Tuesday, June 19, 2012
The Charlotte Bobcats have hired St. John’s assistant coach Mike Dunlap as their new head coach, ending over two months of searching, interviews, & rumors about the post.
The Bobcats offered him their top post on Monday night and he has accepted, replacing Paul Silas. NBA sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard the Bobcats will make an official announcement Wednesday at a news conference in Charlotte.
Charlotte had previously announced three finalists for the vacancy: former Jazz coach Jerry Sloan and current NBA assistants Brian Shaw and Quin Snyder. Talks between Bobcats president Michael Jordan and Sloan broke down and Dunlap — one of 10 candidates interviewed — emerged as the top pick.
Dunlap is a somewhat surprising hire because he has spent most of his career at the collegiate level, but he is highly regarded in NBA circles for his knowledge of the game.
Jordan met with him Monday and offered the job, believed to be a guaranteed two-year contract with at least one option. Dunlap, 54, was essentially thrust into being St. John’s head coach this past season after Steve Lavin had prostate cancer surgery, came back prematurely and ended up coaching just four games.
The Alaska product is a former assistant coach for the Denver Nuggets under George Karl, and was associate head coach at Arizona under Lute Olsen and at Oregon before coming to St. John’s.
Dunlap won two NCAA Division II national titles at Metropolitan State in Denver.
“Mike Dunlap absolutely elevates every player and team he comes in contact with,” Karl told the Charlotte Observer. “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.”
Please Like CH’s New Facebook Page! New Giveaways Coming Soon! www.facebook.com/charlottehappeningcom
Follow CH on Twitter! www.twitter.com/charlottehappen