Ernie is staying. Some of you are happy, some of you are not. One thing is true, he will have a new assistant on staff and that may be the very thing he needs to squelch some of the criticisms that the anti-Ernie crowd has. Mike Dunlap has been in and out of the news a lot over the past year for Arizona. Here's some background. Dunlap was originally offered the interim (key word there) Arizona job after Lute Olson retired but eventually turned it down. Here's a quote from SI:
"I said, 'If you give me or anybody else the interim label, you're going to lose four recruits that are high-end.' That's not a good way to deal with things, and I believe in doing things right."
I like this quote from Mike about the situation in Arizona. Things were blowing up all over the Wildcats program with Lute stepping aside. He knew what was going to happen, he stuck by his guns and told the powers that be what he thought. Although it sounds a little bit like sour grapes after the fact, given the situation he was placed in (and the next quote will show you what I mean), I'm surprised he didn't get more upset about the situation.
Another quote from the NY Times:
"Basically, what they said at that time was that I wasn't good enough to coach this team. Let’s face it. That's perfectly O.K. It's a huge corporation, it has huge tradition. I didn’t take it personally. I understood."
Key Facts - more here
- Was an assistant coach with the Denver Nuggets for 2 seasons
- Won national titles at Division II Metro State (Colorado) in 2000 and 2002
- Coached professionally in Australia in 1995 and 1996, reaching the postseason
- Had a previous Pac-10 coaching gig under George Raveling at USC
Here's an article talking about how Mike Dunlap is off the court and his commitment to academics and other things. A great read and sounds like a stand up community-oriented guy. Academics is given quite a bit of play and should fit nicely with Ernie's current record on that. It also goes into Dunlap's relationship with his players.
How will Mike Dunlap be as an assistant coach? Here is a worksheet from a coaching clinic hosted by Mike Dunlap when he was working with Metro State. This worksheet screams fundamentals to me. I admit that I haven't seen something like this from Ernie but you have to get excited reading some of the statements from this document.