Notre Dame Basketball Coach Mike Brey Leaving Irish But Not Retiring Raises Questions About The Real Reason Why

This will be Mike Brey's final year as the head men's basketball coach at Notre Dame. The 63-year-old announced that he will be stepping down from his role at the end of the 2022/23 season on Jan. 19.

It has been a great run for me and our program over the past two decades, but it is time for a new voice to lead this group into the future. I want to thank our student-athletes, assistant coaches and support staff who have played such a key role in the culture we have created.

Initial speculation assumed that Brey's decision is to retire. But you know what they say about assuming!

Brey is not retiring. He is just leaving Notre Dame.

Jeff Goodman of Stadium reported on Monday that Brey wants to continue coaching. Brey alluded to that possibility during a press conference on Jan. 20.

I wouldn't rule out being around young people and teaching and coaching again. I don't think I want to jump back into that next year.

Brey has 13 NCAA Tournament appearances with the Irish. His team most recently reached the Round of 32 last year. He is a legend within the program and South Bend.

If Brey isn't retiring, why is he leaving? That is the question for which there is no answer— yet, at least. Perhaps there is more information to come?

What's going on here?!

Brey said in his press conference last month that he just feels like its time. That could well be true!

From 2000 to 2017, we went to 12 NCAA Tournaments. Am I right on right on that? I think 12. And since 2018, we've been the one and that's how you're measured, man. And I felt we lost momentum. It was awesome to get us back last year and that was an amazing experience to go and win two games in the NCAA tournament. And so, as I looked at the big picture and looked moving forward, I just thought, I just think a new voice is needed.

Notre Dame is 10-15 this year. The Irish will have to win the ACC Tournament to reach March Madness.

That isn't ideal by any stretch of the imagination, but it's not like Brey didn't lead his team to The Big Dance just one year ago. It's not like he isn't a proven winner.

What's going on here?!

Did Notre Dame's leadership force him out? Does Brey see the writing on the wall and want to go out on a more positive not? Is he trying to beat the mob from calling for his head?

There is no basis for claims that the Irish may have the NCAA breathing down its neck or anything of that nature. There is no truth in the idea that Brey did something to breach his contract.

What's going on here?!

Coaching is a taxing profession and wanting to step away from the game for life reasons makes sense. That just isn't what Brey is doing. He wants to keep coaching.

The pieces just aren't quite adding up and it would be interesting to have been a fly on the wall during Brey's conversation with Notre Dame administrators to know what is really driving the two sides apart. Maybe it is really just Brey wanting to move on. Maybe there is something deeper at play?