EUGENE, Ore. -- University of Oregon head men’s basketball coach Ernie Kent announced Wednesday that Mike Dunlap, a two-time NCAA national championship coach, will join his staff for the 2009-10 season. Dunlap was most recently the associate head coach at the University of Arizona and will hold the same title at Oregon.
“Mike is a tremendous basketball coach, and we are extremely fortunate to be in a position to be able to hire such an accomplished coach,” Kent said. “He is one of the most respected coaches in the nation, has recruited at the highest levels and is a proven winner with a great knowledge of how the game is played. With his help, we look forward to moving this young basketball team forward and helping each member of our team reach their full potential.”
Arizona went 21-14 overall in 2008-09, advancing to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 before ending the season with a loss to top-seed Louisville in the NCAA Midwest Regional.
Dunlap previously served as the head coach at Metropolitan State College in Denver, Colo., leading the Roadrunners to NCAA Division II National Championships in 2000 and 2002. He compiled an overall record of 248-50 (.832) record in his nine years with the school.
Kent approached UO Director of Athletics Pat Kilkenny with a plan that included the hiring of Dunlap.
“I was satisfied, after doing much research into the matter, that Mike Dunlap will help our basketball team be competitive in the Pac-10 once again,” Kilkenny said. “After all that we have achieved, including two Elite Eight runs in the NCAA Tournament, an outright Pac-10 championship and two Pac-10 Tournament championships, Ernie should have the opportunity to chart the direction of our program.”
To make room for Dunlap, Oregon assistant coach Mark Hudson’s contract will not be renewed for the 2009-10 season.
“Mark is an excellent basketball coach, and a great human being,” Kent said. “At this time, this tough decision was made to bring in a new perspective and approach to help our program.
“This is probably the most difficult thing I’ve ever decided to do,” Kent added. “Mark has helped us achieve great things at the University of Oregon and we wish him nothing but the best in the future.”
Hudson had served on the Oregon coaching staff since the 1998-99 season. Hudson came to Oregon after working with Kent at Saint Mary’s.
Prior to joining UA for the 2008-09 season, Dunlap spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the National Basketball Association's Denver Nuggets. While working under head coach George Karl, the Nuggets compiled a 95-69 (.579) record and made two playoff appearances. The 2007-08 club won 50 games, a first for the organization in 23 seasons.
“He has a terrific track record of developing players,” Kent said. “His NBA experience shows how he is prepared to help young men get ready for the next level.”
Dunlap was a two-time National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Coach of the Year on his way to becoming Metro State’s all-time wins leader. Dunlap built a nationally prominent program, leading the Roadrunners to a pair of national championships and nine consecutive trips to the NCAA Division II Tournament.
“I am excited about this opportunity,” Dunlap said. “I am looking forward to working with Coach Kent and his staff to help them achieve their goals of getting back to the NCAA Tournament and prospering from there.”
The Ducks return 12 of the 14 players, including all five starters, from the 2008-09 squad. Senior-to-be Tajuan Porter already ranks tied for 12th all-time in career scoring at UO (1,435). Porter is also just four made 3-pointers away (279 in 98 games) from becoming the school’s all-time leader in that category.
The 2009-10 season will be Kent’s 13th as head coach at Oregon. Per his existing contract, Kent’s contract was automatically extended through the 2013-14 season.
Kent (219-157 Oregon head coaching record), whose active Oregon tenure has been surpassed in length by only six other current Division I coaches representing BCS schools (Jim Boeheim, Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Calhoun, Gary Williams, Tom Izzo and Billy Donovan), recently became the school’s all-time wins leader. He moved by Hall-of-Fame coach Howard Hobson (1935-44) who boasted an 11-year mark of 212-124.
Kent, who is the Third Vice President for the NABC of the Board of Directors, has guided the Ducks to five of their 10 NCAA tournament appearances in history of the program. This includes two Elite Eight appearances, the 2002 Pacific-10 Conference regular-season championship and two conference tournament titles.
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