Female assistant coaches have big presence in Final Four

The moment that coaching went from job to career for Niele Ivey came when Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw handed her youngest assistant an assignment to produce the lead scouting report for Tennessee in a 2011 regional final.nfl cheap jerseys Notre Dame hadn’t been to a Final Four since Ivey’s playing days a decade earlier. And no team, even UConn, was a bigger bugaboo for the Fighting Irish than Pat Summitt’s Lady Vols.

The adrenaline rush when she saw hours of work pay off on the court in Dayton, Ohio, a win that propelled Notre Dame to the first of six Final Fours in eight years, lingers even to this day.

“I can really do this,” recalled Ivey, now Notre Dame associate head coach. “I was already invested, but that took me to the next phase of my career.”

Dionnah Jackson-Durrett arrived at that moment sooner, roughly the time she first put on an Oklahoma Sooners uniform. Now in her second season as an assistant coach at Mississippi State, she helped the Sooners to their first Final Four in 2002. Even back then she wanted to give others what Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale offered her from the moment the coach promised the recruit nothing in the way of minutes and plenty in the way of work.

“She just communicated so well with me and talked to me about everything,” Jackson-Durrett said. “She prepared me every day, and it was hard some days.nfl jerseys cheap china I didn’t want to do it some days — not practicing, but being a point guard. The mental part of it, I didn’t think I had it. She instilled some confidence in me. That’s the kind of impact I wanted to have.