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3/15/2021 11:14 am  #1

Rizzotti out

Good afternoon,

I am writing to share that earlier this morning, I informed our women’s basketball coaching staff that they will not be returning.  As you can imagine, these are always challenging conversations.  Jen, Sully, G, Kevin and Christina have been so committed to making our program better.  They have also extended well beyond the reach of basketball to make a massive impact in their Bigger Than Basketball campaign.

As a supporter of our program, you know that our women’s basketball program has been the most consistently successful program at GW.  We have won 16 Atlantic 10 regular season championships, 7 tournament titles and participated in 18 NCAA Tournaments, including three trips to the Sweet Sixteen and one appearance in the Elite Eight. George Washington University is committed to returning the women’s basketball program to the top of the conference and I have already begun our national search to find the leader who will recruit outstanding student-athletes and coaches who are driven and able to compete at the highest level.

We are so proud of GW Women’s Basketball’s storied history.  I look forward to conducting our search and introducing our next head coach later this spring.

Thank you for your continued support.

Tanya Vogel
Director of Athletics


3/15/2021 11:18 am  #2

Re: Rizzotti out

About damn time. If it wasn't for winning the A10 tournament in 2018, she would have been gone after the 2019 season. 


3/15/2021 11:36 am  #3

Re: Rizzotti out

Tsipis is now available.  Maybe a reunion?

Last edited by GW0509 (3/15/2021 11:36 am)


3/15/2021 11:42 am  #4

Re: Rizzotti out

Official release from the Athletic Department...

Unmentioned is that this is the first time in program history that a coach who hung an NCAA banner has been fired.

Last edited by GW Alum Abroad (3/15/2021 11:43 am)


3/15/2021 11:44 am  #5

Re: Rizzotti out


3/15/2021 12:20 pm  #6

Re: Rizzotti out

GW0509 wrote:

Tsipis is now available.  Maybe a reunion?

Tsipis also had losing records all five seasons at Wisconsin. That would give me a lot of pause. 


3/15/2021 12:39 pm  #7

Re: Rizzotti out

In the "won't happen but nice to dream category", would love to see GW at least interview Gail Goestenkors, who recently returned to coaching again... 
(currently Associate Head Coach at Central Michigan)


3/15/2021 1:30 pm  #8

Re: Rizzotti out

BRING JOE BACK!!!!!! Do what it takes.


3/15/2021 1:33 pm  #9

Re: Rizzotti out

5 years, 1 NCAA tourney trip, 0-1 in the tourney, fired

same as ML, minus the player abuse


3/15/2021 1:39 pm  #10

Re: Rizzotti out

It is an open question as to whether women’s basketball has changed so much that schools like GW can no longer compete for the best players because women can now dream of professional careers and not come for the paid education.  We need to recognize that a Jonquil Jones is a fluke. In coming in as a transfer.  Perhaps it would be best to avoid a win at any cost coach.


3/15/2021 1:54 pm  #11

Re: Rizzotti out

"national search" - Heard that before.


3/15/2021 1:57 pm  #12

Re: Rizzotti out

About time. R's best seasons were using Tispis's players. Didn't like her tourney appearance (embarrassing) or coaching from the beginning.   As for recruiting ,Joe always recruited well and there is no reason you couldn't attract great talent to GW.  Washington D.C. , at this level, is a great bonus.  I think we should be able to get a good, successful, coach. One with a proven record.


3/15/2021 2:09 pm  #13

Re: Rizzotti out

I think this is a massive mistake. I sure hope the AD has a plan in place.

They also better pray that George Mason doesn't swoop in and hire Rizzotti later this afternoon and make GW regret it for the next decade



3/15/2021 2:10 pm  #14

Re: Rizzotti out

Tennessee Colonial wrote:

About time. R's best seasons were using Tispis's players. Didn't like her tourney appearance (embarrassing) or coaching from the beginning.

What does this mean? What was embarrassing about that tournament appearance? 

Was it any more embarrassing than Tsipis' tournament failures? 


3/15/2021 2:31 pm  #15

Re: Rizzotti out

Neither Tsipis or Rizzotti could carry Joe's jockstrap. Back to the future!


3/15/2021 2:33 pm  #16

Re: Rizzotti out

The Dude wrote:

5 years, 1 NCAA tourney trip, 0-1 in the tourney, fired

same as ML, minus the player abuse

Non-sequitur and false. Seems to be a pattern here.


3/15/2021 2:51 pm  #17

Re: Rizzotti out

I expected Rizzotti to get one more year, given the strangeness of the Covid year, and wouldn't have minded if she returned.  Though to contradict myself, I'm glad to see GW take quick action.
Is GW the first program to release a National Women's Team assistant?
GW was hurt this year to start by the loss of 2 contributors to transfers.  And as has been noted elsewhere, the Colonials played good defense but were offensively challenged, for a few seasons.
I wonder if the decision was made after the 4 - 12 start.  Now that's embarrassing.
 Was the final nail the 4th quarter meltdown, at home, against Fordham?  The empty, no shot possessions in the overtime in the last game?  Would another win or two to end the season have made a difference?
I don't know if Mason let all their coaching staff go but maybe TJ would be a candidate for both openings.
I too would have pause about rehiring Tsipis.  Goestenkors would be an interesting choice,
One other topic for consideration is that the A10 seems to finally be improving with at least 7 top tier teams.  And a couple of middling ones and then the bottom ones.  If the top teams can keep their coaches, there is an opportunity for the league to move more in to the national conversation.


3/15/2021 4:11 pm  #18


3/15/2021 4:49 pm  #19

Re: Rizzotti out

One of the few times I agree 100% with GWrising, OTOH who would want to carry someone else's jockstrap?


3/15/2021 5:05 pm  #20

Re: Rizzotti out

Having taken time to digest this news before offering an opinion, here is my take.
Something did not click with Coach Rizz and GW. Assuming the Tokyo Games go ahead, she will be part of a Gold Medal team this summer, so she is not some clod they found hanging around a bus station. That said, there was something going on that really did not work. Look to the NIT home loss to Navy (this may be the "embarrassing" tourney game another poster referenced) or the OT loss at American a couple of seasons ago. Both of those losses can be placed largely on the poor game management of the coach.  Add to that the departures last season, which were a clean sign of internal malaise. The overall W´s and L´s were clearly not up to the standard at GW, but were hardly "turn in your building pass on the way out" level in and of themselves. However, fittingly for the Ides of March, something was rotten in Denmark.
And yet, as a player´s parent said in the Twatter thread linked above, some things were going right and play did improve this season as the new players got accustomed to the collegiate level. While not happy with the current status, I was optimistic for the future and could see the players learning the game (something I might not say about the men). So I am neither glad to see Coach Rizz go nor sad to see her leave.
Now on to the new coaching search, and this is coming from one of only three people to attend McKeown´s first and final victories as GW´s coach. As much as we might fantasize about it, Joe is not coming back because his family needs rule that out. Sorry. Joe came to GW from a pretty obscure program (New Mexico St) with little buzz, and worked wonders. Tsipis also turned the program around with a modest pedigree. So do not worry if the new coach is someone we have never heard of. More than the hiring of Cristian (which was a fix for a legacy issue from the previous regime), Vogel´s choice of a women´s coach could very well be the greatest harbinger of what her tenure will be like.


Last edited by GW Alum Abroad (3/15/2021 5:08 pm)


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