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Wisconsin basketball: Jonathan Tsipis named women's head coach

UW hires a coach with basketball in his blood and with a track record of success.

The Wisconsin Badgers officially announced Jonathan Tsipis as its women's head coach on Thursday.

Tsipis turned around a George Washington program to win back-to-back Atlantic 10 Conference championships and NCAA tournament appearances, compiling a 55-11 record in the past two seasons.

UW's new women's head coach has established an impressive resume', starting his basketball coaching career as a men's graduate assistant for Mike Krzyzewski at Duke, then progressing up to associate head coach and recruiting coordinator for Notre Dame's women's program before moving on to Colonels.

The basketball genes run through his family's blood, as his father, Lou, played on the Greece national team at age 15, while his brother, sister, and niece all played in college.

Tsipis replaces Bobbie Kelsey, who was relieved of her duties after posting a disappointing 47-100 record in her five years at UW, including a 19-65 mark in conference play.

Wisconsin officially introduced Tsipis at a press conference Thursday afternoon. Here are some of the highlights from B5Q's Curt Hogg:

Here's the official release from the Wisconsin athletic department:

Jonathan Tsipis named Wisconsin women's basketball coach

Former Notre Dame assistant engineered turnaround at George Washington

MADISON, Wis. - Jonathan Tsipis, the 2015 Atlantic 10 Conference Coach of the Year, has been named the seventh head coach in Wisconsin women's basketball history, Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez announced Thursday.

Tsipis (SIP-iss) spent the last four seasons as the head coach at George Washington University, re-establishing the Colonials as a national power and a dominant team in the Atlantic 10. He inherited a team that went 11-18 the year before he arrived and led them to a 55-11 record, two A-10 titles and consecutive NCAA tournament appearances in the last two seasons.

After a debut season that ended with a 14-16 mark, Tsipis guided George Washington to a 23-11 overall record in 2013-14, tying for second in the conference and advancing to the third round of the WNIT. The Colonials were one of the top offensive teams in the country, ranking 35th in the country, averaging 76.1 points per game. That was a 17.2 points per game improvement from the previous season. Freshman Caira Washington was named the A-10 Rookie of the Year.

In 2014-15, Tsipis was voted the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year after leading GW to a 29-4 record, setting a program mark for wins and winning percentage. The Colonials won the A-10 regular season and tournament titles, earning their first berth in the NCAA tournament since 2008. George Washington was ranked as high as 19th in the national polls, ending the year ranked 25th in the USA Today Coaches Poll.

The Colonials established themselves as one of the top rebounding teams in the nation, leading all of Division I teams with a plus-13.8 rebounding margin. Junior Jonquel Jones was named A-10 Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year as well as honorable mention All-America by the Associated Press and WBCA.

George Washington returned to the NCAA tournament this past season, recording its third-straight 20-win season by going 26-7. The Colonials won a share of Atlantic 10 regular season title at 13-3 and won their second straight conference tournament title. Jones repeated as an AP and WBCA honorable mention All-American and is predicted to be a first-round WNBA draft pick this April. She also was a candidate for several national player of the year awards, including the Naismith Trophy, Wade Trophy and Wooden Award.

Learning under a legend at Notre Dame

Tsipis arrived at George Washington after serving on the coaching staff at the University of Notre Dame for nine seasons, including his last four years as associate head coach and recruiting coordinator. The Fighting Irish compiled a 228-77 record during his tenure, advancing to the NCAA tournament every year.

Under Hall of Fame coach Muffet McGraw, Tsipis aided the Fighting Irish to five Sweet 16 appearances, including national runner-up finishes his last two seasons. As the coordinator of its nationally-ranked recruiting efforts, Notre Dame had one of the nation's top-20 recruiting classes in each of his nine years, including three top-10 classes.

One of's Top 10 assistant coaches in the nation in 2011, and a 2009 Assistant Coach of the Year, Tsipis mentored four All-Americans and eight WNBA draft picks, including five first-round selections, at Notre Dame. His student-athletes also earned eight All-Big East selections, and three were invited to USA Basketball National Team trials.

Tsipis' success stories include All-Americans Natalie Novosel, Jacqueline Batteast, Charel Allen and Lindsay Schrader.

On the court, Tsipis helped coordinate Notre Dame's game plans that resulted in more than 30 wins over nationally-ranked opponents, including six wins over perennial power Connecticut.

Starting a coaching career

Tsipis went to Notre Dame after one season as the director of men's basketball operations at UNC-Greensboro, where he worked under Fran McCaffery, now the head men's basketball coach at Iowa. He spent two seasons as an assistant men's coach at Elon University in North Carolina and one year as the top men's assistant at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York.

Tsipis also spent three seasons on the men's basketball staff at Cornell University and one year as a student assistant at Duke under legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Basketball runs in the family

Basketball runs in the Tsipis family, as his father Lou played for the Greek national team at age 15, had a standout career at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio, and later played professionally in Greece. A member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (1987; lifetime member as an official) and Hellenic Sports Hall of Fame (1997), Lou Tsipis also coached at the high school and collegiate levels for more than 20 years.

Tsipis' brother Dean played at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland and his sister LuAnn Damiris was a three-sport letterwinner at Baldwin-Wallace. In addition, his niece Amanda played basketball at Notre Dame from 2004-08, serving as team captain her final year and winning the program's Spirit Award each of her four seasons.

Born in Cleveland, Tsipis grew up in Durham, North Carolina, and graduated from North Carolina in 1996 with a bachelor's degree in pharmacy. He and his wife Leigh are the proud parents of two children, daughter Emily (11) and son Joshua (9).

Tsipis' Year-By-Year Record

Notre Dame Associate Head Coach/Assistant Coach Record

Year Overall Pct. Conf. Pct. Postseason

2003-04 21-11 .656 12-4 .750 NCAA Sweet 16

2004-05 27-6 .818 13-3 .813 NCAA Second Round

2005-06 18-12 .600 8-8 .500 NCAA First Round

2006-07 20-12 .625 10-6 .625 NCAA Second Round

2007-08 25-9 .735 11-5 .688 NCAA Sweet 16

2008-09 22-9 .710 10-6 .625 NCAA First Round

2009-10 29-6 .828 12-4 .750 NCAA Sweet 16

2010-11 31-8 .795 13-3 .813 Big East Champions; NCAA Runners Up

2011-12 35-4 .897 15-1 .938 Big East Champions; NCAA Runners Up

9 years 228-77 .748 104-40 .722

George Washington Head Coach Record

Year Overall Pct. A-10 Pct. Postseason

2012-13 14-16 .467 7-7 .500

2013-14 23-11 .676 11-5 .688 WNIT Third Round

2014-15 29-4 .879 15-1 .938 A-10 Champions, NCAA First Round

2015-16 26-7 .788 13-3 .813 A-10 Champions, NCAA First Round

4 Years 92-38 .708 46-16 .742



Born: Nov. 7, in Cleveland, Ohio

Hometown: Durham, North Carolina

Alma Mater: University of North Carolina (1996), B.S. Pharmacy

High School: Durham Academy

Wife: Leigh

Children: Emily (11), Joshua (9)



Undergraduate Men's Basketball Assistant, Duke University


Assistant Men's Basketball Coach, Cornell University


Assistant Men's Basketball Coach, Le Moyne College


Assistant Men's Basketball Coach, Elon University


Director of Operations for Men's Basketball, UNC-Greensboro


Assistant Coach, University of Notre Dame


Associate Head Coach/Recruiting Coordinator, University of Notre Dame


Head Coach, George Washington University


· 2015 Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year

· 2008-09 National Assistant Coach of the Year


· Jonquel Jones, George Washington - Two-time (2015, 2016) AP Honorable Mention All-American, two-time (2015, 2016) WBCA All-America Regional Finalist, 2016 Top 30 finalist on Wade Watch List, 2015 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, 2015 Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year

· Caira Washington, George Washington - Two-time (2015, 2016) first-team Atlantic 10 All-Conference; 2014 Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year

· Natalie Novosel, Notre Dame - 2011 WBCA honorable mention All-American, 2011 first-team All-Big East

· Jacqueline Batteast, Notre Dame - Two-time All-American (2004, 2005), 2005 Big East Player of the Year, 2005 WNBA second-round draft pick

· Lindsay Schrader, Notre Dame - 2010 AP and WBCA Honorable Mention All-American, Two-time first-team All-Big East (2009, 2010)

· Charel Allen, Notre Dame - Two-time WBCA Honorable Mention All-American (2007, 2008), Two-time first-team All-Big East (2007, 2008), 2008 WNBA third-round draft pick,


· Father: Lou Tsipis - Member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and Hellenic Sports Hall of Fame; Played on the Greek National Team and at Baldwin-Wallace College (Berea, Ohio)

· Brother: Dean Tsipis - Played basketball at Case Western Reserve University

· Sister: LuAnn Damiris - Played basketball at Baldwin-Wallace College

· Niece: Amanda Tsipis - Played at Notre Dame from 2004-08