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

Notre Dame announced Thursday that longtime basketball coach Mike Brey, who has been with the program since 2000 and racked up 481 wins as coach of the Fighting Irish, will step down at the end of the 2022-2023 season. The decision leaves a gaping hole in a prominent position that will draw significant interest from the mid-major ranks and even incumbent senior head coaches, given Notre Dame’s resources and position in the ACC hierarchy.

Athletic director Jack Swarbrick is likely to leave no stone unturned as he looks to replace another head coach for the second time in three years after football coach Brian Kelly fled to LSU last offseason, and he has a big brand on a major conference to to potential candidates to pitch. However, which way he will go to land his next man and at what level the university is willing to invest remains unclear. Sources expressed some skepticism to CBS Sports that the university would be willing to dig deep into its pockets to get an incumbent head coach at the power conference level. Doing so will likely require you to pay a buyout, and a competitive pay to move the needle could go past $4 million annually.

So who ends up being the next head coach boils down to myriad factors that remain unclear for now. Therefore, the pool of candidates from which Notre Dame might search is large.

We’ve put together a list of six names that we think Notre Dame could and should be targeting at the moment, with the caveat that for now this is as much a wish list for Irish fans as it is a real candidate list. As the season progresses and more information comes in, our list will be updated.

1. Ohio State Head Coach Chris Holtmann

If Notre Dame is targeting a big name from the top echelons of realism, Holtmann should be right at the top of the wish list. He was 70-31 in three seasons with Butler and is 117-64 in over five seasons at Ohio State with more than 20 wins in each of his campaigns. His fee is reportedly about 30th in the country, which is a 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 significant raise in salary, 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 s. It would be a surprise if he wasn’t among the top targets on Swarbrick’s list and even more surprising if he wasn’t at least called. Quinn has been in coaching since his playing career ended in 2013, having served as an assistant with both Northwestern and most recently (since 2014) with the Miami Heat on the staff of Erik Spoelstra.

3. Micah Shrewsberry, Penn State head coach

Shrewsberry’s helped Penn State reboot in short order after last season’s takeover and made the Nittany Lions a possible NCAA Tournament contender in its sophomore season. In addition to attending high school in Indianapolis and playing at Hanover College in Indiana, he has experience as an assistant coach at Purdue, DePauw and Butler, so his ties to the state are deep.

4. Dusty May, FAU head coach

No coach has moved up the middle league more dramatically this season than May’s. The Indiana graduate, who was a student manager under Bob Knight, is 18-1 on the season and leads No. 24 FAU to its best start in program history. He is 84-57 since taking over the program in 2018 and slowly building 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 side of the hoops, he may well opt for a newcomer. But if age isn’t a factor, then McDermott, 58, would be a coup. He has been with Creighton since 2010, where he led the program to an overall record of 287-145, but it was a disappointing season overall given the high expectations of the preseason. His seat probably won’t get warm, 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, as he did with Brey.

6. Martin Ingelsby, Delaware head coach

The last time Notre Dame hired its head coach, it brought in Mike Brey from Delaware, so Ingelsby — who landed his first head coaching assignment in Delaware in 2016 — could be an interesting under-the-radar candidate. Playing with Notre Dame, Ingelsby made 121 starts in his four seasons before returning to an assistant coaching role on Brey’s staff from 2009-2016. He’s only 106-96 as a head coach with three times more losing seasons than NCAA Tournament appearances, so it seems unlikely he’d be the first call-up, but ties to the school and head coaching experience as requirements would seemingly put him on the radar.

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