is when I started going to games, although I didn't get season tickets until the Batteast era.
I remember Mary D, but didn't care for her or follow the team then. Talk about blowing an opportunity- if she had just signed Sharon Versyp of Mishawaka, she would probably still be coaching.
I first started to follow ND women's basketball when I was a student. The first game I went to was on Saturday, December 12, 1981, when ND had a men-women doubleheader against Northern Illinois. Most of the fans left after the men's game, which the men lost.
I had met a member of the team in one of my classes, and she invited me to come watch the team play. I had wanted to go out with her, but though we were friendly, she wouldn't. Oh well. I still became one of the 150-200 fans in the stands during the early Mary DiStanislao days until about 1983-84.
I included three chapters on the early days of women's basketball at ND, plus a complete list of scores and alphabetical all-time rosters (including the club years) in my 1985 book "Hooping It Up: The Complete History of Notre Dame Basketball."
- I knew two of the girls/students that helped start the club team that morphed into the varsity team.
- One of the club coaches -- Jeannie Earley -- was my sister's high school coach. She came to ND for a grad degree and coached them for fun.
- Friends followed the girls in cars to their first away schedule, including a game in a gym across from the state prison in Joliet, Illinois.
- My senior year I coached a team of Lyons Hall freshman girls that won the Interhall championship (included Bruce Flowers' younger sister). My starting backcourt ended up playing for the club/varsity team.
- I'm still good friends with both of those women and see one of them every fall at a football game (she was also on the Volleyball Club).
After that, I didn't follow much until the Morgan/Gaither years and have been steady since then.
Was she an IU grad from Garden City NY ? If so, her dad and one brother (Tony '71) were both ND grads. A second brother Bill started (class of 75) but didn't finish.
...I was at ND when she was coaching at the high school in Long Island. Then she came out to ND and my sister called me and said "I think my coach is helping out some club team." I didn't know Jeanne that well, but she did say she had numerous ties to the school and the state.
She attended a recent reunion when Muffet graciously showed the team around the facilities and had them answer questions from the current students. Imagine telling a student you had to bargain with the likes of Fat Eddie for court time at the Rock?
Great turnout of many of the pioneers of the program, including Coach Earley. Coach McGraw and Coach Ivey hosted a postgame visit to the team lounge area and greeted them warmly, with Coach McGraw sharing reminiscences of their contemporaneous early days in college women's bball.
Whole Club team went out with Jeanne E. afterwards....of course, they went to Rocco's because, well, it's Rocco's and it's the 70s.....:-)
Physicians, researchers, foundation directors, attorneys, financial industry executives, business professionals, naval officer and a religious sister.
...at reunions and other functions. On top of all their professional accomplishments, a number of them are great moms (I know their kids) and still the friends I knew on campus.
I just got a call from a senior thanking me for some contribution and she asked about the Class of 1977 and I talked a bit on how tight the women were and why. She said that sometimes she forgets "Nd wasn't always coed..." Indeed.
She was a five foot nothing guard from Marietta, GA. Went on to be a back up on the first varsity team. I remember sticking around after a men's game to watch the first half of a women's game. I haven't seen her since I graduated.
Brown hair. Very fast on the court and chatty/witty. Michelle O'Hearn?
Her backcourt mate was a blonde, Gina Robillard, who had an excellent jump shot. They were the engines of that team.
Those were the two from the Lyons Internall Team that went onto the ND team.
I had a business trip to Atlanta in the late 70's and drove out to Marietta to pick Michelle for dinner. Met her parents and have not seen her since. Kept in touch with Gina and, in fact, attended her wedding on the Annapolis Naval Academy in 1980. Married a domer.
She had a tall roommate and they were known as Beauty and the Beast in Morrissey. She had a high school friend who lived in Morrissey. He & I went to the Gator Bowl and I stayed at his parent's house in Marietta. We went to Michelle's house to see her and I met her parents. As I recall, the house backed up to one of the holes of the Atlanta Country Club.
Gina's husband, Brian is a friend from our undergrad accounting classes. I see the two of them from time to time.
..all these girls were probably class of 1980, right? The third guard of the bunch asked me to come to their reunion more than a decade ago to celebrate that team. I couldn't make it because of a business trip, but it was fun to hear from them.
They were known as Lyons II. Lyons I were all seniors and most were friends of mine. Little did my friends know that I had some serious players on the team.
During bookstore basketball, the club team played Lyons II and the frosh girls played them equally until the last few minutes. That's when Michelle and Gina caught the attention of the club...soon to be varsity team.
If you ever run into Brian and Gina, tell her you "know" her Lyons Hall B-Ball coach. It should get a chuckle (I hope :-0 )
I met Gina through hoops.
For a member of this board and for her, given her shooting acumen.
For those who remember, Gina had a little "kick back" with her lower legs, much like Dick Barnett of the Knicks. Good "j."
If you see her, tell her Dillon77 said "hi." She'll figure it out (especially if you bring up the Lyons Hall B-Ball Team.)
I thought I knew who you meant, but when you mentioned Brian that cinched it.
Gina's last name was Robillard before she married Brian.
and Gina (then Robillard), Class of 1980. Played for ND Fighting Irish 1977-78.
Michelle last name was O'Haren. Her younger brother got a football scholarship to ND. This was before the 85 limit. I got the impression that his scholarship was based on donations rather than talent.
and the correct last name. I wasn't quite sure of it because I had a good friend from '77 named O'Hearn and was pretty sure it wasn't the same.
However, I remember her style of play and I'm pretty sure I'll remember the tall roomie sooner rather than later.
I was there. I don’t remember her name. I know my system didn’t like her at all and didn’t go to ND because of it. Shame. We talk often about MM would have been her coach 2 of 4 years.
was the women's basketball SID (they used students as primary contacts for all sports other than football and men's basketball) in '79-'80 and '80-'81.
As a supporter/friend of the club team, I can appreciate those early years.
for an article I wrote for the ND football program quite a few years ago. Then, a few years after that, one of her sons and our eldest son were housemates at Notre Dame.
game and Shari Matvey from the Youngstown area was the star post player that year. Johnny Dee was the coach when I saw my first ND men's game.
I started going to games in 1984 when Mary Distanislao was coach. My daughter started summer basketball camp that year and we have been going to games ever since.
Although it was tough to follow pre-internet. "Following" consisted of reading random box scores and occasionally posted rankings.
I remember those days. I thought "Hey, ND is ranked! Now I can at least see the scores on the ESPN ticker!" Nope. ND was ranked in the AP, but not the Coaches' Poll.
She preceded Muffet. We were both from the Philly area. I attended Rutgers (all boys then) Mary attended Douglass, the St. Mary's of Rutgers.
Mary was a true feminist. I recall she never told the team to play man-to-man defense. It was always person-to-person.
I do go back to the days when ND added a pair of women's season tickets (general admission) to the men's season ticket package at no extra charge. I became a fan by taking my daughter to the women's games.
I started following the team in McGraw's 3rd year. My freshman year was McGraw's first season.
..so I predate Muffet. However, I was not a fan of ND women's basketball then for obvious reasons.
I arrived in 1970 and was actually kicked off campus the year women were first moved on campus.
didn't care a lick about anything but ND football back then.
In those days a women's basketball team at ND was an impossibility. Heck, we even voted down using the St. Mary's girls as our cheerleaders!
In those days it was mainly football - if it could be called that, during the Joe and Hugh era.
I am a late-comer to women's basketball. Became interested only when my daughter started playing as
a little girl.
Although I watched our only Naional. Championship, I Really became interested about 5 or 6 years ago.
I have come to love this board. My most important daily reading! I watch every game televised,
and thoroughly enjoy Dillon, Kayo, RI Steve, BabaGhanouj, Fighting Irish Radio, and all the rest of you.