Mike Dunlap has never been a head coach in the NBA.
He’s never even been an official head coach in division one college basketball; While Steve Lavin recovered from cancer treatment this season, Dunlap did coach the St. John’s Red Storm, though.
What Dunlap is best known for as a coach is his experience with player development. He was one of the coaches for the US Men’s National Team Under-22 squad as well as the USMNT Under-18 group a few years ago.
He led a dominating D-II program at Metro State in Denver. His team made the national championship game three times and won it in 2002.
He’s also been an assistant coach with the Denver Nuggets, an associate head coach at Arizona and Oregon, and most recently an assistant coach with the Red Storm.
For what it’s worth, he does have head coaching experience at the pro-level. In Australia. With the Adelaide 36ers.
Dunlap is known to run an up-tempo style of offense and he’s seen inside the pro and college basketball ranks as an innovator (according to his bio page on St. Johns’ website).
Maybe Dunlap is the right guy for the job. Maybe his player development skills and fast paced offensive style will fit right in with Charlotte’s young roster.
But maybe Michael Jordan just had nowhere else to turn after Jerry Sloan bowed out of the race for the job. Maybe he couldn’t convince Brian Shaw that the Bobcats job was just as good as Portland’s or Orlando’s.
Maybe Jordan was afraid of hiring Quin Snyder, after the Internet backlash the team received when the Lakers assistant was named a finalist for the Bobcats’ coaching job.
It’ll take time to figure out if Dunlap is or is not the man. Right now, though, Bobcats fans have to hope that he is.