Wisconsin women’s basketball head coach Jonathan Tsipis publicly announced the first member of his staff Friday afternoon, tweeting that Sasha Palmer has been retained as an assistant coach for next season.
Palmer, a Watertown, Wis., native, returned to her home state this past season after two years at Syracuse. On the court, Palmer’s most visible impact on the Badgers was the installation of the famous Syracuse 2-3 zone, but according to Tsipis’ tweet Palmer is also a “great coach, mother, and mentor to our players.”
At his March 31 introduction, Tsipis discussed at length the importance of having a mentor on his staff as well as a staff comprised of diverse backgrounds and opinions.
“When you’re creating a staff, I think great leaders understand their strengths and weaknesses. I think you have to have different personalities, I think you have to have a diverse staff,” Tsipis said. “The two things I know I’ll never be as a women’s basketball coach is one, a former women’s basketball player and so it’s really important in the staff that I have not necessarily just one, but multiple people that fill that role and understand how to show our student athletes the exact shoes that they are gonna go through.”
Palmer checks both boxes off, as she played collegiate basketball at Northern Michigan before beginning her coaching career as an assistant at Shippensburg.
Tsipis still has two spots to fill. Former Badger player Anya Covington, who also joined Kelsey’s staff last season, likely remains a candidate for one of those two spots, while the Wisconsin State Journal is reporting Jayme Stewart is pursuing other coaching opportunities.
Tsipis and Palmer went out recruiting together before Tsipis was even officially introduced, visiting Sidney Cooks, the No. 9 overall high school prospect according ESPNW’s rankings for the Class of 2017.
The two will likely be on the road again the next two weeks during the NCAA Evaluation period.