Blue and Gold Illustrated

May 2014 Edition

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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BY ANDREW OWENS N otre Dame head coach Mike Brey downplayed rumors of any potential interest in the vacant California head coach- ing job after the team's end-of-year banquet April 14. "It's ridiculous," said Brey, who added that the school reached out to his attorney to gauge interest in what was ultimately a "30-second conversa- tion. This is a great example of specu- lation run amok." Reports had linked Brey, who has coached at Notre Dame for 14 seasons, to the vacant Bears coaching job fol- lowing the retirement of Mike Mont- gomery. Cal athletics director Sandy Barbour served as Notre Dame's as- sociate athletics director from 2000-02 and the senior athletics administrator from 2002-04. (Cal eventually hired Counzo Martin away from Tennessee April 15.) "This one took on a life of its own," Brey said. "It never even got to square one." Brey said gossip runs rampant when coaches convene at the Final Four each year, and that talk at this year's event sparked these rumors. It was such a non-issue, he added, that he never even discussed it with Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick or as- sociate athletics director Jim Fraleigh, who oversees the basketball program. "They knew the deal," he said. "If you ever were to get into one of those where you're interested, I think you've got to tell your AD right away. I've not had one of those. Not even Maryland [in 2011] was one of those. But yet that one took on a life of its own, too." Brey's current contract runs through the 2021-22 season. PROGRAM HANDS OUT AWARDS At the banquet, the team handed out six awards, highlighted by the Mono- gram Club MVP award. Senior guard Eric Atkins earned that honor after serving as the program's first three- time captain while averaging 13.9 points and 4.9 assists per game this season. During his senior speech, Atkins quipped that he thought Notre Dame was located in Boston when he com- mitted to the Irish as a junior. Atkins finished his career tied for sec- ond on the all-time list for career games played (133) and ninth in career starts (105) for the Fighting Irish. In Notre STAYING PUT Head coach Mike Brey had no interest in flirting with California for its vacant coaching position

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