Ears across the basketball landscape are perking up after Notre Dame basketball head coach announced his plans to remain in coaching despite his decision to leave the program after the end of this season, as reported by Stadium basketball analyst Jeff Goodman.

It was assumed that Brey would be retiring altogether when the news broke in January that he would be stepping down after leading the Fighting Irish for 23 seasons. It is unclear exactly what his future holds, but this revelation could make his last days in South Bend bittersweet for fans.

Brey first earned recognition as an assistant under Mike Krzyzewski at Duke in the 1980s and 90s, contributing to two NCAA Championship teams. He eventually set out to revitalize Notre Dame basketball in the 2000-01 season. His impact was immediately felt. The Irish have enjoyed 13 trips to the “Big Dance,” including back-to-back appearances in the Elite Eight (2014-16).

The team has fallen on hard times in recent years, however, with one win in last year’s NCAA Tournament serving as the only true postseason glory the team has achieved in the last five seasons (might have made it in COVID-shortened 2020 season). Notre Dame is just 10-15 this season with a dismal 2-12 record in the ACC.

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Jim Calhoun went to Division III’s University of Saint Joseph after leaving UConn, so there is always a possibility fans never have to see their beloved Brey on opposing sidelines. He might just want to stay connected with the game in a lesser capacity.

That is all speculation, though. What is known is the big personality and grit of Notre Dame’s most winningest coach in men’s basketball history will sorely be missed. His best teams encompassed that same fire, and now the program will need to find a replacement who can carry on that proud tradition.

All other fans should rejoice, though, for basketball has not yet lost one of it most colorful and unique coaches.