Brey Blasts Wadsworth; Praises White

You would find very few folks now that would dispute that Mike Brey was an outstanding choice as the head basketball coach at Notre Dame. According to Brey, Kevin White was the reason he signed with the Irish, after a distasteful interview process with Mike Wadsworth the year before. Alan Tieuli has the timely report here, as White begins his search for a new football coach in earnest.

Copyright by Global Electronics Telecommunications, publishers of IrishEyes.Com™

December 4, 2001

Brey Endorses
White Administration

By Alan Tieuli
The IrishEyes.Com News Service

Mike Brey is one of the most popular figures on campus these days, with his men’s basketball team off to a 7-0 start. And he assured Notre Dame fans this morning that, in his opinion, Kevin White is the right man for the job leading the Irish athletic department.

Asked specifically about his hiring process as Notre Dame basketball coach in July, 2000, Brey couldn’t have been more praiseful of White and disdainful of the previous administration.

"It was over quick, quick, quick," said Brey. "I sat down with Kevin on Thursday night, and by midnight we had all the details worked out and the next day we were flying to South Bend. He looked tired, he looked like he had been in the same suit for 24 hours, but he was determined."

During his search for a new coach, White journeyed roundtrip in one day to Italy to court former Seton Hall coach P.J. Carlesimo.

Brey said White told him he was one of "two and one-half candidates" for the position at the time and that White was "forthright" and "decisive.

"I remember telling (Brey's wife) Tish that ‘This is the guy you jump into the fire with’," said Brey, who was hired to replace Matt Doherty.

Brey had a very different experience in 1999 when he interviewed with then Athletic Director Mike Wadsworth after John MacLeod had been fired.

"I was thoroughly disappointed," Brey said. "To be perfectly frank, I couldn’t believe it was a Big East job I was interviewing for. It was not an impressive presentation (by Wadsworth) at all.

"With Kevin, I am very comfortable with the line of communication I have and just feel strongly that he is the right guy to be with," said Brey. "Now, I might not be able to talk to him much these next couple of weeks. He’ll be a busy man."

Trying, undoubtedly, to find a new football head coach who can have as positive an impact on the program as Brey has had with hoops.

(Alan Tieuli is the Managing Editor of IrishEyes and can be reached at Top Stories