January 29, 2023

Byte Class Technology

Byte Class Technology & Sports Update

Notre Dame coaching candidates: Chris Holtmann, Greg McDermott among possible targets to replace Mike Brey

Notre Dame announced on Thursday that longtime basketball coach Mike Brey, who has been with the program since 2000 and amassed 481 wins as the Irish head coach, will step down at the end of the 2022-23 season. The decision leaves a gaping hole at a position that will draw significant interest from the mid-major ranks and even to sitting high-major head coaches given Notre Dame’s resources and standing in the ACC’s hierarchy. 

Athletic director Jack Swarbrick will likely leave no stone unturned as he looks to replace another head coach for the second time in three years after football coach Brian Kelly bolted for LSU last offseason, and he has a big brand in a major conference to pitch to potential candidates. However, which direction he will take to land his next man and the level at which the university is willing to invest remain unclear. Sources expressed to CBS Sports some skepticism that the university would be willing to dig deep in its pockets to land a sitting head coach at the power conference level. Doing so would likely require shelling out for a buyout, and competitive pay to move the needle may tip past the $4 million mark annually.

So who ultimately becomes the next head coach boils down to myriad factors that for now remain unclear. Therefore, the pool of candidates from which Notre Dame may be searching is a wide one.

We’ve pooled together a list of six names who we think Notre Dame could and should target at this point with the caveat that, for now, this is as much a wish list for Irish fans as a true candidate list. As the season wears on and if more intel rolls in, our list will be updated.

1. Chris Holtmann, Ohio State head coach 

If Notre Dame is going to target a big name from the high-major ranks in the realm of realistic, Holtmann would have to be at or near the very top of the wish list. He was 70-31 in three seasons at Butler and is 117-64 in five-plus seasons at Ohio State with 20-plus wins in each of his campaigns. His compensation is reportedly about 30th in the country, which is a pretty nice discount for the Buckeyes with a coach whose credentials suggest he’s closer to a top-15 coach in America. Getting Holtmann may require a substantial pony-up on the salary front but his buyout is only $2.5 million.

2. Chris Quinn, Miami Heat assistant

If Notre Dame wants to get nostalgic it could find a healthy outlet in Quinn, a former All-Conference player with the Irish in the early aughts. It’d be a surprise if he wasn’t among the top targets on Swarbrick’s list and even more surprising if he didn’t at least get a call. Quinn’s been in coaching since his playing career ended in 2013 having served as an assistant both at Northwestern and most recently (since 2014) with the Miami Heat on Erik Spoelstra’s staff. 

3. Micah Shrewsberry, Penn State head coach

Shrewsberry’s helped reboot Penn State in a short span after taking over last season and remade the Nittany Lions into a possible NCAA Tournament contender in his second season. In addition to attending high school in Indianapolis and playing at Hanover College in Indiana, he has assistant coaching experience at Purdue, DePauw and Butler, so his ties to the state run deep.

4. Dusty May, FAU head coach

No coach’s stock has risen more dramatically in the mid-major ranks this season than May’s has. The Indiana grad, who was a student manager under Bob Knight, is 18-1 on the season in leading No. 24 FAU to its best start in program history. He’s 84-57 since taking over the program in 2018 and slowly built the Owls into a contender in Conference USA.

5. Greg McDermott, Creighton head coach

When Brian Kelly left Notre Dame for LSU, Swarbrick elevated defensive coordinator and then-35-year-old Marcus Freeman to take over the football program. So if Swarbrick sticks to a similar plan on the hoops side he may very well opt for an up-and-comer. But if age is not a factor then McDermott, 58, would be a coup. He’s been at Creighton since 2010 where he’s led the program to a 287-145 overall record, but it’s been a disappointing season on the whole given lofty preseason expectations. His seat isn’t likely warming, much less hot, but a fresh start elsewhere could make sense and a coach with a proven track record could give Notre Dame some stability like it had with Brey.

6. Martin Ingelsby, Delaware head coach

Last time Notre Dame hired its head coach it plucked Mike Brey from Delaware, so Ingelsby — who got his first head-coaching gig at Delaware in 2016 — could make for an interesting under-the-radar candidate. Ingelsby played at Notre Dame and made 121 starts in his four seasons before returning to an assistant coaching role on Brey’s staff from 2009-2016. He’s just 106-96 as head coach with three times more losing seasons than NCAA Tournament appearances so it seems unlikely he’d be the first call but ties to the school and head coaching experience being prerequisites would seemingly put him on the radar.