Fire Mike Brey Brendan Loy

Perpetual whipping boy Mike Brey, caught in a “coaching death spiral” just a few months ago, has been named Big East Coach of the Year.

“Hey, you! Yeah, you, Brendan Loy! Come over here, I’ve got some tasty crow for you to eat. Mmmm, crow.”

Nice season, coach. Keep it up.

28 Responses to “Fire Mike Brey Brendan Loy”

  1. kcatnd says:

    Harumph. There goes my chance to make another nonsensical call to fire Mike Brey.

  2. Brendan Loy says:

    Kcatnd, as far as I’m concerned, you can make nonsensical calls to fire Mike Brey whenever you want.

    Fire Mike Brey.


  3. Anonymous says:

    This, Mr. Loy, is exactly what I was talking about last year, and why you should leave the basketball commentating to those that understand the game. Particularly when your ignorant blasts call for the end of someone’s career. This is just another example of you not really having an original idea of your own, and simply jumping on the bandwagon of the newest hottest thing.

  4. BK says:

    “Keep it up.”

    Damn straight.

  5. NDLauren says:

    Anon, do you really think that this attack is necessary? Brendan has posted quite a bit about his sentiments on why he feels that Brey deserved to be fired last year and I don’t think it’s a reasonable conclusion that he was “jumping on the bandwagon of the newest hottest thing” when it was pretty clear that the last couple of years of ND basketball weren’t the greatest years in the history of the program.
    Additionally, obviously Brendan is making light of the situation here in this post, so for you to come here just to make a comment like this is pretty ridiculous.

  6. Brendan Loy says:

    Anonymous, I think I’m being a pretty good sport here, calling myself out on this, so I don’t know why you feel the need to blast me. Good-natured ribbing would be one thing, but your comment is in no way good-natured. Ever heard of “kicking a man while he’s down”? Yeah, well, coming on a post titled “Fire Mike Brey Brendan Loy” and blasting me for previously calling for Mike Brey’s head, that pretty much qualifies.

    Moreover, based on your IP address, it appears you are the same anonymous commenter who has repeatedly attacked me on this point in the past. I notice you have not actually responded to any of my previous substantive rebuttals. Yet you come back once a week or so, and say the same things. It’s borderline troll behavior, frankly.

    I also (again) find your accusations of “ignorance” laughable, considering that a very sizeable portion of Domer Nation was calling for Brey’s head last year — and indeed, there was serious grumbling as recently as a few weeks ago, after the South Florida and DePaul losses. If I’m ignorant, there are an awful lot of people who are equally ignorant. I wonder what credentials you have, O Mighty Anonymous One, to declare thousands of people “ignorant” with a stroke of your keyboard. If you’re John Wooden, I’ll concede the argument, but otherwise, I call bulls**t.

    Anyway, I’ve been over this multiple times in recent weeks, and I’m not going to repeat myself, but suffice it to say, I feel my comments about Brey’s coaching the last two seasons were completely justified; he’s simply done a better job this season. The weaknesses I pointed out the last two seasons were, in fact, there. The reason the Irish are now doing better is because those weaknesses have diminished. Brey rightly got the blame the last two seasons, and he rightly gets the credit this season. I don’t see what the problem with that is.

    I don’t know if you read the “coaching death spiral” article I linked, but I think the following passage is rather instructive:

    [Journalists who think a coach is going to be fired] start to catalogue his story in their head. They squirrel away nuggets about this game or that game. They remember players that he shouldn’t have relied on so much (Chris Thomas) and why perhaps his team didn’t play defense like it should. …

    [But this year’s team] played like no other Brey-coached team has: Without a true star.

    Eight guys — nine when McAlarney was on the team — contributed regularly. Only Colin Falls and Jackson played more than 30 minutes per game.

    This was the opposite of how his previous teams were composed. They relied on seven-man rotations and a big star (Thomas, Troy Murphy and Chris Quinn) to play all the time.

    You see that? Brey’s method of coaching in previous years — relying too heavily on “star” players who simply weren’t good enough to carry a team on their backs (sorry, but Chris Thomas and Chris Quinn are no Acie Law or Kevin Durant) — failed, so this year he improved his coaching strategy by relying on a broader array of players. Read that again: he improved. And thus the team improved. How does that invalidate the earlier criticisms of Brey? Doesn’t it, in fact, validate them?

    As for the long-term prognosis, the question is which season(s) better indicate the “true” Brey: 2004-05 and 2005-06, or 2006-07? Neither you nor I can answer that question with any certainty. I certainly hope it’s ’06-’07, as do you, so why are we arguing? This is stupid, and you are a complete ass. Tell us who the hell you are, or stop taking snarky potshots at me from the sidelines, then slinking away without responding to my rebuttals, all the while making it impossible to hold you accountable if your statements/predictions end up looking foolish later on. As I said before, playing “gotcha” while remaining anonymous is the epitome of cowardice. Stand up like a man and state your opinion, or else stop taking distorted, substanceless potshots at me.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Right…just as ridiculous as the comments that were made last year against mike brey.

    Brey is a good man, who has done a nice job at Notre Dame and has been successful everywhere he has gone. He did not need to be told he was doing a lousy job and that he needed to be fired by a guys, like loy, who sit in the stands, watch a few games, and have a blog, so they think they know what it takes to be a successful basketball coach.

    Brey being names coach of the year, is testimony to loy’s ignorance. As I said last year, Brey had a good recruiting class coming in and had kids coming back like carter and falls who bought into the system and as a result were named 1st team all big east players (how can this be if he can’t develop players?). Even espn guys, who loy thinks are gods, thought that brey was a good coach who was one or two players away.

  8. Brendan Loy says:

    Update, I stand corrected, you did respond to my comments on the last thread… sorta. You didn’t really address my substantive points, but you did at least reply. (Or at least, I think you did. It’s impossible to tell for sure, of course, due to your anonymity.)

  9. Brendan Loy says:

    P.S. For those who missed the previous Brey thread, please read my caveat to the attacks on anonymity.

  10. Brendan Loy says:

    NDLauren, thanks for having my back. :)

    It’s too bad Anonymous, who I think I may start calling “Mike Brey’s Mom” if he continues to refuse to identify himself while swooping in on every Brey-related thread to attack my “ignorance,” insists on making this personal. Otherwise, we might be able to have civil conversation about our reasonable differences of opinion about Brey’s coaching, instead of this becoming a verbal war over who is “ignorant” and who knows what they’re talking about. From Anonymous’s rhetoric, you’d think that there is only One True Opinion that any reasonable person could ever have about a coach. And don’t even get me started about the ridiculous fallacy that only people who have played/coached basketball are entitled to have an opinion about basketball

  11. Brendan Loy says:

    Brey is a good man

    So was Ty Willingham; what’s your point? Speaking of which, if Notre Dame played in a conference in football, I bet Ty would have won its “coach of the year” in 2002… which isn’t to say that Brey = Ty, I’m definitely NOT contending that they’re equivalent, I’m just pointing out that 1) Brey being a “good man” is entirely irrelevant to his coaching skills, and 2) one good season does not a good coach make… not necessarily, at least.

    But I give Brey credit for this season. I really do. It’s been a good season. His coaching has improved from last year, and hopefully will continue to improve, and I’ll never have to utter the words “Fire Mike Brey” again (except in jest, at my own expense, as in this post).

    Incidentally, re: Brey’s improvement as a coach: obviously the talented freshmen have helped a lot. I’m certainly not denying that. But the Old Mike Brey would have leaned too much on Colin Falls, like he leaned too much on Chris Thomas and Chris Quinn, thus denying the freshmen the opportunity to improve as much as they have… and he also would have failed to get the team “up” to play in the first half, as so often happened last season, leading to unnecessary comebacks and then late collapses… and he would have called a lot of bonehead plays out of timeouts, failed to construct a consistently effective offense, etc. etc. The point is: New Mike Brey >>> Old Mike Brey. Which does not invalidate past criticisms.

  12. kcatnd says:

    I’m with NDLauren. There’s no reason to attack Brendan when he’s well aware of what he’s said in the past. Part of the appeal of this blog is his willingness to state an opinion and own up to it, be it proven right, wrong, or still unsettled. That’s what makes this a good blog with a lot of readers.

    The other part of the appeal is the frequent and extensive coverage of babes, boobs, and sex with plentiful links and pictures.

  13. Brendan Loy says:

    One last thing before I go to bed:

    I do NOT “sit in the stands.”

    I stand.



  14. NDLauren says:

    No problem Brendan,
    I also believe that the “new Mike Brey” which you mention was aided by the hiring of Gene Cross. I think some of the developments of Carter and the freshmen as players appear to have resulted from some of the coaching from Cross. I can’t attest to this directly, having not actually attended practices and seen him in action, but from the stories I have read and heard, it appears that he’s a pretty good motivator/coach. I suppose you could then argue that Brey made a good coaching decision this year to hire him, but obviously this isn’t the only change there’s been between last year and this year.
    All in all, I think I have to agree that Brey is a good man and a decent coach. He seems to have become more skilled in lighting a fire under the team and in preventing the close losses this year; his efforts for taking a fairly young team, which has no members who have ever played in the NCAA tournament, and turning them into the fourth seed in the Big East after the Kyle Mac turmoil, that plus the turnaround in the record makes him my Big East Coach of the Year.

  15. Ed (sfv) says:

    To me, the question of Brey’s retention comes down to this, is 9-3 acceptable?

    Brey will NEVER make a serious run at a Final Four, let alone a title. He may manage to eek out a BE title in the next five years.

    Some guys just have “it.” Knight, K, Olson, even Digger. Brey lacks the “gravitas” or presence to will a team to the highest level. His players just don’t respond well in crunch time. This trend is across his tenure at ND and it is unmistakable.

    If 9-3 is acceptable, Brey should be retained. He is a fine man and representative of ND.

    I say see ya.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Loy, in response to your question: Ever heard of “kicking a man while he’s down”?

    – This is the epitome of irony. You kicked Brey every chance you had last year when he was down. You, my man, are an expert at this.

    – On another note, I would agree that one good season, does not a good coach make, but all of you seem to harp on the previous two seasons, instead of the entirety of brey’s coaching career. Brey has been a success in every coaching endeavor he has taken on, and except for two less than stellar seasons, he has been great. Just as one good season does not a good coach make; two less than stellar seasons, does not a bad coach make.

  17. Anonymous says:

    To Ed,

    You are an idiot. Number 1, 9-3 is not the record of the nd bball team. Number 2, if you are referring to a commitment to excellence, it needs to start with the administration coughing up more money to upgrade the facilities. Number 3) in your comment about gravitas, as in brey’s lack thereof, its funny you should mention Olsen as an example of someone that does, because in his long and very successful coaching career, he was always accused of lacking gravitas and that his team couldnt win the big one.

  18. David K. says:

    This is the epitome of irony. You kicked Brey every chance you had last year when he was down. You, my man, are an expert at this.

    Yes, far be it from Brendan or anyone else to be critical of a sports coach when he isn’t doing well at the job you know he was hired to do well at…

  19. Andrew says:

    Anonymous, I could give a rat’s ass about Notre Dame basketball, but it is obvious Ed (sfv) is referring to the famous quote by Charlie Weis that 9-3 is just not good enough. I understand the measure Ed is using, and if Notre Dame basketball was, say, North Carolina or UConn or fUTLA basketball, I’d agree. But it’s Notre Dame basketball. Ergo, 9-3 and a Big East title is just fine.

    By the way Brendan, the spam count is high since you upgraded to WordPress 6.9 or whatever you’re using these days….

  20. David K. says:

    Given the trouble he’s been having i think its WordPress 6.6.6

  21. Brendan Loy says:

    Anonymous, congratulations on — once again — ignoring the vast majority of my substantive points. I’ll assume they’re so self-evidently right that you just couldn’t think of anything to say in response. As for “kicking a man while he’s down,” fair point, I really used the wrong phrase. It’s more like “kicking a man while he’s down and he just specifically admitted that he’s down, and he’s making fun of himself for it.” Humorlessly blasting me for criticizing Brey in the past on a thread titled “Fire Mike Brey Brendan Loy,” which quotes Brey as offering to give me some tasty crow to eat, isn’t equivalent to criticizing Brey during a bad season, it’s the (rough) equivalent of blasting Brey for being a bad coach immediately after he holds a press conference and says, “Hey guys, I’m having a bad season and I suck as a coach, huh?”

    Incidentally, I agree that two bad seasons (“less than stellar”? can we just call them what they were? they were BAD) does not a bad coach make. However, two bad seasons in which one can point to specific deficiencies that are coaching-related — which I’ve repeatedly done, and you’ve never responded to those points — does at least raise serious questions about whether the coach is good. I would say that, absent any indication those deficiencies are going to improve, one is entitled to assume the coach is bad. Now that we’ve seen them improve, that obviously changes the equation. But if Brey were to revert to form in the coming years… which hopefully he won’t… he’d be on the hot seat again, and justifiably so. My point is that you have to look beyond the win-loss record, you have to look at the coach’s strengths and weaknesses. I’ve done that consistently, whereas you seem so dazzled by the Irish’s record this season that you have nothing to say about Brey’s actual coaching.

  22. Marty West says:

    Moreover, based on your IP address, it appears you are the same anonymous commenter who has repeatedly attacked me on this point in the past. I notice you have not actually responded to any of my previous substantive rebuttals. Yet you come back once a week or so, and say the same things. It’s borderline troll behavior, frankly.


  23. Rebecca Loy says:

    Big East coach of the year. Wow. The conference must be having a shit year.

  24. Anonymous says:

    nope maybe 8 bids

  25. Brendan Loy says:

    To the Anonymous whose comment has been deleted twice, leave out the irrelevant personal attack at the end and I won’t delete your comment again. Otherwise forget it.

  26. Andrew says:

    However, two bad seasons in which one can point to specific deficiencies that are coaching-related — which I’ve repeatedly done, and you’ve never responded to those points — does at least raise serious questions about whether the coach is good.

    A thought for you, Brendan: This year, Duke has spectacularly underachieved, despite being stocked with at least as much talent as any other team in NCAA Men’s Basketball. In the few games I’ve seen, their offense has not looked explosive, and their statistics have not been impressive. I don’t know enough about basketball to know what type of play is indicative of good coaching vs. what type of play is indicative of bad coaching, but if I had to guess, neither do you. Thus, I’m tempted to conclude that, if both of us were regulars at Duke basketball games and cared passionately about the team, we’d likely be muttering under our breath that Duke is losing because of bad coaching. In light of the fact that Coach K is one of the best basketball coaches to have ever stood upright, we’d be obviously wrong and merely blinded by our homerism.

    Is it at least possible that this is also true for yourself and your fellow Domers who have been Brey-bashers the past couple of years?

  27. Brendan Loy says:

    Yes, Andrew, that is indeed possible.