Mike Dunlap, a 1980 graduate of LMU, is in his fourth season at the helm of the Lions in 2017-18. He once again has led the Lions to a better season than the one before, earning himself a contract extension on Aug. 7, 2017.
Dunlap's first season with the Lions was about setting a foundation for years to come. And his second season, he considered it "year one" with this new foundation. The Lions peak down the stretch, winning three of their last four, including a pair of overtime victories of top-half programs San Francisco and Pepperdine. They finished 14-17 overall, 6-12 in the WCC, and earned a win in the WCC tournament.
They have done it again in 2016-17, entering the 2017 WCC Championships winning their last three games of the regular season and four of their last five. It is the best finish to a season for the Lions since winning 10 straight in 1990-91. They improved their overall win total and WCC win total for the third straight year at 15-15 overall and 8-10 in the WCC.
Dunlap, who is 37-55 in three seasons at LMU, enters his 18th season as a head coach at the collegiate level with a 365-160 record (.697).
Part of the new foundation were capital improvements. The Lions renovated the men's basketball locker room area, including new film operations with a brand new video display system. LMU also expanded the athletic training rooms, adding nearly 1,200-square-feet while converting the old training room into a wet-room - complete with hydrotherapy stations. This past summer, the University also allocated use of the Burns Back Court within the Burns Recreation Center as the official practice home of LMU basketball. In addition, the Lions will play in Gersten Pavilion with a brand-new, state-of-the-art video LED system by Daktronics in 2015-16. Included in the new system is a center-hung scoreboard.
Known for his player development and on-the-floor coaching, Dunlap was most recently the head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats for the 2012-2013 season, becoming the first coach in NBA history to win three times as many games as the year before. He also spent time with the Denver Nuggets, recently served as a top assistant at Arizona, Oregon, and St. John's, and won a pair of NCAA Division II National Championships at Metropolitan State College in Denver, Colo. He began coaching right after graduating from LMU and he brings that experience back home.
Before arriving in Charlotte, Dunlap spent six years as an assistant coach in the professional and college ranks. Prior to his work as an assistant, he spent nine seasons as the head coach at Metro State, leading his teams to the national titles in 2000 and 2002 while earning NABC Division II Coach of the Year honors in both of those seasons. Coach Dunlap, whose teams went to the NCAA Tournament in each of his nine seasons, posted an overall record of 248-50 (.832), winning five Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference titles.
In 2006, Coach Dunlap left Metro State to become an assistant coach with the Denver Nuggets under George Karl. In two seasons with the Nuggets, he helped the team to a 95-69 record that included a 50-win season in 2007-08, the team's first in 23 years.
Dunlap then spent the 2008-09 season as associate head coach at the University of Arizona under legendary coach Lute Olson and the 2009-10 season as associate head coach on Ernie Kent's staff at the University of Oregon before joining Steve Lavin at St. John's in 2010. During the 2011-12 season, he oversaw the day-to-day operations of the team and served as acting head coach in all but four games while Lavin recovered from surgery to treat prostate cancer.
Dunlap's previous head coaching experience also includes three seasons with the Adelaide 36ers in Australia's National Basketball League and five seasons at California Lutheran University. From 1994-97, he led the 36ers to a 59-33 record (.641) and three straight appearances in the NBL Final Four, including advancing to the Grand Final game in 1995.
Before going to Australia, Dunlap was head coach at Division III California Lutheran from 1989-94, where his teams posted an 80-54 record (.597) and won three straight Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles from 1992-94, while also advancing to the Sweet 16 in 1992 and 1994.
His college coaching experience also includes five seasons with the Lions (1980-85), one season at the University of Iowa (1985-86) and three seasons at the University of Southern California (1986-89).
A native of Fairbanks, Alaska, Dunlap earned an associate of arts degree in science from Pierce College in 1978, before attaining a bachelor's degree in English from Loyola Marymount University in 1980.
Dunlap and his wife have three children. An avid runner, Dunlap has a 100-mile race to his credit.