Donation to pay ND coach’s salary

Published 12:11 am Wednesday, February 18, 2015

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — A former Notre Dame player and her husband have donated $5 million to endow the position of women’s basketball coach, making it the first endowed coaching job at the school.

Karen Robinson Keyes and her husband, Kevin, are underwriting the position’s annual salary, the university announced Monday. Keyes played for the Irish under coach Muffet McGraw from 1987-91, leading Notre Dame to its first top-20 ranking her senior year.

“We are so very grateful to Karen and Kevin for this generous and groundbreaking gift,” said the Rev. John I. Jenkins, the school’s president.

Email newsletter signup

This announcement launches a new initiative to endow coaching positions and athletic scholarships, the university said.

Keyes ended her career as the top scorer in school history with 1,590 points and is now eighth on the all-time list. She called McGraw an important influence in her life.

“We are proud to honor her, recognize her dedication to the university and continue to admire all of the successful women she has coached and developed over her entire career,” said Keyes, who’s now a high school basketball coach in Ridgewood, New Jersey.

Kevin Keyes was a varsity tennis player for the Irish and is now president of Annaly Capital Management.

McGraw is in her 28th season coaching Notre Dame. She led the Irish to a national championship in 2001 and to title game appearances in three of the past four years.

“I am overwhelmed and humbled by the incredible generosity that Karen and Kevin have shown with this gift,” McGraw said.