Monday, March 27, 2017

Baker Dunleavy named head coach at Quinnipiac; Dixon/Kiss/Daniels to transfer

Quinnipiac has found its successor to Tom Moore, naming Baker Dunleavy as its new head men's basketball coach.

Dunleavy, 34, becomes the Bobcats' third coach since the program transitioned to Division I. He follows a 10-year run by Moore that was largely successful based on his 162-150 overall record, but marked by struggle in the past two seasons, where Quinnipiac amassed just 19 wins against 42 losses.

The son of longtime NBA head coach and current Tulane head coach Mike Dunleavy, Baker brings a wealth of experience at a high level to Quinnipiac, having spent seven years on the staff of Jay Wright at Villanova. His stint on the Main Line began as the Wildcats' director of basketball operations before rising through the ranks to associate head coach in 2013. His tenure at Villanova saw him help develop all-Big East talent the likes of Scottie Reynolds, Corey Fisher, Corey Stokes, Antonio Pena, Maalik Wayns, JayVaughn Pinkston, Ryan Arcidiacono, Josh Hart, Kris Jenkins and Jalen Brunson, and was highlighted by the Wildcats' epic national championship victory over North Carolina in 2016.

Dunleavy also played at Villanova, graduating in 2006 and reaching a regional final in his senior season on what had been regarded at the time as the best Wildcat team in the Wright era. He inherits a Quinnipiac roster once thought to have a promising foundation for success in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, but now rife with major question marks as each of the Bobcats' top three scorers this past season; freshman guards Mikey Dixon and Peter Kiss, and junior forward Chaise Daniels, have each requested releases that will permit them to seek a transfer. All three are expected to obtain them in the near future.

Quinnipiac will introduce Dunleavy in a 1 p.m. press conference Tuesday afternoon from the TD Bank Sports Center, and the incoming head coach has been rumored to be in the process of forming a coaching staff. Multiple sources have suggested Dunleavy will look within the Villanova family to fill at least one vacancy, and the New Haven Register's Dave Borges has already hinted that Tom Pecora; the former head coach at Hofstra and Fordham who has spent the past two seasons as a television analyst, is under consideration for an assistant coach position.

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