Paul Unterreiner Steps Down as Boys Basketball Coach

Paul Unterreiner has announced that he is stepping down as the boys’ basketball head coach.

Unterreiner took over the basketball program for the 2014-2015 season, accumulating a 159-94 record. During his time as head coach, his teams had two final four appearances, won two SEMO Conference championships and one Christmas Tournament championship. He also spent four years as boys JV coach, four years as the girls’ basketball JV coach and nine years coaching track.

“Coach U has always brought energy to the program,” said Notre Dame Athletic Director Jeff Graviett. “You could bet that his kids were going to play hard. He represents everything that ND is about: keeping God first, your family second, and you third.  His ‘I am 3rd’ motto sums up his love for his team, his family, and most importantly his God.”

“Every team and season has memories I’ll cherish forever,” said Paul Unterreiner. “I’ll forever remember our two state runs. The first run was my first year as head coach (2014-15), and I had a group of young men that were on a mission. The good moments and the bad moments that we shared are what sports are all about.

“The most special moment came during the 2019-2020 when we won our quarterfinal. I got the chance to celebrate with one of my best friends, Kirk Boeller (ND girls basketball coach), and his girl’s squad. For the first time in Notre Dame history, both the boys’ and girls’ programs qualified for the final four. Yes, the pandemic got in the way of our end goal, but I’ll never forget how special that moment was,” said Unterreiner.

Over his nine seasons as the head of the boy’s program, Unterreiner has coached 19 academic all-state student athletes. Several players and teams have set school records; including, the best 2-point field goal percentage (57.30%) and 3-point field goal percentage (38%) by the 2014-2015 team, and the most 3-pointers in a season (215) from the 2022-2023 team.

“As great of memories that came from the two state runs, I have equally as fond memories from the years we didn’t win a district championship,” said Unterreiner. “I loved seeing teams come together for the greater good, causing us to overachieve and play our best basketball at the end of the year.”

Unterreiner, who was named the 2020 MBCA Class 4 Coach of the Year, says he will miss the people surrounding the basketball program the most.

“I’ve been blessed to have spent a lot of time with great assistant coaches, quality young men who poured their heart and soul into our program, supportive parents, and two fantastic athletic trainers. I’ll miss getting to know young people in a way that can only be done throughout the roller coaster of a basketball season. I’ll miss the relationships I’ve built with other coaches and referees. I’ll miss the bus rides where my dad was our bus driver, and I’ll miss his constructive criticism. I’ll miss watching a player or two always get the bus spotless for my dad after a road trip,” said Unterreiner. “It’s all about the people. I’ll miss the people. Every single one of them. Thanks for the ride.”

Unterreiner’s departure from coaching will allow him to focus solely on his role as an assistant principal and the Dean of Academics at Notre Dame.

“Coach Unterreiner has always seen the big picture,” said Principal Tim Garner. “He understands that what makes a good basketball program is what makes a good school. Relationships. He has worked hard to build strong bonds with his players and the student body. He also knows that having high standards, along with player and coach accountability, is what will define a program long after players and coaches move on. This knowledge describes his approach to his role as assistant principal.

“As he will now be able to focus full time on the day-to-day responsibilities as an assistant principal, his gifts will help Notre Dame become even better than it’s been.”