Mike Brey graduated from DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland in 1977. As a two-year letter winner Brey helped the team to a 55–9 mark. He enrolled at Northwestern State University where he played varsity basketball for three years. He returned to his former high school, becoming an assistant coach under Morgan Wootten. In 1987, he was hired by Duke University to assist Mike Krzyzewski and in 1995 he took over his first head coaching job at the University of Delaware. Brey guided the Fightin' Blue Hens to a 99–51 record over five years, leading the team to two America East Conference Championships and subsequently two trips to the NCAA Tournament.
In 2000, Mike Brey became the Head Coach at the University of Notre Dame. He was Coach of the Year in 2011 and has won over 500 career games.