How Notre Dame basketball coaches Shrewsberry, Ivey support each other on and off the court

NOW: How Notre Dame basketball coaches Shrewsberry, Ivey support each other on and off the court

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. - A relationship built on mutual respect.

Before new Notre Dame Men's Basketball coach Micah Shrewsberry and women's coach Niele Ivey were pacing the same sidelines at Purcell Pavilion, their paths crossed.

Micah was an assistant in the NBA, while Niele was an assistant for the Irish and her son, Jaden Ivey, was just about to begin his career at purdue.

“Coach McGraw and Niele came for a few days and were watching us practice in Boston, and Niele's just asking question after question about Purdue, about Coach Painter, and everything else,” Shrewsberry said. “So you know, as I was talking really good about the program, and how good he would be there. Now, I never knew that a few months later, I'd be coaching him there.”

Soon after that conversation, Micah returned to the Boilermakers for his second stint as an assistant coach under Matt Painter, and one of his main responsibilities was to work with Jaden, a then-incoming freshman phenom.

“He was, he was such a sponge that he spent a lot of time in my office,” Shrewsberry said. “And we talked about different concepts on offense, like how I was kind of seeing the game, how we were trying to prepare for the next opponent. And, you know, that year with him was, was really fun.”

“I thought he did a phenomenal job with Jaden and Jaden loved him, loved him,” Ivey said. “He was his position coach, he poured into Jaden.”

That season, Micah also got to know Niele better.

“She was back and forth a lot, traveled to a lot of games for us,” Shrewsberry said. “And it was like, cool to see their relationship. But it was great to develop a relationship with her.”

After just one season back with Purdue, Micah took his first head coaching job with Penn State.

Three years later, Notre Dame came calling, and he knew just who to talk to.

“She understood this place from a player to an assistant coach to a head coach,” Shrewsberry said. “But she was also gonna, she was gonna shoot me straight. She wasn't gonna lie to me about anything.”

"I told him just really embrace this place because this place can change your life,” Ivey said. “The magnitude of Notre Dame is so big and him being the first African American male coach here, I just experienced that, being the first African American female coach here. Never be too hard, too low and let this place help you.”

Niele was there as Micah was formally introduced at Notre Dame, and the two continue to support each other on and off the court.

“It's been a great relationship,” Ivey said. “I mean, I'm in his office, he's in my office, we collaborate a lot. I just love him, and I have so much respect for him. And he's just a phenomenal coach and I'm excited that our players get a chance to be coached by him.”

“It's one big family,” Shrewsberry said. “And I think we're pushing each other to be great. And you need that, and you need it, you know, knowing that you have the support from that group is really cool.”

Micah said he's not just leaned on Niele and her staff but that he also talks with football coach Marcus Freeman and national champion lacrosse coach Kevin Corrigan as much as he can.

He says the collaboration here at Notre Dame has been a huge help for him as he navigates the first year of this rebuilding process.

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