April 1, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame associate head women's basketball coach Jonathan Tsipis has been selected as one of 20 semifinalists for the BasketballScoop.com Coach of the Year honor, the web site announced Monday evening. According to the site, the award focuses on the "rising stars of the college basketball coaching profession", the assistant coaches. Each of the 20 semifinalists was nominated by at least one of their peers, with many nominated by multiple coaches.
Fans are invited to cast their ballot for this year's Coach of the Year by going to www.BasketballScoop.com. Voters make choose up to 10 of the 20 candidates, but may vote only once per computer (IP address). The deadline for fan voting in April 15, at which time the 10 coaches with the most votes will be evaluated by the BasketballScoop panel of coaches, who will choose the five award winners.
Tsipis (last name pronounced SIP-iss) recently completed his sixth season on Muffet McGraw's staff at Notre Dame, and his first as associate head coach with the Fighting Irish. Since his arrival, Tsipis has helped Notre Dame post a 133-58 (.696) record, reaching the NCAA Championship all six years, including Sweet 16 berths in 2004 and 2008. What's more, he is widely recognized as one of the top young strategical minds in the game, having crafted scouting reports and game plans for 13 of Notre Dame's wins over nationally-ranked opponents in the past five seasons, including all five victories in 2008-09 (LSU, Michigan State, Purdue, Vanderbilt and DePaul).
In addition, Tsipis has developed a strong track record with regard to player development. He has worked with two-time All-America wings and WNBA Draft picks Jacqueline Batteast ('05) and Charel Allen ('08), and most recently, he helped tutor '08-09 first-team all-BIG EAST Conference guard Lindsay Schrader.
Tsipis has been an integral part of Notre Dame's nationally-ranked recruiting efforts throughout his tenure, including his current role as the program's recruiting coordinator. The Irish have attracted 13 consecutive top 20 recruiting classes, with next year's incoming class ranked as high as seventh in the country by All-Star Girls Report.
"Jonathan is a dedicated and respected coach and role model for our players, and I'm excited to hear he's been named a semifinalist for this award," McGraw said. "He has done a tremendous job as our recruiting coordinator and his track record in terms of player development and game scouting is among the best in the country. He really understands the game from all angles and is excellent at passing on that knowledge to our team. He's a great teacher who stresses the fundamentals above everything else, and he is very poised and confident under pressure, which are all qualities that our players respond well to."
Notre Dame posted a 22-9 record this season, earning its 14th consecutive NCAA Championship appearance and 16th in program history. The Fighting Irish will return all 12 players from this year's squad (including all-conference guards Schrader and Ashley Barlow), while adding two talented incoming freshmen -- guards Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington HS) and Kaila Turner (Joliet, Ill./Marian Catholic HS) -- to the mix.