Brey To Coach Notre Dame

Friday, July 14th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Notre Dame didn't waste any time in offering Mike Brey the job as its basketball coach, and Brey didn't hesitate in accepting.

Brey, who is 99-52 in five years at Delaware, will be introduced as Notre Dame's new coach at a 6 p.m. EDT news conference.

``It was offered to him because he was deemed to be the best fit for Notre Dame,'' said Fighting Irish spokesman John Heisler.

Brey replaces Matt Doherty, who left Tuesday to take over at North Carolina.

Brey met with a three-member committee from Notre Dame on Thursday night in Washington. He returned home to Newark, Del., where he got a call after midnight and accepted immediately, The Wilmington (Del.) News Journal reported on its Web site.

``This is one you've got to do,'' Brey told the newspaper, which reported he received a seven-year contract.

Brey had just signed a five-year contract extension at Delaware after guiding the Blue Hens to their third consecutive 20-victory season and the school's first NIT bid.

Brey, 41, is 99-52 in five years at Delaware.

Heisler denied reports that Notre Dame had first offered Oregon coach Ernie Kent the position.

``No one else was offered the job,'' Heisler said. ``Mike Brey was the only person offered the job.''

Heisler said that Brey and one other candidate met Thursday night in Washington with the Rev. Edward A. Malloy, Notre Dame's president; Patrick F. McCartan, chairman of the board of trustees; and Nathan Hatch, the university's provost. Heisler would not identify the other candidate, though Kent was in Washington to meet with Notre Dame officials.

The Register-Guard of Eugene, Ore., reported that Kent was offered a seven-year contract worth about $700,000, but turned it down.

``What I found out is that they need someone in place now. I can't do that,'' Kent told The Register-Guard. ``I have family considerations, I have university considerations and there are too many things involved for me to do something like this so quickly.''

After guiding the Ducks to the NIT semifinals in 1999, Kent's name began popping up in discussions about various coaching vacancies, including Notre Dame's.

Coaching the Irish would have raised Kent's national profile instantly, but his loyalty to Oregon was more important.

``It wasn't about the money,'' Kent said. ``Notre Dame called, and I looked into it, and this is the outcome.''