George Lynch, a 12-year NBA veteran, coach, former Division I college assistant, and former University of North Carolina star, has been named the new head coach of the Clark Atlanta University Panthers men’s basketball team, CAU Athletic Director J Lin Dawson announced Monday.
Lynch takes over for Darrell Walker, who accepted the head coaching position at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock in March.
“I’m very excited to represent Clark Atlanta univ in 2018-2019 season,” Lynch said. “Coach Darrell Walker has left the program in great shape with some great players. It’s an honor to follow him as a head coach with the opportunity to lead the Clark Atlanta basketball team moving forward. I’m looking forward to joining the CAU campus community and being part of a great program.”
Lynch spent 12 years playing in the NBA after he was drafted in the first round by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1993. A defensive force, Lynch also was the first rookie since Magic Johnson to score 30 points in a game. He played for four NBA teams during his career (L.A. Lakers, Vancouver Grizzlies, Philadelphia 76ers, and the New Orleans Hornets), playing the NBA Finals with the Philadelphia 76ers in 2001. He was also a second-team All-NBA defensive player that year.
After his playing career, Lynch worked with Southern Methodist University in player training and development and ran a non-profit youth basketball organization in the Dallas area. In 2010, he joined the University of California-Irvine, first as an assistant athletic director for Community Relations and then as a strength coach for the men’s and women’s basketball programs. He served in the same capacity at SMU from 2012 to 2015 before becoming the school’s player development coach in 2015. He has been assistant coach with the Grand Rapid Drive of the NBA’s “G” League since 2017.
Lynch, a graduate of the University of North Carolina, helped lead the Tar Heels to the 1993 Atlantic Coast Conference championship, along with the NCAA National Championship where he was the Most Valuable Player of the NCAA East Regional. Lynch, a four-year letterman, was captain of the 1993 team, was on the NCAA’s All-Tournament team
“I am excited to enter this new era in men’s basketball with George Lynch,” Dawson said. “George embodies the attributes that we looked for as a campus community. Our student-athletes will benefit from his experience as a successful player, mentor, strength coach and player developer, and he will be great addition to Clark Atlanta athletics and the entire CAU community.”
The Panthers finished 24-6 this past season, narrowly missing out on winning their second-consecutive Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship. The Panthers earned their second consecutive NCAA Division II Men’s National Basketball tournament bid and were nationally ranked the entire second half of the season.