Behind the Scenes of Niele Ivey’s Historic First Season at Notre Dame

Niele Ivey holding a backetball ball

In April 2020, the world of US women’s basketball welcomed its well-known college star Niele Ivey as the new head coach at Notre Dame. The 19th pick in the 2001 WNBA draft and a former All-America guard for the Fighting Irish, Ivey was more than qualified for the job. However, even she couldn’t have predicted what challenges she’d have to manage in the face of a worldwide pandemic. Here’s a look back at Ivey’s historic first season at Notre Dame.

Niele Ivey and Muffet McGraw’s Long-Term Coaching Relationship

Just minutes after the announcement that Muffet McGraw is retiring as head coach after 33 years, Notre Dame named none other than Niele Ivey as McGraw’s successor. The two ladies go way back.

Ivey (right) with Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw McGraw is the one who first discovered Ivey’s talent in college and welcomed her to Notre Dame, where she played from 1997 until 2001. It is then that their player-coach relationship was first established. After Ivey stopped playing basketball professionally, she spent a whopping 12 seasons as McGraw’s assistant coach.

A Season of Challenges

Ivey’s first season as head coach of the Fighting Irish was far from easy. She coached in gloves and a mask and was constantly worrying about her players’ health amid the pandemic. If their 105-69 win over Ohio University for their first 2021-22 game is anything to go by, fans are in for a treat. Despite the challenges of the job and the world health crisis, Niele Ivey is making it work. What’s more, she’s making it look easy.

Ivey during a coaching session The First Female African American Coach in Notre Dame History

In addition to Ivey’s historic first season, that’s not all the history the new head coach is making. By taking on the position, she became the first female African American in Notre Dame’s coaching history. Despite the pressures of representing African American women, to Ivey, this “felt like it was a blessing” rather than a burden.

Conor McGregor Quarreled With Dustin Poirier Over a $500K Donation

The UFC lightweight fighters Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor exchanged blows on social media. There are just three months left until July 10, when their scheduled trilogy at UFC 264 is about to take place. In fact, the very reason for the back-and-forth was what brought the fighters together at the beginning of the year: a donation to Poirier’s charity from his opponent – McGregor himself.

Conor McGregor Wanted to Donate Half a Million to Poirier’s The Good Fight Foundation

Dustin Poirier doing work for his charity - The Good Fight Just before UFC 257, Conor McGregor said he would like to donate some $500,000 to Poirier’s charity. He wanted to donate the money for the construction of a gym for disadvantaged youth in Lafayette, Louisiana – the hometown of Poirier. Recently, Poirier accused McGregor of neglecting his promise. Apparently, he was ignoring any attempts to be reached by Poirier’s charity after the fight, which Poirier won with a second-round TKO.

Poirier said on social media that Conor McGregor’s prediction for a knockout turned out to be a fun one, referencing the way the fight ended. Then, Poirier added that McGregor had also predicted a donation to his foundation, but he and his team had stopped responding after the fight. So far, McGregor has been praised for his philanthropic efforts in Ireland, so he quickly wrote a response to Poirier. Apparently, the Irish fighter had not made a donation yet because he was waiting to receive details on how the money would be spent.

Conor McGregor Wants to Know Where His Donation Money Will Go

Conor McGregor The superstar added that he promised a donation and not a debt, adding that he has been awaiting the plans for the money but had not received them yet. He pointed out that he does that with all his donations and likes to know where the cash is going, dot for dot. McGregor’s agent, Audie Attar, further clarified that the donation would still be made.

McGregor did not end things there though. He first threatened that the third match between him and Poirier would not happen, only to state that Poirier would pay for his comments physically, just a few minutes later.