College - South Carolina
Long known as one of the hardest working and most dynamic coaches in the league, Mike Dunleavy stepped away from his day-to-day coaching responsibilities on Feb. 4, 2010 to focus exclusively on his job as Clippers General Manager.
The Clippers all-time franchise leader in wins with 215, Dunleavy has coached the 15th most games in NBA history (1,329) and became the 21st coach in NBA history to win 600 career games on Nov. 29, 2009. Since he took over as Clippers coach prior to the 2003-04 season, Dunleavy coached a Clippers record 540 games, accumulating a 215-325 (.398) record. In 2005-06, Dunleavy led the Clippers to their best season since moving to California as they finished second in the Pacific Division and advanced to within one game of the Western Conference Finals in their first playoff appearance in nine seasons.
A 15-year NBA coaching veteran, the Clippers improved in each of Dunleavy’s first three seasons on the bench, increasing their win total from 28 wins in 2003-04 to 47 wins during the 2005-06 campaign.
Prior to joining the Clippers, Dunleavy guided the Portland Trail Blazers for four seasons (1997-2001), leading them to a 190-106 (.642) record and four straight playoff appearances. Under Dunleavy, the Blazers made two consecutive trips to the Western Conference Finals in 1999 and 2000 with the 1999-00 club winning 59 games, matching the second-best victory total in Blazers history. Dunleavy earned the 1999 NBA Coach of the Year award after leading the 1998-99 Blazers to a Pacific Division-winning 35-15 record.
Dunleavy’s first head coaching opportunity came with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1990-91, when he led them to a 58-24 record and a berth in the NBA Finals, where they lost in five games to the Chicago Bulls. During the Lakers’ run through the 1991 NBA Playoffs, Los Angeles defeated Houston (3-0), Golden State (4-1) and upset Portland (4-2) in the Western Conference Finals, after the Blazers had posted the league’s best regular season record (63-19) and two straight NBA Finals appearances. The following year, the Lakers posted a 43-39 record and dropped a first-round series to Portland.
Dunleavy moved on in 1992 to Milwaukee, where he compiled a 107-221 (.326) record over four seasons while holding the dual title of Vice President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach. He stepped away from the bench prior to the 1996-97 season to concentrate on his general manager duties with the Bucks for one season before taking the head job in Portland.
Selected in the sixth round (99th pick overall) by Philadelphia in 1976, Dunleavy played 11 seasons in the NBA with career averages of 8.0 points and 3.9 assists in 438 games. He played for Philadelphia (1976-78), Houston (1978-82), San Antonio (1982-83) and Milwaukee (1983-85, 1988-1990). During the 1980-81 campaign, Dunleavy averaged a career-best 10.5 points as a starting guard for a Rockets team that reached the NBA Finals. In his lone season in San Antonio, Dunleavy led the NBA in three-point percentage, connecting at a .345 (67-194) clip from behind the arc.
A back injury prompted his unofficial retirement following the 1984-85 season and he worked for a New York investment firm before returning to the NBA as an assistant coach with Milwaukee for the 1986-87 season. He stayed on the Bucks’ bench through the 1989-90 campaign, but returned to uniform in parts of two seasons (1988-89, 1989-90) when injuries to the Bucks’ backcourt forced Dunleavy into the lineup.
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Dunleavy played collegiately at the University of South Carolina, where he finished his career as the school’s third all-time leading scorer with 1,586 points. He appeared in 111 consecutive games for the Gamecocks, starting his last 105. Dunleavy was a straight A student, majoring in psychology while at South Carolina. He played his prep basketball at Nazareth High School in Brooklyn, where he earned All-New York City honors as a senior and had his number 44 jersey retired.
Mike and his wife Emily have three sons: Michael, Jr. (Indiana Pacers), William Baker and James (USC).