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Grizzlies make Niele Ivey NBA’s 9th female assistant coach

August 5, 2019
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FILE - In this Dec. 5, 2015, file photo, Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw, right, watches play with associate coach Niele Ivey, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Storrs, Conn. The Memphis Grizzlies announced Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, that they have hired former Notre Dame women's associate head coach Niele Ivey among the new assistants for coach Taylor Jenkins. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)
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FILE - In this Dec. 5, 2015, file photo, Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw, right, watches play with associate coach Niele Ivey, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Storrs, Conn. The Memphis Grizzlies announced Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, that they have hired former Notre Dame women's associate head coach Niele Ivey among the new assistants for coach Taylor Jenkins. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Memphis Grizzlies have hired former Notre Dame women’s associate head coach Niele (knee-L) Ivey among the new assistants on Taylor Jenkins’ staff.

There are now nine women coaches in the NBA.

The Grizzlies also announced Monday the hiring of Brad Jones, David McClure, James “Scoonie” Penn, Vitaly Potapenko and Neven Spahija.

Jenkins says he’s thrilled to work with an experienced group of coaches with success at all levels as both players and coaches.

Ivey spent the past 12 seasons at her alma mater with the last four as Notre Dame’s associate head coach and recruiting coordinator. She helped the Fighting Irish go 385-55 with seven Final Four berths, six appearances in the NCAA title game and the 2018 national championship.

Notre Dame congratulated Ivey on Twitter, saying the Grizzlies hired a good one.

Ivey played in two Final Fours with Notre Dame, including winning the 2001 national championship. She played five seasons in the WNBA before starting her coaching career as an administrative assistant at Xavier in 2005.

Jenkins kept Potapenko (po-TAH-pen-ko) who was an assistant with the Grizzlies last season. He also has worked for Cleveland and Indiana in the NBA and in the G League. Jones was head coach of Memphis’ G League team last season and also spent four seasons as an assistant coach with the Utah Jazz.

McClure, who played at Duke, spent the past three seasons as assistant coach with the Indiana Pacers and started his coaching career in 2014 as a player development quality assurance assistant for the Spurs. Penn spent the past two seasons as director of player development at Ohio State. Spahija was an assistant with Jenkins in Atlanta between 2014 and 2017.

The Grizzlies also named Jason March head coach of their G League team.

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