Muffet McGraw of Notre Dame is the 2012-13 Women’s National Coach of the Year according to the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. And Notre Dame guard Jewell Loyd is its Rookie of the Year.
McGraw, who last won the award in 2001, the year she led the Irish to the NCAA title, will be honoed on Sunday in the New Orleans Sports Arena in advance of the start of the NCAA Final Four.
The winner of the Ann Meyers Drysdale National Women’s Player of the Year will also be announced in New Orleans at that time while the Pat Summitt most courageous women’s honoree will also be cited with Summitt’s son Tyler, now an assistant women coach at Marquette, helping to make the presentation.
McGraw lost four key seniors (who accounted for 40 percent of the Irish’s scoring and rebounding) from a team that advanced to the NCAA national championship game for the second consecutive season. The Irish meet Connecticut this weekend for the third straight season, Notre Dame has already beaten the Huskies by a narrow margin in three previous meetings, including the Big East championship.
Notre Dame is 12-1 against ranked teams this season and 6-1 against the Top 10, including the three wins over UConn and a loss to Baylor.
McGraw was named the Big East Coach of the Year, her second such award since 2001 as her team went 16-0 through the Big East and won the conference tournament title.