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Irish Coach MacLeod Resigns

Dick Cheney Harry Whittington
AP/Austin American-Statesman/WpN

Notre Dame basketball coach John MacLeod, who had just three winning seasons in his eight years at the school, resigned Tuesday night.

Athletic director Mike Wadsworth said he met with MacLeod on Tuesday afternoon and the coach indicated he wanted to resign.

MacLeod said in a statement: "I think everything is in place for Notre Dame to make a positive move. I appreciated the opportunity to work here at Notre Dame and I wish the best for the young men who are part of the program."

Wadsworth refused to discuss the circumstances surrounding MacLeod's departure, insisting MacLeod had requested that he limit what he said to what was in the statement.

But MacLeod told The Associated Press in an interview Friday that he expected to be back as coach despite the team's 14-16 record.

"Yes I do. I really do," MacLeod said. "There's nothing written in stone. I'm not sitting here thinking I'm not going to be here. I'm going on a recruit trip tomorrow. We've been working our tails off."

MacLeod's Notre Dame teams were 106-124, with the only winning years being 18-15 in 1991-92, his first at the school, 15-12 in 1994-95 and 16-14 in 1996-97. MacLeod, 61, had the Fighting Irish in the NIT twice, 1992 and 1997.

MacLeod arrived at Notre Dame in 1991 after 18 seasons in the NBA with Phoenix, Dallas and the New York Knicks. His combined record in the NBA was 707-657 and his teams went to the playoffs 11 times, four times reaching the conference finals.

He coached at Oklahoma before moving to the NBA, finishing with a 90-69 mark in six seasons there.

Notre Dame moved into the Big East for the 1995-96 season and the Fighting Irish never had a winning season in the league with an overall mark of 27-45 and an 0-4 record in the Big East tournament.

MacLeod was selected as Big East coach of the year in 1997 and had players honored by the league the last two seasons, Pat Garrity as player of the year in 1998 and Troy Murphy as rookie of the year in 1999.

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