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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Dunlap hired as men’s hoops associate head coach

    Mike Dunlap
    Mike Dunlap

    Two down, one to go.

    The Arizona men’s basketball team has it’s second assistant coach for next season and needs only to fill the void of recently departed Josh Pastner, who will be coaching at Memphis in the fall.

    Mike Dunlap is the new associate head coach of the Wildcat program, UA head coach Lute Olson announced Thursday.

    “”I’m very excited to be a part of the University of Arizona and to help coach Olson further the rich tradition of Arizona basketball,”” Dunlap said in a press release. “”My family and I look forward to being a part of this program and to the Tucson community.””

    Dunlap did not return a phone call from the Wildcat seeking further comment.

    Dunlap, 50, joins the NCAA Division I ranks after spending the last two seasons in the NBA as an assistant coach with the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets went 95-69 (.579) while Dunlap coached under head coach George Karl. They also made two playoff appearances..

    This past season, Denver won 50 games, a first for the club in 23 seasons.

    “”Mike Dunlap’s a really, really good guy,”” Pastner told the Daily Wildcat on May 7, five days before he officially announced he was going to Memphis. “”He’s a very, very good coach. Highly, highly respected in the game. He’s had great success as a head coach, as an assistant. We’re getting a great guy in coach Dunlap and a great coach. We’re very fortunate.””

    Dunlap joins Russ Pennell as newcomers to the Wildcat staff after Kevin O’Neill was removed from the basketball program and placed into a fundraising role and Miles Simon’s contract was not renewed.

    “”You’re bringing in really good people,”” Pastner said. “”Coach Dunlap and coach Pennell are really good people, very good coaches.””

    Before he joined the Nuggets, Dunlap was the head coach at Metropolitan State College in Denver for nine seasons, racking up a 248-50 (.832) record, making him the school’s winningest coach. He was also a two-time National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Coach of the Year and winner of two national championships in 1999-2000 and 2001-02.

    Prior to his tenure at Metro State, Dunlap served three seasons as the head coach of the Adelaide 36ers, a professional team in Australia. That’s where Dunlap originally met Olson, during the Wildcat’s 1997 Australian exhibition tour. The 36ers were 59-33 (.641) while Dunlap was at the helm and went to the National Basketball League Final Four in 1995 and 1996.

    “”We’re glad that Mike chose to join our staff,”” Olson said in a press release. “”We feel very fortunate to add a coach to our staff that has his experience and ability. He’s a great coach and an even better family man and I’m looking forward to working with him.””

    A native of Fairbanks, Alaska, Dunlap earned as associate of arts degree in science from Pierce College in 1978, before earning a bachelor’s degree in English from Loyola Marymount University in 1980. He and Pennell will see one more coach join them before too long. Wyking Jones, a Nike traveling-team manager, and Reggie Geary, a former UA player, are candidates.

    Dunlap will address the media in McKale Center Monday afternoon. Check back with the Daily Wildcat for coverage of the press conference.

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