The newest head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats is a surprise hire who comes with multiple local ties and a ringing endorsement from Denver Nuggets coach George Karl. The Bobcats pegged St John's assistant Mike Dunlap to be the franchise's fifth head coach in nine seasons on Monday night, according to a report by the Charlotte Observer. Dunlap was chosen over more established names with NBA pedigrees like Nate McMillen and Brian Shaw.
Dunlap essentially ran St. John's last season as head coach Steve Lavin recovered from prostate cancer surgery.
Dunlap had a highly successful run as the head coach of Metropolitan State College of Denver from 1997-2006. Dunlap is the winningest coach in Metro State history, posting a 248-50 overall record. He led the Roadrunners to nine NCAA Tournament appearances, or one every year he ran the program. He went on to become an assistant for the Nuggets from 2006-2008, before leaving to take an assistant job under Lute Olson at University of Arizona.
Here's what Karl had to say about Dunlap:
"Mike Dunlap absolutely elevates every player and team he comes in contact with,’’ Karl said. "He takes you from good to great. Name every top-level, elite coach in the game – the only difference between Mike and them is their addresses…There is absolutely no one better.’’
The Bobcats finished with the worst winning percentage in league history when the team ended the season 7-59. Charlotte holds the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
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