Jonathan Tsipis was introduced as the ninth head coach of the George Washington women's basketball program.

April 6, 2012

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Tsipis introduced as new George Washington women's basketball coach - The Washington Post
New George Washington coach ready to win now - Associated Press

WASHINGTON - George Washington University Director of Athletics and Recreation Patrick Nero announced today that Jonathan Tsipis has been hired as GW's next head women's basketball coach. Coach Tsipis [SIP-iss] has spent the past nine seasons on the coaching staff at the University of Notre Dame, most recently as associate head coach and recruiting coordinator for the past four seasons. In all, Notre Dame enjoyed a 228-77 (.748) mark with Tsipis on the sidelines, including back-to-back NCAA National Championship game appearances in 2011 and 2012. 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 the last five years. 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 the last four seasons. 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 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's Top 10 assistant coaches in the nation, and a former recipient of's Assistant Coach of the Year Award (five recipients each season), Tsipis has mentored four All-Americans, two WNBA Draft picks, 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 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 LeMoyne 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 LeMoyne's Dave Paulsen, who is now the head coach at Bucknell University.

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, played basketball at Notre Dame.

Born on Nov. 7, 1972, in Cleveland, Ohio, he and his wife, Leigh, are the proud parents of two young children, Emily (7) and Joshua (5).



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