Matt McGraw, Muffet McGraw’s Husband: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Getty Matt McGraw (right) with Notre Dame women's basketball coach and wife Muffet Mcgraw (center).

Head coach Muffet McGraw has Notre Dame women’s basketball on the verge of the program’s third national championship. The Fighting Irish and Baylor Bears face off in the NCAA Tournament final Sunday (6 p.m. EST, ESPN). Notre Dame is looking to defends its championship from the year before, as guard Arike Ogunbowale nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to clinch the title.

McGraw, formerly Ann O’Brien, has won 918 games in a career that spans three decades in South Bend. One of her biggest cheerleaders is her husband Matt McGraw. She took his name when the couple got married.

He’s pretty hard to miss due to his enthusiastic and loud support for his wife and her program. Here’s what you need to know about the 65-year old.

1. Matt & Muffet Met in West Chester (Pa.) During the Summer of ’77

Matt attended West Chester University from 1974 to 1977 to earn his B.S. in Psychology. The summer after his senior year, he decided to stay in town to intern at the local county courthouse.

It turns out Muffet, a criminal justice major and basketball player at St. Joseph’s University at the time, worked in the same courthouse. Allison Hayes of ABC 57 News details the initial spark.

“I had a job, I could work in the courthouse as an internship for the summer. I met with a guy named Bob Kyle, he walked me around to each office and in each office he said ‘You need to know these people, these people.’ We got to her office and he said, ‘There’s nobody you need to meet here.’ And I said, ‘Ah, there is,'” Matt said.

“I was a criminal justice major at St Joe’s. I was working for the summer at Juvenile Probation of Chester County at the courthouse. And one day, they brought this guy in who was going to intern in the department. I remember the first look at him, I remember what he was wearing. I just remember thinking ‘That’s somebody I would definitely like to meet,'” Muffet said.

Matt was playing baseball, as well. His athleticism and sense of humor appealed to Muffet.

2. He Proposed in a Photobooth Only Months After Meeting & She Wore Sneakers at the Wedding

Later in the Hayes article, the McGraws detailed the proposal, which happened in a department store photo booth.

“We were actually in a Woolworth’s Department Store, if you remember those, the 5-and-10. And, they actually had a photo booth in there. And I said, ‘Let’s get a picture of the two of us in the photo booth.’ So we got in and I put in a quarter and as it started flashing I said ‘Will you marry me?'” Matt said.

“Well, we met in June, got engaged in December and we both knew. I mean, I could have got engaged in July, I knew right away,” Muffet said.

They got engaged in December 1977, and married the following October. The McGraws will be celebrating their 41st wedding anniversary this fall.

On the actual wedding day, Muffet said that she was wearing sneakers. Everyone found out as she pulled up her wedding dress for the garter toss.

“When I pulled up my skirt to take off the garter, I had my sneakers on,” she said. “And so I was like ‘You know what this is going to be like for the next 50 years, so you better get used to it now.'”

After a few years in Pennsylvania, as Muffet was the head coach at Lehigh, Matt encouraged her to take the Notre Dame job in 1988.

3. Matt Vividly Remembers That Muffet Was Almost on the 2nd Plane That Hit the World Trade Center

Muffet was originally a passenger on United Flight 175, the 2nd plane to hit the World Trade Center on 9/11. The fall after winning the program’s first national championship, she was on a trip to Boston to visit Nicole Wolff, a guard from Walpole (Mass.) and the 2002 McDonald’s High School Player of the Year.

According to UND.com, her assistant Kevin McDuff convinced her not to take the fateful flight out of Boston, but change to a 1-stop flight from Logan International to Providence and then back home.

Matt remembers the details well.

“I was thinking to myself, “He (McGuff) is going to lose this bet because she never buckles on things like this,” he says.

But she did, and so McGraw and McGuff boarded the plane in Providence Tuesday morning.

“No one said anything,” said McGraw, “and we wondered why we weren’t taking off. We were just sitting there and sitting there. Then they came on and said, ‘We’re going to deplane and go back into the airport and check out the monitors.’

“We got off . . . and we saw the second plane hit on TV . . . right there.”

Muffet and Matt don’t talk about the close call very often.

4. Matt is the More Social One of the Couple & a Visible Supporter During Games

According to a recent interview with espnW, Muffet is an introverted, direct, honest and methodical type…to the point that she said she “hurts people’s feelings and don’t even realize it.”

Matt is the opposite personality type. He is frequently seen talking with fans, wearing vibrant Irish green clothing and appearing on the radio broadcasts. He also takes care of the details around the house.

Matt is the social chair of the couple, shaking hands and talking with seemingly everyone before games and holding court in hotel lobbies on the road while his wife stays back in the room. Matt cooks the meals. Does the dishes. Takes care of the house.

In 2013 in a game against Duke, he was even seen wearing a styrofoam green hat while nervously watching the game from the stands. He’s the ultimate fan of Notre Dame, but more so his wife.

5. He’s Had a Long Career in Finance, and the Couple Have One Son Together

According to his LinkedIn page, Matt has worked in the financial industry since 1979. He’s worked at Bank of America, The Equitable, ProSearch, Northwestern Mutual.

He currently serves as a Talent Acquisition Consultant for ProSearch.

The McGraws have one son together named Murphy, who’s in his 20s.


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