Charlotte Bobcats Hired Mike Dunlap as New Head Coach

by June 18, 2012

Michael Jordan’s Charlotte Bobcats made another head-scratching decision today, hiring St. John’s (now former) assistant coach Mike Dunlap to lead the team from the bench. Reports the Charlotte Observer: “Dunlap, 54, is a former Denver Nuggets assistant who was acting head coach this season at St. John’s while Steve Lavin was recovering from prostate cancer surgery. A source familiar with the process said Dunlap was offered the job Monday night, after interviewing in Charlotte with owner Michael Jordan, vice chairman Curtis Polk, president of basketball operations Rod Higgins and general manager Rich Cho. He has accepted. Dunlap was one of 10 candidates interviewed since the Bobcats opened this search May 8, but the only one offered the job, the source confirmed. Dunlap will replace Paul Silas, who was not given a new contract following the season. So who is Dunlap and why was he hired as fifth coach in the Bobcats’ nine-year existence? The Observer’s source, who asked for anonymity because Dunlap’s hire isn’t official, said Dunlap impressed the front office with his high energy and collaborative approach. Also, he wants to run an up-tempo offense and attacking defense that figures to fit some of the Bobcats’ younger personnel. Dunlap has spent most of his career at the college level, working for, among others, Lute Olson in Arizona. He essentially ran the St. John’s program last season, both game days and off days, while Lavin recovered from surgery. There were far more prominent candidates, such as Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan and former Supersonics and Portland Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan.”