Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton joins Wisconsin coaching staff


The former WNBA star spent seven years as an assistant coach at her alma mater, Purdue.

The Wisconsin Badgers are making moves after a positive end to their season. On Wednesday, the school announced that former Purdue star and assistant coach Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton has joined the women’s basketball staff under head coach Jonathan Tsipis.

“Our whole program is excited to welcome Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton to our Wisconsin Women’s Basketball family,” Tsipis said in a statement from Wisconsin. “Her experience as an All-Big Ten performer at Purdue and her playing experience in the WNBA and overseas will be invaluable to our student-athletes.”

Wisdom-Hylton spent four seasons in the WNBA, playing for Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington. She graduated from Purdue in 2009 and later returned to work for her alma mater. Wisdom-Hylton mainly worked with the post players at Purdue, including two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Ae’rianna Harris, who broke Wisdom-Hylton’s career school record in blocks.

“As a coach at Purdue, she has positively impacted student-athletes to grow beyond their potential,” Tsipis added. “Her experience in the postseason will help our whole staff as we continue to move our program forward. Her Midwest ties and the respect she has as a coach and player will help us immensely. Having to coach against her as a player and coach, we are ecstatic she will be on the Badger bench for years to come!”

The Boilermakers appeared in the NCAA Tournament every year during Wisdom-Hylton’s playing days, reaching the Elite Eight twice. She has also helped Purdue reach the postseason in five of her seven years as an assistant coach under Sharon Versyp.

“I’m excited to join a rising program like Wisconsin, and continue to use my experience of playing and recruiting within the Big Ten Conference,” Wisdom-Hylton said according to UW Athletic Communications. “My background of playing in the WNBA and overseas will help me to develop our players and prepare them for the next level. I’ll be able to practice and play against the team in addition to using my expertise to train and coach them.

“I’m excited to continue my coaching career in the Big Ten and to be a part of what Coach Tsipis has started here at Wisconsin.”

The Badgers made the coaching hire after their best season in recent memory. At this year’s Big Ten Tournament, Wisconsin became the first No. 13 seed to win a game when it beat No. 12 Penn State on the opening day before upsetting No. 5 Ohio State a day later. The win over the Buckeyes was the Badgers’ highest win over a higher-ranked opponent since they beat No. 5 Purdue in the 2010 Big Ten Tournament. Wisconsin’s Cinderella run eventually came to an end in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals when it lost to No. 4-seed Michigan in double overtime.

Though their 15-18 record may not seem like much to celebrate about, it shows signs of progress for the Badgers. Before this past season, they hadn’t won 15 games since 2010-11, the last season under then-head coach Lisa Stone. Wisconsin also hadn’t advanced past the first two days of the Big Ten Tournament in six years before the most recent event.

Wisconsin lost three players – Marsha Howard, Kelly Karlis, and Lexy Richardson – to graduation at the end of the season. After that season-ending game in the Big Ten Tournament, Tsipis said he hopes the younger players on his team recognize the impact postseason conference play can have on a squad.

“I hope they can cherish it and be able to have a year to three years of having this type of opportunity in the Big Ten.”

The Big Ten Conference has become one of the most competitive women’s basketball conferences in the country. The Badgers have been working to get better for years, much like every team, but nothing has really clicked — until now. Tsipis made a stellar hire in Wisdom-Hylton, who will only make the Badgers grow as they look to get out of the Big Ten basement and back into a postseason tournament for the first time in nearly a decade. The Badgers will also return a big part of their team from 2018-19, including honorable mention All-Big Ten recipient Imani Lewis.

It may take time, like all things do, but Wisconsin will become competitive in the Big Ten again. The hire of Wisdom-Hylton combined with the experience of the past few years under Tsipis will only help.

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