Q&A: Mike Dunlap talks Hall of Fame
Posted: August 5, 2011
Mike Dunlap, former Metropolitan State College of Denver head basketball coach, will be inducted into the 2011-12 Athletics Hall of Fame. The ceremony will take place at 5 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 13 at the Auraria Event Center on the Auraria Campus.
During his nine seasons at Metro State (1997-2006), he led the Roadrunners to two national championships (2000 and 2002), four Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) regular season championships, six RMAC Tournament championships and nine NCAA Tournament appearances. His record for most wins (248-50 or .832) at the College still stands.
Dunlap was named national coach of the year three times, and in 2009 was honored as the coach of the RMAC’s all-time team. After Metro State he spent two years as the Denver Nuggets’ assistant coach before re-entering the collegiate ranks in 2008. Currently, he is assistant coach for St. John’s University.
This week Dunlap talked with Metro State about coaching, what he misses most about Metro State and the Hall of Fame honor. Following is a Q&A:
Metro State: How does your approach differ when coaching college players vs. professional players? Does it differ?
Dunlap: At the professional level you manage people. In college, you teach. It’s very distinct. I prefer to be a teacher.
Metro State: Part of coaching is recruiting. What do you tell potential college players about the benefits of being a student athlete?
Dunlap: Value for dollar. The most important lesson a coach can teach in life is relationships and people skills. Second would be accruing information and knowledge, and then knowing what to do with it.
Metro State: What trait or characteristic do you feel prepares you to deal with the pressure and continue to achieve success year after year?
Dunlap: Not taking yourself too seriously. There are way more important people than yourself. I’m always on the hunt for lessons learned and I always try to listen. There’s lots of knowledge I don’t have.
Metro State: What one thing would you say you miss the most about your time at Metro State that most wouldn’t expect?
Dunlap: Faculty. There’s special faculty at Metro State. It’s an empirical institution. Professors get the mission. They live it. Through our basketball mentor program, a hybrid of administrators, business people and faculty shepherded players from freshmen to seniors. Players would have two or three mentors. It was very pure in its inception and stayed pure. They (mentors) are soldiers. They took what players were experiencing in their lives and guided them from there.
Metro State: When you received the call about the Hall of Fame honor what went through your mind?
Dunlap: It’s a mark on the wall, which sets a standard. Obviously humbled. I’m very thankful to all participants responsible for getting it done, from the president to players and staff. The school saw us as a gateway to national recognition and supported us as ambassadors of the College.
Metro State: What are you most looking forward to at the Hall of Fame ceremony?
Dunlap: Seeing all of the former players and staff will be a treat. We are all living our separate lives. Any excuse to get together is just great. After that we’ll just sit around and tell each other lies (he laughs).
Visit the Athletics website to purchase tickets for the ceremony or learn more about Dunlap and the other honorees: 2001-02 men’s basketball national championship team, former women’s basketball players Stephanie Allen and Natasha Molock, and former Metro State Vice President of Administration Joseph Arcese.