July 8, 2011
QUEENS, N.Y. - St. John's men's basketball assistant coach Mike Dunlap will be inducted into the Metro State College of Denver's Hall of Fame in August, the school announced earlier this week. Dunlap coached the Roadrunners from 1997-2006 and led Metro to a pair of NCAA Division II national championships (2000 and 2002), and will be inducted on Aug. 13 in Denver with his 2002 squad, among others.
"The St. John's basketball family couldn't be more pleased with Mike Dunlap's receiving this well-deserved honor from Metro State," said St. John's head coach Steve Lavin. "I have known Mike since I was a student-athlete at Chapman University, and over the past 25 years he has developed into one of the game's most-respected teachers."
"I am very honored and humbled to be inducted into the Metro State Hall of Fame," said Dunlap, who begins his second season as an assistant on the St. John's bench in 2011-12. "The fact that I am going in with our 2002 national championship team makes it all the better."
Before coming to New York and prior to stints with Oregon, Arizona and the Denver Nuggets of the NBA, Dunlap was a two-time NCAA Division II national championship mentor and National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division II Coach of the Year (2000 and 2002) at Metropolitan State College, leading the Roadrunners to nine NCAA Tournament appearances in each of his nine seasons as head coach. Dunlap posted a 248-50 (.832) record en route to three NCAA Division II title game appearances, three North Central Regional championships, five Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) titles, two RMAC Coach of the Year awards and in the process, became Metro State's all-time winningest coach. Further contributing to his reputation as one of the finest teachers in the game while at Metro State, he was selected as an on-court coach for the Under-18 National Team trials for USA Basketball in May 2006, one year after serving in the same capacity at the 2005 USA Men's Under-22 National Team trials.
Metro State won its second national championship in 2002, defeating Kentucky Wesleyan, 80-72. Dunlap was named the NABC and the Bulletin Division II Coach of the Year. The squad posted a 29-6 record and finished second in the RMAC, but after a loss in the RMAC Tournament the Roadrunners won six straight games to claim the national title. Dunlap's first national championship came in 2000, also a win over Kentucky Wesleyan, 97-79. The Roadrunners tied for the RMAC regular-season championship, won the RMAC Tournament title and went 33-4 after posting wins in their final 12 contests. The 33 wins is still a school record, and Dunlap was honored as the NABC National Coach of the Year and the RMAC Coach of the Year.
The first year of Lavin Era included a 21-12 overall record in 2010-11, marking St. John's most wins since the 2002-03 season, with six Top 25 victories and four over Top 10 opponents. As an assistant on the highly-acclaimed, specialized staff assembled by Lavin, Dunlap helped transform a team that finished in 13th place in the BIG EAST Conference last season at 6-12 to a squad that tied for third this year at 12-6 - only twice before has a jump of such magnitude occurred in BIG EAST Conference history.
The Red Storm finished its season ranked 18th in the Associated Press Top 25, marking the first time it qualified for the postseason as a ranked team since 2000-01. The Red Storm, which posted a 7-1 record in eight regular-season games at Madison Square Garden (capacity: 19,353) and a 5-2 record on campus at Carnesecca Arena (capacity: 5,602) saw its home attendance climb by 38.1 percent, marking the fourth-largest increase in NCAA Division I men's basketball.