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Five Questions/Quick Hitters: Jonathan Tsipis

09/29/2022, 8:15am CDT
By Chuck Thompson

This edition of Five Questions/Quick Hitters Coaches Edition is with Jonathan Tsipis, who recently returned to Coaching at Marquette as a Special Advisor for Scouting & Analytics. Thanks for your time Coach!


1) First of all, congratulations on the new job with Marquette as advisor for scouting and analytics. I know it's still early on, but what are some of your primary responsibilities going to be with the program?

I will be watching a lot of film on both our own team as well as opponents.  The role will be evolving but the hope with Coach Duffy is that we can use analytics through various sources and match those with film to improve our team overall and the players individually.  I will hopefully be able to offer a different perspective and lens from my experience as a head coach.  


2) You took a short break from coaching before returning to Marquette. I know you worked with W7 covering girls basketball, and did a TREMENDOUS job I must say. What were some of the things you did both to relax a bit and to stay involved in the game while you waited to decide what your next coaching opportunity would be?

I loved working with Gary, Conor and Ed with W7 Productions.  Gary's passion and vision is amazing and the excitement for every game we covered just left me wanting to do more games. I ended up calling 50 games during the season.


First and foremost, I got to see my own children play.  My daughter was a senior on the varsity at Middleton High School and my son played on the freshmen team.  I am not sure that was relaxing but I enjoyed keeping. the book or running the clock at his games.  I made a goal to see my former staff members team across the country and connect with coaching friends at their practices and workouts.  I was able to see 4 former assistants in one weekend in January as I saw a 3 games in 3 days from Washington DC to Philadelphia to New York City.  I also got to see my former player Joquel Jones play 10 times on her way to winning the WNBA MVP award.  I also got to see practices of the Connecticut Sun and see the preparation and practicing of the highest level of professional women's basketball.  


3) After several seasons as a Men's Assistant, you decided to make the jump to the Women's side of hoops in 2003 when you joined the Notre Dame staff. When did you decide to make the change, and what have been some of the most rewarding things you've found in coaching Women's hoops?

I was fortunate to work for current Iowa Men's Head Coach Fran McCaffery at UNC Greensboro when he connected me with Muffet McGraw.  Fran was married to one of Coach McGraw's former players Margaret Nowlin and Fran worked at Notre Dame for 11 years as an assistant.  I was newly married, had started getting my Master's in Education and thought I would teach and coach high school basketball.  The opportunity to work with women's basketball for Coach McGraw at Notre Dame was a no brainer because I really saw how impactful I could be to the women's program.  Before our 2nd season began at Notre Dame, my wife and I had our daughter and 4 of our players came to the hospital to see her when she was 24 hours old.  I have been so lucky to have 12-15 female role models for my daughter and my son from the last 18 years.  The most rewarding experience was my niece's wedding (she was a women's basketball walk-on at Notre Dame from 2004-08) and 9 players were all at one table all at different points of their life.  To see former players call, text, or email with pictures of spouses, children, new jobs and travel, makes me feel like my family continues to grow.    


4) Many kids that read this post will still be early in, or deeper into, the recruiting process. As a former Division I Head Coach and current Division I Assistant, what are some of the things that players can do to help themselves in the recruiting process that may not necessarily be basketball skills?

Stay relevant with the programs that interest you!  Keep these programs updated and understand no two recruiting processes are the same.  Do your own research on size of the school, majors offered, distance from home, program current state, and roster.  The first three things are not going to change!!  Visiting multiple schools will help you compare and contrast, I believe that is a very important part of the process.  


5) Every coach (I know firsthand) always has the itch to get back to being a Head Coach. You've landed in a great spot at Marquette, but do you think you'd like to patrol the sidelines as a Head Coach if the right opportunity presented itself?  

I am thankful to work for a great head coach and staff who truly do all they can for their players.  I do not have to move my family and my son has 3 years of high school left so that is really important to me to keep stability.  I am very lucky to have had the experience of being a head coach at two great schools and if the right opportunity presented itself I think I have learned from my experiences good and bad.  Right now I have a great job and chance to learn, that's the most important thing to me.


Quick Hitters:

1) Full-court press or half-court trap:  Full-court trap

2) Up 3 late, do you foul or play D: Do what you practice!

3) Favorite opposing gym to coach in: Dayton Arena

4) Toughest coach you've done battle with: Pat Summitt 

5) Dream Vacation: Australia 

6) Cats or Dogs: Dogs (we have a French Bulldog named Luna)

7) Long road trip, do you prefer to fly or drive: Fly

8) What item have you lost or left behind the most in your travels at a hotel: Charging cords

9) What is your favorite season: Basketball Season!

10) What was your 1st coaching job: my High School's JV team, 2 weeks after I graduated High School

Tag(s): Home  College Coaches