Mike Brey's secret passion - playing the drums

NOW: Mike Brey’s secret passion - playing the drums


NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- From a Game of Thrones spoof to shorts on the sideline, Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey isn't afraid to show off his lighter side. But what you may not know he's also quite the drummer. He was kind enough to rock out for our ABC 57 cameras.

In the up tempo world of college basketball, sometimes coaches need to get into a rhythm. Coach Brey does it through music.

"I'm thinking music. I'm thinking rhythm. It puts you in a whole different frame of mind," Coach Brey said. "I'm not thinking about recruiting or how are we going to play against Duke or North Carolina. It's a release."

Coach Brey grew up around music and took up playing the drums when he was 7 years old.

"My Uncle Tommy lived up in Pennsylvania about 4 hours from the DC area where I was raised and he had a set and he played in a little local band, nothing big and when I would visit my uncle, I would get up on the drums and I thought that was fun to play and then he would kind of show me some stuff and it kind of became a passion of mine along with playing basketball at a young age," Coach Brey said.

That passion only grew.

"I remember getting a drum set for Christmas when I was probably 10 and you know played that and put my sister's record player on and tried to keep up to different songs, so it's always been in my blood," Coach Brey said.

When he was young, what did he want to be when he grew up?

"I was a basketball player. My one uncle was a drummer, my other uncle was a guard at Duke. My uncle Jack (Mullen) and I wanted to be like my uncle Jack. So the basketball passion took over the drumming passion but in the off-season the drumming passion is right there. Now it's my outlet," Coach Brey said.

The basketball player in him always found a way to connect the music to the sport.

"Paradiddle is like doing a ball handling drill in basketball. It's an athletic, hand eye coordination. A lot of practice to be good at it," Coach Brey said.

That practice paid off. His skills on the drums have caught the attention of other musicians

"I got away from it but since I've been in town I've kind of circled back a little bit, by help of Vyagra Falls and Dr. Jesse, they've recruited me and they let me sit in and they play easy songs so I can keep up with them," Coach Brey said.

Locally and on the big stage as well.

"I got to play with Todd Rundgren, "Bang on the Drum All Day," a song that I used to listen to back in the 80s-70s when I was a high school guy and that was a really neat experience. He went easy on me, he was coaching me up and giving me confidence. I was very intimidated, playing with him singing it back in the fall," Coach Brey said.

Brey hopes the rhythm will help him keep the beat with the Irish come March.

Whether his Irish are crashing boards or he's crashing cymbals

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