Charlotte Bobcats choose Mike Dunlap as head coach
The Bobcats have hired St. John’s assistant Mike Dunlap as chief coach, according to league sources. An official statement will be made at a press session in Charlotte. Sportsbook Online
Dunlap is a somewhat surprising hire because he has spent the majority of his career at the collegiate level, but he’s highly rated in NBA circles for his understanding of the game.
A week ago, the Bobcats had narrowed their decisions to Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan, Indiana assistant Brian Shaw and Lakers assistant Quin Snyder, sources said. After 1st interviews with Charlotte executives Rod Higgins and Rich Cho, Shaw and Snyder were brought in last week to interview with Bobcats owner Michael Jordan.
Sloan pulled himself out of the running last week, and after meeting with Shaw and Snyder, Jordan made a decision to re-open the field and brought Dunlap back in for an interview on Monday, sources say. Impressed, Jordan offered Dunlap the job.
Dunlap, who is known to favor an up-tempo form of play, will replace Paul Silas, whose agreement was not replenished after Charlotte finished with the worst winning percentage in NBA history this past season. The Bobcats were 7-59.
Longtime NBA assistant Tim Grgurich, who worked alongside Dunlap in Denver while Dunlap was an assistant coach with the Denver Nuggets, may join the Charlotte Bobcats as an assistant, sources declared.
Dunlap believed all duties with the St. John’s program last season after chief coach Steve Lavin took a leave of absence to deal with prostate cancer.
Though Dunlap has more than 30 years of training experience in school and the pros, he has never been a head coach at the Division I or NBA level. A two-time Division II state champion and Coach of the Year, he has been an assistant head coach at Arizona and Oregon, as well as St. John’s.
Arizona went 21-14 in 2008-09, advancing to the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16 before ending the season with a loss to top-seeded Louisville in the NCAA Midwest regional semifinal game. Dunlap joined Oregon’s staff in 2009-10 and the Oregon Ducks posted a 16-16 record.
Before working at Arizona and Oregon, Dunlap spent two seasons in the NBA with the Denver Nuggets working under chief coach George Karl.
“Mike Dunlap absolutely elevates each player and team he comes in contact with,” Karl is quoted as saying on the St. John’s athletic website.”He takes you from good to excellent. Name each top-level, elect coach in the game the only difference between Mike and them is their addresses. There is absolutely no one greater.”
The Denver Nuggets assembled a 95-69 (.579) record during his tenure and made 2 playoff appearances, including a 50-win season for the 2007-08 Denver squad, a 1st for the organization in 23 seasons.
Early in his career, Dunlap as well served as a helper coach at Southern California under George Raveling, and as an assistant coach at Iowa. He also spent 5 years as an assistant at his alma mater, Loyola Marymount University.
In between, he spent ten years at Metropolitan State College of Denver.