She almost forgot to say it but she didn't. With the Associated Press Coach of the Year Trophy in her hand, Muffet McGraw was sure to not only thank her players and coaches but also her family---her husband Matt and her son Murphy, who were both standing in the back of the room as the Irish head coach received the honor Saturday at the Final Four.
It's the 2nd time McGraw has won the award, with the other coming the year the Irish won the national title in 2001.
"You can't imagine what it feels like for me to be coaching at Notre Dame, 11 wonderful women, the best staff in America, I'm definitely the luckiest person in the country," McGraw explains.
McGraw has guided her team to 30 straight victories and has the Fighting Irish back in the Final Four for a third straight season.
She was presented the award Saturday after receiving 24 votes from the 40-member national media panel that selects the weekly Top 25. The voting was done before the NCAA tournament.
McGraw becomes only the second coach to win it multiple times. Connecticut's Geno Auriemma is a seven-time winner.
No one is more proud than Matt and Murphy. Murph was 10 years old when his mom led Notre Dame to its only national championship in 2001. Now he's all grown up, an IU grad and working in business in Milwaukee. Because of work, Murphy wasn't able to attend any of the first four games of the NCAA Tournament but with this being the 3rd straight trip to the Final Four, he wasn't worried.
"It works out well, I don't have to cross my figures anymore," Murphy says with a laugh. "It's nice that I can take some time off and come out here and support her."
When asked about Murphy being in attendance, Muffet's smile lit up the room.
"So nice to have Murphy back," Muffet explains. "I remember the days when he paint his face and decide what angle to paint it in. It's great to have him here."
Murphy and Matt would like nothing more than to now see Muffet get her 2nd national title after two straight losses in the title game.
"It would be great," Matt said. "They are great kids, it would be wonderful for her and we'll carry her off the court."
Notre Dame and UConn meet Sunday night at 9pm in New Orleans.