Richard "Digger" Phelps spent 20 years as head coach of Notre Dame. Now, after another 20 as a college basketball analyst for ESPN, he is moving on to the next chapter in his life.
The "Silver Fox" announced Monday that he is retiring from his current role, via Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch:
After a pair of seasons with CBS Sports following his tenure with the Irish, Phelps joined ESPN prior to the 1993-94 college basketball campaign. With ESPN, he worked in the studio, was a part of the College GameDay crew, called select games as the color man and did much more.
Upon the announcement of his retirement, there was an outpouring of support. ESPN's Bill Hofheimer and Keri Potts offered their words of praise:
Whether you like him or not, Phelps has served as one of the staples of this sport for the past decade, and he will certainly be missed.
Of course, Rece Davis, via ESPN's Mike Humes, noted that the 72-year-old's impact on the world extends far beyond college basketball:
So what's next for Digger? It's not known at this point, but he joked about a run at succeeding Barack Obama, via Potts:
If that's what he wants, then so be it. Digger has worked his behind off for the past 40-plus years, and he deserves to enjoy his time off however he wants.
He is the author of seven books, per ESPN, so perhaps more writing will be in the cards. But if he just wants to sit back, relax and enjoy retirement, then that's fine, too.
Phelps has earned it.