OFFICIAL: Bunker named Head Basketball Coach at Western New Mexico

Following up on something that I mentioned in yesterday’s DAILY DIRT…D2 Western New Mexico has officially hired Mark Bunker as their new men’s basketball head coach. Here’s the statement from WNMU:

Executive Director of Athletics, Scott Noble, has appointed Mark Bunker to lead the Western New Mexico University Men’s Basketball program as their new head coach. In nine seasons as a collegiate head coach, Bunker, a Scottsdale, Arizona native, has produced a 136-114 record and winning percentage of .554.

“We are very fortunate to be able to announce Mark Bunker as our new head men’s basketball coach,” said Noble.” Mark comes to us with a wealth of experience not only as a head coach, but as a recruiter in the state of Arizona and New Mexico. When you look at Coach Bunker’s nine seasons as a head coach, you can’t help but notice all the success he and his teams have had over the years.”

“I am so very honored and grateful to be the next Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Western New Mexico University,” said Bunker. “I want to thank the University President Dr. Joseph Shepard and the Director of Athletics Scott Noble for this incredible opportunity to join the University, the athletic department, and the community of Silver City. They have made such great strides with the department and Men’s Basketball program in a short period of time, and I am thrilled to be a part of it. My family and I are excited to move to the area soon and start a new chapter with Western New Mexico University.”

Bunker comes to Silver City after serving as the Head Coach for Scottsdale Community College for the last nine years (2014-Present). While at Scottsdale CC, Bunker would take the Artichokes to back-to-back Region I Division II Championships in 2022 & 2023 for the first time in school history. This would be the Artichokes third trip in four years and 6th in school history. He would lead the Artichokes to become ACCAC Regular season conference champions twice (2020 & 2022), as well as two second place finishes (2019 & 2023). Bunker’s teams have been nationally ranked in the NJCAA every year since 2018, as well as winning the most games (25) in school history in 2023.

The Artichokes would finish 25-9 in Bunker’s final season, including a trip to the Region I Division II Championship. Since 2018 Bunker’s teams have averaged 21 wins-per season. The Artichokes would claim the 1-seed in the Region I Tournament in 2022 and 2020 for the first time since 1983. Bunker guided 17 players to All-Conference and All-Region awards. He managed to retain the highest team GPA in school history during the 2018, including the 4th highest in the NJCAA. His team achieved the NJCAA All-Academic award four times, including three straight (2016-19), as well as 20 NJCAA Academic All-Americans.

Prior to Scottsdale, Bunker would be a Varsity Assistant Coach for the Saint Mary’s High School Boys Basketball Team, as well as the Head Coach of the Boys freshman Team. While on the Knights staff, Bunker was part of the 5A state championship team in 2008, which included three straight trips to the final four (2008-10).

“We had a number of highly qualified candidates, but Coach Bunker’s energy, enthusiasm and excitement to be part of our mustang family made him the right fit for us, our University and our Community,” said Noble.

Bunker would play collegiately at Scottsdale Community College, where he was a two year starter, team captain and would play in the Junior College All-American All-Star Game as a sophomore. After a two-year stint, he would earn his Associate Degree in General Studies and take his talents to Arizona State. Bunker would spend two years on the Sun Devils basketball team.

In 2011 Bunker would earn his Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Arizona State University. Bunker would continue his education at the University of Phoenix by obtaining his Master of Education in Adult Education in 2014.

Bunker is a native of Scottsdale, Ariz. where he attended Chaparral High School. He was a three-year varsity player. His senior year he was recognized as a 1st team All East Valley Tribune player and nominated for the McDonald’s All-American Game.

The Scottsdale native and his wife, Jacquelyn, have a daughter Claire, and a son James.

Vinny Del Negro, Former NBA Head Coach:

“I am thrilled to see Mark’s work ethic, passion and hard work getting recognized at Western New Mexico University. His consistent approach to developing players will be instrumental for the team as well as his drive and ability to connect with the community.”

Dave Richman, North Dakota State Head Coach:

“Mark has a tremendous passion for the game and more importantly, his players and their development as young men and basketball players. It has been a pleasure to get to know coach Bunker and we are thrilled for him on his new opportunity and challenge.”

Marvin Menzies, University of Missouri-Kansas City Head Coach/Former New Mexico State Head Coach:

“I am so happy for Mark and his family! He has definitely earned this opportunity and will be very successful in a short amount of time. Mark is an up-and-coming rockstar who will do great things at WNMU! Having worked in Las Cruces for nine years and understanding the landscape in New Mexico I have no doubt that Coach Bunker will thrive in that environment. I have watched him work, recruited his players and became thoroughly impressed with how he ran his program.”

Shane Burcar, Northern Arizona University:

“Coach Mark Bunker has been a relentless worker ever since he started coaching. He works for and with his players on and off the court. His expectations are why Coach Bunker has had so much success. He knows how to lead young men and how to run a successful basketball program. Western New Mexico will be proud of how Coach Bunker represents Silver City and their University.”

The Mark Bunker File:


Hometown: Scottsdale, Ariz.

High School: Chaparral High School

College: Scottsdale CC (2002-04), Arizona State (2004-06, 2011), University of Phoenix (2014)

Family: Wife: Jacquelyn; Daughter: Claire; Son: James

Playing Career:

2002-04: Scottsdale CC

2004-06: Arizona State University

Coaching Career:

2014-23: Head Coach, Scottsdale Community College (136-114; .544%)

2014-11: Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach, Scottsdale Community College

2011-08: Assistant Varsity Coach & Freshman Team Head Coach, Saint Mary’s High School

Coaching Awards:

Coach of the Year 2022 & 2023 NJCAA West District

2020 ACCAC Conference Coach of the Year Junior College Coach of the Year 2020 & 2022 National Coach of the Year Finalist 2019

Holds the record for the most wins in a season at Scottsdale CC (25)

Kept team nationally ranked since 2018

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