Baker Dunleavy has been named head coach for Quinnipiac University’s men’s basketball, Director of Athletics & Recreation Greg Amodio as announced on Tuesday, March 28, 2017. Dunleavy becomes the seventh head coach in Quinnipiac’s 67-year basketball history, and the third in its 19 years at the Division I level.
“After a thorough search for our new men’s basketball coach, I’m thrilled to welcome Baker Dunleavy to the Quinnipiac family,” Amodio said. “Baker has an outstanding reputation in the college basketball world. We knew the type of candidate that we were looking for and he fit all the criteria. There is no doubt that in hiring one of the top up-and-coming coaches in college basketball that we are taking a step closer to advancing our men’s basketball program.”
Dunleavy, 34, joins the Bobcats after spending seven years on the men’s basketball staff at Villanova University where under Jay Wright, he helped the Wildcats capture the 2016 national championship with a 77-74 win over North Carolina. He began at Villanova as the director of basketball operations in 2010, before being elevated to assistant coach in 2012 and to the associate head coach position in 2013.
“My family and I could not be more excited to join the Quinnipiac community,” Dunleavy said. “Quinnipiac is a university that combines a first class academic environment and a highly motivated athletic program. Our staff will work to develop complete student athletes and young men who are willing to work for success on and off the court. I am eager to get started building the foundation of a program that students, fans, and alumni can be proud of.”
Dunleavy assisted Wright in all facets of the program as the associate head coach, including on-court teaching, player development and recruiting. In his four seasons as associate head coach, the Wildcats posted an impressive 129-17 record, including 63-9 in the BIG EAST Conference, while winning four straight regular season league titles and two postseason titles. Villanova earned No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament in 2015 and 2017 (including the No. 1 seed in the entire tournament in 2017), as well as No. 2 seeds in 2014 and 2016, placing the Wildcats in the top eight in the country in all four years.
While serving as an associate head coach, Dunleavy had a key role in Wright winning three straight BIG EAST Coach of the Year honors from 2014-16, as well as the 2016 Naismith Men’s College National Coach of the Year award. Dunleavy helped coach the last three BIG EAST Players of the Year, Ryan Arcidiacono (2015) and Jason Hart (2016 and 2017), while Hart was also named a first-team All-American by the National Association of Basketball Coaches this winter.
A 2006 Villanova graduate, Dunleavy appeared in 28 games over his four seasons for the Wildcats. As a senior, he was part of the first Villanova team to earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament in 2006, a feat that he also accomplished twice as the program’s associate head coach in the last three years.
After earning his degree from Villanova, Dunleavy entered the corporate world and worked for Merrill Lynch in New York City for four years. He decided to return to college basketball in 2010 and was hired by Wright as Villanova’s director of operations before quickly ascending the coaching ladder.
A member of a well-known basketball family, Dunleavy’s older brother, Mike Dunleavy Jr., won a national championship as a player at Duke and recently completed his 15th NBA season with the Atlanta Hawks. Their father, Mike Dunleavy Sr., also played 10 years in the NBA and served as head coach for four NBA franchises (Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers). Dunleavy Sr. is currently the head coach at Tulane University in New Orleans, giving the family two NCAA Division I head coaches heading into the 2017-18 season. Dunleavy married the former Chrissi Ingelsby in 2012. The couple has two daughters, Rosie, 3, and Caroline Claire (Cece), who was born earlier this month.