June 20, 2012
Charlotte Bobcats Name Mike Dunlap Head Coach
32-Year Coaching Veteran Becomes Team's Fifth Head Coach
Charlotte Bobcats President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins announced today that the team has named Mike Dunlap Head Coach. Dunlap, who was an assistant coach with the Denver Nuggets from 2006-08 and spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach at St. John’s University, becomes the fifth head coach in franchise history.
“Mike Dunlap embodies the characteristics we were seeking in a head coach,” said Higgins. “He is renowned in basketball circles as a teacher, developer of talent, communicator and collaborator. His energy and work ethic are endless, and we are excited to have him in charge of our team.”
Dunlap brings 32 years of coaching experience to the Bobcats, including 14 as a college head coach. He spent nine seasons as the head coach at Metropolitan State College in Denver, leading his teams to a pair of Division II National Championships in 2000 and 2002 and earning NABC Division II Coach of the Year honors in both of those seasons. Dunlap, whose teams went to the NCAA Tournament in each of his nine seasons, posted an overall record of 248-50 (.832), winning five Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference titles.
In 2006, Dunlap left Metro State to become an assistant coach with the Denver Nuggets under George Karl. In two seasons with the Nuggets, he helped the team to a 95-69 record that included a 50-win season in 2007-08 that was the team’s first in 23 years. Dunlap then spent the 2008-09 season as associate head coach at the University of Arizona under legendary coach Lute Olson and the 2009-10 season as associate head coach on Ernie Kent’s staff at the University of Oregon before joining Steve Lavin at St. John’s in 2010. During the 2011-12 season, he oversaw the day-to-day operations of the team and served as acting head coach in all but four games while Lavin recovered from surgery to treat prostate cancer.
Dunlap’s previous head coaching experience also includes three seasons with the Adelaide 36ers in Australia’s National Basketball League and five seasons at California Lutheran University. From 1994-97, he led the 36ers to a 59-33 record (.641) and three straight appearances in the NBL Final Four, including advancing to the Grand Final game in 1995. Before going to Australia, Dunlap was head coach at Division III California Lutheran from 1989-94, where his teams posted an 80-54 record (.597) and won three straight Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles from 1992-94, while also advancing to the Sweet 16 in 1992 and 1994. His college coaching experience also includes five seasons at his alma mater, Loyola Marymount University (1980-85), one season at the University of Iowa (1985-86) and three seasons at the University of Southern California (1986-89).