, I'm going to rip Muffet a bit. If she doesn't want to give in-game interviews, she should just refuse to do them instead of making an a** of herself. That's the second game in a row where she's done that and it's embarrassing. (Here counterpart Geno was gracious in his interview.) Can't believe how slim, trim, and mobile Shepherd is. She's really playing well, Interesting to note her comment that she attributes her weight loss in part to motivation from the Lynx Cheryl Reeve.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by gopherdudepart2 View Post
    Agreed, I'm a dude and because of the imbalance of coaches and lack of equity in pay, to me it is important in women's basketball that more women head coaches and assistants are needed. The Lynx coach Reeves is right about this to, need more women head coaches in the women's game.

    Sent from my SM-J327P using Tapatalk
    I think Muffet’s point is basically sound, and I agree with her and Tara’s radical stance - while at the same time lamenting that it’s necessary to take such a stance to “get things done.”

    Basically, after Title IX no men wanted those coaching jobs, but then after male coaches saw that it was a respectable career move, they started grabbing WBB jobs in droves, to the detriment of qualified women who wanted some of those coaching positions. Relative to that issue, I’m glad we hired Lindsay - even though the motivation was that she was the best candidate, nothing to do with Muffet’s point.

    Cheryl tends to have one female and one male assistant. The latter took a head coaching job this year, and I just met his (male) replacement (at a marketing pep talk to sell me my season ticket).

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