REPORT: UW set to hire Jonathan Tsipis as new women’s basketball head coach

Last week the name of Jonathan Tsipis had emerged as the frontrunner to become the new Wisconsin Badgers women’s basketball head coach. Now it appears all that is left is the vote of the UW Board of Regents, and according to Dennis Punzel of the Wisconsin State Journal that vote will happen on Tuesday.

When the vote of approval is given, Tsipis will make history at the University of Wisconsin — becoming the first man to be the head coach of the women’s basketball program.

It will surely be a challenge, as his predecessor, Bobbie Kelsey, couldn’t get the program up to the increased standard of Big Ten play. Kelsey was just 47-100 (.320) overall and a 19-65 (.226) in Big Ten play for a program that has never won a Big Ten title and owns just two NCAA tournament victories in its history.

His ability to turn a program in to a winner can’t be questioned, after helping to establish Notre Dame in to a power over nine seasons as an assistant before heading off to George Washington. He took over a program that was just 25-61 over the three seasons before his hire.

Tsipis took on the challenge, and got immediate results. His GW team went 14-16 overall in his first season, followed up by a 23-11 mark and an WNIT berth in his second season. The past two seasons saw the Colonials go a combined 55-11 with two Atlantic-10 championships and two NCAA tournament bids.

He’ll need that kind of work here, as the Badgers were a combined 16-42 overall and 8-28 in Big Ten play the past two seasons alone. UW’s record in B1G play landed them in 11th and 13th places respectively in the conference standings the past two years.

The Badgers haven’t been to the NCAA tournament since 2010, which was the only appearance in the NCAA tournament for former head coach Lisa Stone.

Turning that kind of negative history in to positive results in a league as deep and strong as the Big Ten will certainly be the challenge of Tsipis’ career thus far.

It is expected that upon approval he will be introduced in his new role later on in this week, following the introduction of Tony Granato as the head coach of the men’s hockey program on Wednesday.

Andrew Coppens

About Andrew Coppens

Andy is a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). He is the Managing Editor of MadTownBadger and associate editor of Bloguin's World Cup site, 32flags.com as well as Publisher of Big Ten site talking10.com