Longtime NBA coach Mike Dunleavy has been hired at Tulane, according to ESPN.
Dunleavy, 62, replaces Ed Conroy, who went 92-103 in six seasons with the Green Wave and did not make the NCAA Tournament once. Tulane has been in the big dance since 1995, when Perry Clark was head coach.
And hiring Dunleavy is an interesting decision on Tulane’s end, albeit an unconventional one. The man played his college ball at South Carolina before enjoying an 11-year NBA career and subsequently getting into coaching, but he has never been a coach on the collegiate level. In time spent with the Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers, Dunleavy owns a record of 613-716. He has not coached since resigning as Clippers coach in 2010.
But Mike Dunleavy could be just what Tulane needs. Keep in mind that in the 1990-91 NBA season, his first as a coach, he led the Lakers to the NBA Finals, where the team lost to the Chicago Bulls. While with Portland, Dunleavy led the Trail Blazers to consecutive Western Conference Finals trips in 1999 and 2000, nearly defeating the Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant-led Lakers in the latter year.
That said, given the state of Tulane basketball, hiring Dunleavy is a case of “Well, why not?” that could turn out quite well.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports