Who Is Charlotte’s Mike Dunlap? An Unusual Hire With An Extraordinary Basketball Mind

By: 06.19.12

photo. Rocky Mountain News

Karl is indeed close with Dunlap, and has been telling anyone he can since the announcement about the wonders of Dunlap’s coaching. It isn’t hyperbole when Karl told the Denver Post “might be the brightest, smartest guy I’ve ever been around.”

“Mike Dunlap is a great soldier for basketball and coaching — his brilliance has always been there,” Karl said. “If you work with him, if you’re around him, you know he’s a committed, passionate guy who will do anything it takes to get his team better – and get his team in a place that’s constantly improving. He’s a great teacher of the game. I’ve said many times that he might be the brightest, smartest guy I’ve ever been around. And he loves the gym. I’m really happy for him. …

“I’m so happy because he’s swung and missed so often – he couldn’t get (the job) at Colorado, Colorado State, Wyoming. There were jobs we thought we were going to help get him. I’m glad someone recognized his brilliance. In a strange way, it’s kind of a unique hire – but the karma says it can work. And that’s really exciting for Mike. He’ll do everything they want him to do – he’ll take the bullets, he’ll take the losses and I think he’ll build a good foundation and culture. It reminds me a little of what they did here in Denver with Jeff Bzdelik – they brought him in, they knew they weren’t going to win a lot of games, but they wanted a teacher and a director of the culture. That worked out in a positive way.”

Dunlap missed out on jobs as an official finalist at UNLV and Colorado and had been considered at many more recently, including the Bulls in 2008 (according to the Chicago Tribune) and Oregon in 2009. He’s ambitious and has shown he’ll put his name in the ring anywhere if he can lead a team again. I thought it was a huge mistake when Oregon passed him over for Dana Altman, even if Altman’s coached well. It was no surprise he’d been mentioned for the job in Charlotte. His hiring was the shock; anyone who’s spent time with him knows what he’ll do with the team next shouldn’t be.

Photo via.

What do you think of the hire?

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