Jennifer Rizzotti will be the next head coach of the women’s basketball program, GW Athletics announced at a press conference Friday afternoon.
“I am really excited to be here and I am very aware of the outstanding basketball tradition here at the University.” Rizzotti said. “I know the possibilities that are here. There is no limit for what this women’s basketball team can accomplish and I am really proud to be its next leader.”
Rizzotti, who replaces Jonathan Tsipis who left the program in March, has been the head coach at The University of Hartford since 1999.
Over her 17-year tenure she led the Hawks to five conference championships, six NCAA tournaments, and four WNIT appearances. She has coached 36 players who have won all-conference awards as well as 10 different 1,000-point scorers.
The year before Rizzotti took over in Hartford, they were 8-19 and had never finished in the top-three of their conference. She finished her Hawks career 305-181 (.628), the best winning percentage of any coach in Hartford women’s basketball history.
Rizzotti served as the assistant coach for the 2006 FIBA Americas U-18 Championship before becoming the head coach for both the 2010 FIBA U-18 Championship gold medal winning squad and the 2011 FIBA U-19 Champions. In 2011, USA Basketball named her the National Coach of the Year.
Before coaching, Rizzotti was well known in Connecticut for her playing ability. She won a high school (New Fairfield), college (UConn), and professional championship (Houston Comets) during her career as a point guard. As a member of the Huskies she averaged 11.1 points, 4.7 assists, and 3.4 rebounds per game and was part of the first national championship team at UConn. In June of 2013, Rizzotti was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
The Colonials return three of their five starters in the fall and will try to use Rizzotti’s experience of winning to boost them to their third consecutive NCAA tournament.