Mike Brey became the winningest coach in Notre Dame men's basketball history Wednesday, getting his 394th victory to move past Digger Phelps.
Moments after an 88-58 home victory over N.C. State, Phelps gave Brey a hug and presented him with a game ball while Notre Dame unveiled a banner that read “Coach Mike Brey Men’s Basketball All-Time Wins Leader,” according to the Post-Tribune of Northwest Indiana.
Brey, 58, is in his 18th season in South Bend. Phelps coached the Irish from 1971 to '91.
The milestone victory was particularly sweet, Brey said, because it came a little more than 24 hours after the Irish announced they would be without their star forward Bonzie Colson for eight weeks because of a broken foot.
“What a way to get to 394 and 2-0 (in the ACC),” Brey said. “I told our team, when I think back and think about the record-breaking game, I’ll think about we lost Bonzie Colson the day before, we lost Matt Farrell (to an ankle injury) halfway through the game and our group just really responded.
“I couldn’t have been prouder of a group.”
As the final minutes ticked down Wednesday, Brey was shown on the Purcell Pavilion video board and fans responded with a standing ovation.
“I’ve done a lot of reflecting, really since the beginning of the season,” Brey said. “The banner was awesome and having Digger out there was important. He has been really good to me, and we know what he has done for this program.
“You’re just really honored. You’re a little humbled that you have been here 18 years and you can last long enough to be the all-time winner.”
Brey has led Notre Dame to the Elite Eight twice in the past three seasons. Under the former Duke assistant, the Irish have reached the NCAA Tournament 12 times, including seven consecutive appearances.