Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Baker Dunleavy introduced as Quinnipiac head coach, Daniels not transferring

Flanked by athletic director Greg Amodio and president John Lahey, Baker Dunleavy is officially named head coach at Quinnipiac, Bobcats' third coach at Division I level. (Photo by Vincent Simone/NYC Buckets)

A new era has officially begun in Hamden, as Quinnipiac introduced Baker Dunleavy as its head men's basketball coach Tuesday afternoon.

"It was very clear to me that there is a foundation in place at this school that shares a lot of what I believe," the 34-year-old Dunleavy said when accepting his first career head coaching position. "I really look forward to embracing this community and getting to know the people in this program."

The son of former NBA head coach Mike Dunleavy, now the head coach at Tulane; and younger brother of former Duke standout and current NBA veteran Mike Dunleavy, Jr., Baker Dunleavy comes to Quinnipiac by way of Villanova, where he spent the past seven seasons rising through the ranks of Jay Wright's staff, first as the director of basketball operations before a four-year run as associate head coach. As Wright's right-hand man, he led the Wildcats to four consecutive Big East Conference regular season championships, and most notably an epic victory over North Carolina in last April's national championship game. He also enjoyed a four-year playing career on the Main Line, with a brief career at Merrill Lynch bookending his time as a student-athlete and coach.

"We were interested in finding an individual who shared and could lead us to our aspirational goals," athletic director Greg Amodio remarked when introducing Dunleavy as the successor to Tom Moore, who was fired on March 7 after a ten-year tenure at the helm of the Bobcats. "As we moved through the search, we kept coming back to one individual who exemplified the traits necessary to realize our aspirational goals, and that individual was Baker Dunleavy; someone who was described as thoughtful, calculated, a great recruiter, a passionate educator, a fierce competitor, a leader of men, and a winner."

Dunleavy's first task will be to mold Quinnipiac into a winner while simultaneously keeping pieces of a promising future intact. It was reported on Monday that freshmen Mikey Dixon and Peter Kiss were seeking a release from the university, but both are presently noncommittal about their intentions for next season. A third player, junior forward Chaise Daniels, was also reportedly requesting a release, but took to social media to refute rumors of his departure.

Dunleavy also announced his coaching staff Tuesday, with former Hofstra and Fordham head coach Tom Pecora headlining a trio of assistants who are each, in some way, connected to the Villanova coaching tree that Dunleavy himself is a branch of. Pecora returns to the coaching ranks following a two-year stint in the broadcast booth as a color commentator for various sports networks.

Shaun Morris comes to Quinnipiac from Boston University, where he served as an assistant to Joe Jones, who worked on Wright's staff at Villanova before assuming the head coaching position at Columbia. The third member of Dunleavy's staff is Anthony Goins, most recently a member of the coaching staff at Yale; whose head coach, James Jones, is Joe Jones' older brother.

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