July 3, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -
University of Notre Dame women's basketball assistant coach Jonathan Tsipis has been promoted to associate head coach, it was announced today by Irish head coach Muffet McGraw.
Tsipis (pronounced SIP-iss), who has been on McGraw's staff since 2003, will continue to coach Notre Dame's wing players, coordinate the program's nationally-ranked recruiting efforts, assist in game scouting plans and oversee all equipment and apparel needs for the Irish.
"Jonathan is a dedicated and respected coach and role model for our players," 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. I rely on him for his invaluable insights, passion and drive, and I'm looking forward to having him on the bench as we continue making our move back to the top of college basketball."
Tsipis, 35, has helped Notre Dame to a 111-49 (.694) record in his first five seasons with the Irish, including five consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, two trips to the NCAA Sweet 16 and the 2004 Preseason Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) championship. This past season, Notre Dame posted a 25-9 record (including an 11-5 mark in the BIG EAST Conference, where it finished fourth) and were ranked among the top 20 teams in the country by both major national polls for the final 17 weeks of the season, finishing 13th in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll and 15th in the Associated Press poll (the latter survey was taken before the NCAA Tournament). At year's end, Notre Dame also ranked among the top 25 in six NCAA statistical categories, including scoring offense (8th at 76.2 points per game) and scoring margin (10th at plus-14.6 points per game).
"I am honored to be named associate head coach at Notre Dame," Tsipis said. "The opportunity to work alongside a future Hall of Fame coach in Muffet McGraw and the hardest working student-athletes in the country is truly a dream for me each and every day. Muffet has not only made me a better coach, but has helped me grow and think as a head coach. There is no other place like the University of Notre Dame. Our program has received tremendous support, both from our fans, who are the very best in the country, and our administration, which provides us with every resource possible in order to bring another national championship back to Notre Dame. We are anticipating even greater things in the future from our women's basketball program."
Tsipis has earned a well-deserved reputation as one of the nation's top young assistants, thanks in large part to his uncanny success with player development. He had a hand in guiding standout forward Jacqueline Batteast
to the two most productive seasons of her college career (2003-04 and 2004-05), in which she averaged 16.5 points and 7.6 rebounds per game while twice earning All-America honors, including a spot on the prestigious 10-player Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) All-America Team and AP third-team laurels in 2004-05. A native of South Bend, Ind., Batteast also was the 2005 BIG EAST Player of the Year and a two-time first-team all-conference selection, before being drafted by the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx in 2005 and winning a WNBA title with the Detroit Shock a year later.
More recently, Tsipis worked with two-time honorable mention All-America guard Charel Allen, who became the first Irish women's basketball player ever to record 1,500 points (1,566), 500 rebounds (656), 200 assists (239) and 200 steals (206) in her career. She also ranks eighth all-time at Notre Dame with 1,566 points, one of 10 categories where she appears in the top 10 in the program's career record books, in addition to countless appearances on the Irish single-game, single-season and NCAA tournament charts.
Allen ranked among the BIG EAST leaders in scoring during each of her final two seasons, including a career-high 17.0 points per game in 2006-07, and she scored in double figures 59 times in her final 68 games. The Monessen, Pa., product was a two-time first-team all-BIG EAST selection, a 2007 Preseason WNIT All-Tournament Team pick and a finalist for the 2007 USA U21 World Championship Team prior to being selected in the third round of the 2008 WNBA Draft by the Sacramento Monarchs, for whom she currently plays.
Tsipis also possesses one of the bright young strategical minds in the women's college game. He has been responsible for building the game plans in eight of Notre Dame's wins over nationally-ranked opponents during the past four seasons alone, including victories in 2004-05 at Connecticut (breaking the Huskies' 112-game home win streak in BIG EAST regular-season play) and versus Duke in the Preseason WNIT semifinals, and against Oklahoma in the second round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament (which vaulted the Irish to their most recent Sweet 16 appearance).
What's more, Tsipis has been an integral part of Notre Dame's recruiting success ever since he arrived on campus, continuing with his current role as the program's recruiting coordinator. The Irish have attracted 12 consecutive top 20 recruiting classes, joining Connecticut and Tennessee as the only programs that have a current string of that length, and they are set to welcome the nation's No. 9 class in 2008-09 (according to Dan Olson Collegiate Girls Basketball Report).
Tsipis came to Notre Dame following one year as director of men's basketball operations at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he worked with then-UNCG head coach (and former Irish men's basketball assistant) Fran McCaffery, who is now the head coach at Siena. Tsipis also spent time as an assistant men's basketball coach at Elon University, LeMoyne College and Cornell University, and began his coaching career on the men's basketball staff at Duke University. All told, Tsipis has coached under three national championship coaches -- McGraw, Duke's Mike Krzyzewski and LeMoyne's Dave Paulsen, who is now the head coach at Bucknell University.
Born Nov. 7, 1972 in Cleveland, Ohio, Tsipis graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1996 with a bachelor of science degree in pharmacy. He and his wife, Leigh, are the proud parents of two children -- daughter Emily (three) and son Joshua (one) -- and they reside in South Bend.
-- ND --