The Charlotte Bobcats have hired St. John’s assistant coach Mike Dunlap to be their next head coach, The Charlotte Observer‘s Rick Bonnell reported Monday night.
CHARLOTTE OBSERVER EXCLUSIVE: St. John’s assistant Mike Dunlap has been has accepted the head coach of the Charlotte #Bobcats. (cont.)
— Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) June 19, 2012
The hire was confirmed by The Associated Press, which cited a person familiar with the decision within the organization. Dunlap replaces Paul Silas, who coached the Bobcats to an all-time NBA worst season.
Dunlap was among a long list of candidates considered for the Bobcats job. ESPN.com’s Chris Broussard reported on May 8 that Dunlap was interviewing for the position. But he’s a highly unexpected choice. SI.com’s Sam Amick reported last Thursday that Bobcats owner Michael Jordan had narrowed his choices to Pacers assistant Brian Shaw or Lakers assistant Quin Snyder. That came after Jerry Sloan told SI.com that he had taken himself out of consideration for the job.
Though Dunlap was not one of the three finalists, a source told SI’s Amick last week that Jordan was thinking about re-opening his search to include more candidates. On Monday, Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc Spears reported that Shaw and Snyder were both out of the picture as well.
That gave way to news of Dunlap’s hire to take over the Bobcats, a team that finished the 2011-12 season with a .106 (7-59) winning percentage. They have the No. 2 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.
Dunlap took on a larger role this year with St. John’s, as Red Storm head coach Steve Lavin was absent from the bench while recovering from successful prostate cancer surgery. The New York Post‘s Lenn Robbins detailed in February how many of the head-coaching duties fell to Dunlap in Lavin’s absence.
But when it comes to calling timeouts, or making subs or deciding which late-game play to run — all those in game decisions — are Dunlap’s.
Before St. John’s, Dunlap coached at the University of Oregon and University of Arizona. He was also an assistant with the Denver Nuggets under head coach George Karl.