NOTRE DAME - A familiar face is returning to the Notre Dame women's basketball team. Beth Morgan Cunningham, one of the best players Muffet McGraw has ever coached, is joining Muffet's staff.
“One of the things we’ve always tried to stress with our program is developing and maintaining the right chemistry, whether that be among our players or our staff,” McGraw said. “When the opportunity came to welcome Beth back to our program, it made perfect sense.Cunningham brings an impressive resume. She's spent the last nine seasons as the head coach at Virginia Commonwealth, where she won 167 games, and led the Rams to the NCAA Tournament for the first time. Cunningham takes the position vacated by Jonathan Tsipis, who left earlier this month to become the head coach at George Washington.
"I'm thrilled that coach McGraw even thought about me for the
position," Cunningham said. "I've had a great opportunity at VCU, 11 years total, nine as the head coach. I'm really proud of what our program has been able to accomplish in those 11 years. We laid the
groundwork for uncharted territory for the women's basketball program
and what we've done here, but at the same time, it's a very unique
opportunity to go back to Notre Dame, go back to my alma mater.
"It's always been a dream of mine to coach with coach McGraw and her
coaching staff at Notre Dame. It's a very unique opportunity. After
discussing the opportunity with Coach, I just felt like it was
something that I couldn't pass up."
Cunnigham played for Muffet McGraw from 1993-97. She was also a two time all-american and led the Irish to their first Final Four appearance in 1997.
She remains the program's all-time leading scorer, with 2,322 points.
"She is one of the true greats in Notre Dame women’s basketball history, the consummate leader on the court and in the locker room", McGraw added. "Both Carol (Owens) and I had the great fortune to coach Beth during her playing days, and Niele (Ivey) was one of her teammates during our 1997 Final Four season, so there’s already that built-in chemistry and comfort level among our staff. Beth is a proven winner, both as a player at the college and WNBA levels, and as a coach, and I couldn’t be happier to have her joining our staff.”
A native of Bloomington, Indiana, Cunningham still holds the career scoring record at Bloomington South High School.