After hiring new head coaches for football and men’s basketball already in his short tenure in Blacksburg, Virginia Tech AD Whit Babcock is looking for a new women’s basketball coach after relieving Dennis Wolff of his duties. Babcock promises a national search for his replacement, but let’s take a look at some coaches who may be the top candidates to replace Wolff.
JMU HC Kenny Brooks
Brooks is probably the one name on this list that is certain to be a candidate as someone who as built a strong program at JMU along with being a Virginia native. Brooks is a JMU alum and played basketball for the Dukes while Whit Babcock was playing baseball in Harrisonburg.
Brooks has taken the Dukes to 6 NCAA Tournament and 5 WNIT appearances in the past 11 seasons of his 14 seasons at the head of JMU women’s basketball. The Dukes have also had at least 24 wins in each of the past 11 seasons under Brooks who has built a consistent threat to make the NCAA Women’s Tournament.
Brooks may be the first and only call for Babcock and is definitely a frontrunner, but other candidates seem likely for Babcock who probably already has a list of candidates.
Princeton HC Courtney Banghart
The fact that Courtney Banghart is still at Princeton after leading the Tigers on an undefeated 30-0 regular season before finishing 31-1 in the 2014-2015 season is surprising, but Banghart will have a big job in the near future. After two years of program building, Banghart has taken the Tigers to 6 NCAA Tournament appearances and 1 WNIT appearance in the past 7 seasons.
Banghart does not have connections out of the Northeast, but has proven to be someone that can build a program in the Ivy League and definitely seems like someone who may receive interest from Virginia Tech. However, Banghart is in a position where she may be able to wait for the right opportunity and this may not be that.
George Washington HC Jonathan Tsipis
Jonathan Tsipis may be an under-the-radar candidate to watch as someone with experience as an assistant in the ACC along with having success in the Atlantic-10. Tsipis was an assistant at Notre Dame for nine seasons before taking over as the head coach at George Washington the past four seasons with back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in years 3 and 4 after a WNIT appearance in year 2 along with the Colonials winning at least 23 wins each of the past three seasons.
Tsipis is the one candidate who has experience recruiting against the top programs from his time as an assistant at Notre Dame while also having success in a top 10 conference. Tsipis is an under-the-radar name to keep an eye who could be the surprise, sneaky-good hire that Whit Babcock makes.
All three of these candidates would be great choices for the Hokies, but don’t be surprised if the name of the next head coach doesn’t come from this list. What is certain is that Whit Babcock will do everything he can to make the best possible hire.