SJU Hall of Famer Muffet McGraw '77 Receives Lapchick Award
Saint Joseph’s Hall of Famer Muffet McGraw '77 received the Joe Lapchick Character Award this past Friday at the Yale Club of New York City.
One of the founding members of Saint Joseph's women's basketball program, McGraw (nee O'Brien) guided the Hawks' offense from 1973-77 as they began play as a Division I team. Serving as team captain as a junior and a senior, McGraw averaged 7.9 points, 3.5 assists and 3.1 steals per game over her career. During her four years on Hawk Hill, Saint Joseph's posted an astounding 60-11 record, finished third in Eastern Region of the AIAW Tournament in 1976, while placing second in Eastern Region in 1977 and eventually finishing sixth at the national tournament.
A 1977 graduate of Saint Joseph's, McGraw served as head coach at Archbishop Carroll High School for two years before taking an assistant coaching spot on Hawk Hill from 1980-82 under Jim Foster. She was named head coach at Lehigh in 1982 and posted an 88-41 record over five seasons before taking over the reigns at Notre Dame. Over her 30 years with the Fighting Irish, McGraw has led Notre Dame to eight Final Four appearances and to the 2001 and 2018 NCAA National Championships.
The 2001 Naismith Coach of the Year and a two-time Associated Press Coach of the Year, McGraw currently ranks ninth all-time in wins among Division I head coaches 888 victories. A member of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame (2011), Big 5 Hall of Fame (1990) and SJU Athletics Hall of Fame (2002), she was named the recipient of the 2017 Legends of Coaching Award by the John R. Wooden Award Committee and inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2017.
McGraw was honored on Friday along with Villanova head coach Jay Wright and legendary St. John's player Dr. Solly Walker.
The Joe Lapchick Character Award Foundation is committed to encouraging and promoting good character in the sport of basketball. Each September, the foundation recognizes a group of iconic basketball figures, from all levels of men's and women's basketball, who have demonstrated honorable character throughout their careers, much like the legendary Coach Joe Lapchick.
Now in its 11th year, the foundation has honored some of the most respected names in men's and women's college and high school basketball including Dean Smith, Pat Summitt, Herb Magee, Theresa Grentz, Cathy Rush and Mike Krzyzewski.