SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Notre Dame women's basketball associate head coach Niele Ivey is headed to the NBA to join the Memphis Grizzlies' coaching staff.
This past weekend, 16 News Now's Megan Smedley sat down with Ivey before she begins her new chapter.
Ivey reflects on her entire career here in South Bend.
Q: Congratulations on accepting the position as the assistant coach for the Memphis Grizzlies! now. Now that the smoke has died down a bit, what are you feeling about it all?
A; I'm super excited. It’s starting to get very, very real because I'm leaving on Monday. Just the opportunity is incredible. So you know, be the first female assistant coach in Memphis and the ninth overall. So it's just, I'm so honored. Just really excited to get to know the guys and to meet the entire staff and get it to work.
Q: What made now be the time for you to branch out and to leave Notre Dame? What made
right now so special for this?
A: Well, a lot of things lined up, aligned for me with my son with his school. You know, I've been at Notre Dame for 12 years. And I had great advice from Coach McGraw. I mean, she was the
first person I told and we had a really deep conversation and sit down and kind of just talking about my career and this opportunity. So when I received her blessing, that's when I started to, to really think about it. But I just feel like it's I've been in my comfort zone a little bit here being a Notre Dame and I was just looking for the opportunity to grow a little
Q: But once you did make that decision, What was that like to tell her?
A: Well, initially, it was really exciting. When I first told her, we both kind of like screamed. We were like, Oh my gosh! Coach McGraw is my mentor, my boss, but also my friend. And so just knowing through this whole process, even being as a coach and a player under her leadership, it's, it's she's all about empowering women. So I knew that this opportunity would be very, very big the magnitude of just the opportunity for a for a woman to to be in the NBA. So she we were both extremely excited.
Q: And Muffet talked about that the hiring speaks to your expertise as a coach, How has been with Muffet over more than 15 years from your playing experience, your coaching experience really prepared you for this position?
A: Absolutely. I mean, I've learned so much. I mean, her being a Hall of Fame coach, Every, every day, just watching the way that she works, Being a part of so many Final Fours as a player, You know, I tried to be a sponge as much as I could just being here being here being under her leadership and learning so much, you know, we meet a lot. And during
those meetings, she's allowed me to have a lot of autonomy and a lot of different areas. So she gave me a lot of responsibilities right from the beginning.