Jonquel Jones Named Most Valuable Player
Colonials Set for 16th NCAA Appearance
Colonials Seeded Sixth in Spokane Regional
Jones Named Player and Defensive Player of the Year; Tsipis Tabbed Coach of the Year
Colonials Ranked in Top 25 for First Time Since 2008
Coach Jonathan Tsipis & WBB players address media during 2014 GW Basketball #GWMediaDay on Tuesday, Oct. 28.
Coach Tsipis on NewsChannel 8's SportsTalk (3/24/14)
The George Washington women's basketball team unveiled its complete 2012-13 schedule on Thursday, highlighted by 13 games against teams which advanced to postseason play a year ago.
WBB Coach Tsipis Live Video Chat Archive
Tsipis Mention on ESPN's National Championship Broadcast
When Jonathan Tsipis was named head coach of the George Wshington women's basketball team in April 2012, he was tasked with re-establishing the Colonials as a national power and the most dominant team in the Atlantic 10 Conference.
Just three years later, Coach Tsipis has done just that.
In 2015, Coach Tsipis was voted Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year as he led GW to a 29-4 overall record - setting a program record for wins and winning percentage - an Atlantic 10 regular-season title with a 15-1 league mark, an A-10 championship and its first berth in the NCAA Tournament since 2008. The Colonials, who won both the regular-season and tournament crowns for the first time since 2003, became the first No. 1 seed to win the A-10 tournament since Xavier in 2011.
GW won 19 straight games during an 11-week span that stretched from before Thanksgiving to nearly Valentine's Day and included victories over N.C. State and Purdue in the Bahamas en route to a championship at the Junkanoo Jam. It matched the second-longest streak in program history and jettisoned the Colonials into the national rankings, where they remained for the final 10 weeks of the season and peaked at No. 19.
The Colonials established themselves as the top rebounding team in the nation, leading all of Division I with a +13.8 rebounding margin behind A-10 Player and Defensive Player of the Year Jonquel Jones, whose 375 rebounds shattered GW's pervious single-season record, which had stood for more than two decades.
Jones, who was just the fourth player in conference history to win both Player and Defensive Player of the Year, became the first Colonial to earn All-America honors since 2008 when she garnered honorable mention from both the Associated Press and WBCA. The junior was also one of 30 midseason candidates for the prestigious Naismith Trophy, which is given to the national player of the year.
GW's quick turnaround began almost immediately upon Coach Tsipis' hiring. In his first season at the helm, he guided the Colonials to their first A-10 Championship victory since 2008 and their most overall (14) and conference wins (7) since 2009.
In Year Two, Coach Tsipis and the Colonials took it a step farther. In the second game of the 2013-14 season, GW knocked off No. 10/11 California, a 2013 Final Four participant, at the Smith Center - a sign of things to come. The Colonials would tie for second place in the Atlantic 10 standings with an 11-5 conference record after defeating their second ranked opponent of the season, No. 21 Dayton, on Senior Day, earning a bye through to the quarterfinals of the A-10 Championship, where they beat defending champ Saint Joseph's to advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2008.
GW earned a bid to the WNIT, making its first postseason appearance since 2009, and reached the third round after defeating East Carolina and Villanova for its first postseason victories since 2008. The Colonials finished the season with a 23-11 overall mark, a nine-win improvement from the previous season and their most overall wins since the 2007-08 campaign.
For his efforts, Coach Tsipis was awarded a contract extension through the 2020-21 season.
The Colonials also established themselves as one of the top offensive teams in not just the Atlantic 10 but in all of Division I in 2013-14, ranking second in the league and 35th in the nation, averaging 76.1 points per game - a 17.2 point-per-game improvement from the previous season. The squad scored 100 points in three different games - the first team in program history to reach the century mark multiple times in one season.
Four Colonials earned Atlantic 10 postseason honors, headlined by freshman Caira Washington, who was named A-10 Rookie of the Year.
Coach Tsipis [SIP-iss] came to GW just three days after sitting on the sidelines in Denver as Notre Dame took on Baylor in its second straight NCAA title game. Tsipis spent nine seasons on the coaching staff at the University of Notre Dame, including his last four years as associate head coach and recruiting coordinator. In all, the Fighting Irish enjoyed a 228-77 (.748) mark with Coach Tsipis on the sidelines.
In his nine seasons at Notre Dame, Coach Tsipis helped Hall of Fame Coach Muffet McGraw reach the NCAA Tournament each season, including five Sweet Sixteen appearances, four of which came in his last five years in South Bend. As the coordinator of Notre Dame's nationally ranked recruiting efforts, his work landed the Fighting Irish one of the nation's top-20 recruiting classes in each of his nine years and a top-10 class three of his last four seasons, and Notre Dame's Class of 2014 graduated as the most successful senior class in program history. Additionally, his expertise was relied on to coordinate Notre Dame's game plans, player development, scheduling and practice planning.
"Jonathan is extremely well-respected in women's basketball circles, and his reputation of being a man of integrity, with a history of winning and a strong track record of academic success among the student-athletes that he has worked with makes George Washington incredibly fortunate to employ his services," said George Washington Director of Athletics and Recreation Patrick Nero. "We wanted to hire someone who has been at another top school with high academic standards for student-athletes, but who also knows how to win. Jonathan's basketball acumen, recruiting ability, attention to detail and work ethic made him one of the most highly sought-after coaches in the country, and the opportunity is there for our student-athletes to achieve the lofty goals and high standards of our women's basketball program under his mentorship and tutelage."
One of CollegeInsider.com's Top 10 assistant coaches in the nation, and a former recipient of BasketballScoop.com's Assistant Coach of the Year Award (five recipients each season), Tsipis has mentored four All-Americans, eight WNBA Draft picks, including five first-round selections, a BIG EAST Conference Player of the Year, three players who earned invitations to the USA Basketball National Team trials and a First Team Academic All-American. Coach Tsipis' student-athletes have excelled academically as well, as 100 percent of his players at Notre Dame who used their four years of eligibility graduated, ranking the Irish tops in the country in Graduation Success Rate.
"Jonathan is an exceptionally hard-working and dedicated coach who brought a great deal of positive energy during his nine seasons at Notre Dame," said Coach McGraw. "He is a very strong X's-and-O's coach and someone who has built a great network of contacts throughout the college basketball world. I'm grateful for all he has done for our program and will be eagerly following his teams at George Washington, where I expect he will have great success."
Coach Tsipis was responsible for building the game plan in close to three dozen Notre Dame wins over nationally ranked opponents (six versus UConn), including the Irish's win against Connecticut in 2005 that snapped the Huskies' 112-game home win streak in regular-season league games. He also designed the game plan in Notre Dame's 2011 NCAA Women's Final Four victory when the Fighting Irish became the first UConn opponent in more than seven years to shoot better than 50 percent from the floor.
"I am thrilled that Jonathan Tsipis will be heading to Foggy Bottom," said Notre Dame men's basketball head coach and GW alumnus Mike Brey. "I have watched him coach and teach up close for nine years and I am thoroughly impressed. Who wouldn't want their daughter to play for Jonathan? He has a fabulous feel for the game and is a great communicator. I am thrilled my alma mater has chosen him."
Tsipis went to Notre Dame following one season as the director of men's basketball operations at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, where he worked under Fran McCaffery, who now is the head men's basketball coach at the University of Iowa. Prior to arriving at UNC Greensboro, Coach Tsipis spent two seasons as an assistant men's coach at Elon (N.C.) University after one year as the top men's assistant coach at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y. He also spent three seasons on the men's basketball staff at Cornell University and one year on the men's basketball staff at Duke, where he served as an undergraduate assistant under legendary Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski.
All told, Tsipis has worked under three national championship coaches - Notre Dame's McGraw, Duke's Krzyzewski and Le Moyne's Dave Paulsen, who is now the head coach at Bucknell University.
Shortly after coming to GW, Tsipis was invited to attend the WBCA Center for Coaching Excellence, an elite leadership program dedicated to providing coaches with the professional skills and personal ethics training necessary to be exceptional leaders in the sport.
The North Carolina graduate hails from a family with strong roots in basketball, as his father, Lou, played for the Greek National Team and had a standout career at Baldwin-Wallace College before playing professionally in Greece. A member of both the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and Hellenic Sports Hall of Fame, Tsipis' father also coached at the high school and collegiate levels for more than 20 years. Tsipis' brother, Dean, played basketball at Case Western Reserve University, while his sister, LuAnn Damiris, was a three-sport letterwinner at Baldwin-Wallace, and his niece, Amanda Tsipis, played basketball at Notre Dame while her uncle was on the sidelines.
Born on Nov. 7, 1972, in Cleveland, Ohio, Tsipis and his wife, Leigh, are the proud parents of two children, Emily (10) and Joshua (7).
THE TSIPIS FILE
1996-99: Cornell University (men's basketball)
1999-2000: Assistant Coach, Le Moyne College (men's basketball)
2000-02: Assistant Coach, Elon University (men's basketball)
2003-08: Assistant Coach, University of Notre Dame
2008-12: Associate Head Coach/Recruiting Coordinator, University of Notre Dame
2012-Present: Head Coach, George Washington University
Brother: Dean Tsipis
Sister: LuAnn Damiris
Niece: Amanda Tsipis
Tsipis' Year-By-Year 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 Tournament First Round TOTAL (3 Seasons) 66-31 .680 33-13 .717