LMU men's basketball head coach Mike Dunlap talks to his players during a timeout against Gonzaga on Jan. 11. On March 8, Dunlap and the Lions mutually agreed to part ways.

LMU and men’s basketball head coach Mike Dunlap mutually agreed to part ways on Sunday, March 8. College basketball reporter Jeff Goodman of Stadium was the first to break this news.

In a statement, Athletic Director Craig Pintens thanked Dunlap for his service to LMU.

“Mike has created a tremendous foundation for us to build on, elevating our program in so many areas,” Pintens said. “Coach Dunlap leads with integrity, setting high standards for student-athletes … We are grateful for Mike's commitment to the players, his colleagues and the university.”

Dunlap spoke out about the dismissal on two different occasions, first in a tweet and then in a more formal letter to the LMU community. He expressed gratitude in both comments.

“It has been an honor to be the head basketball coach at LMU,” his letter reads. “The administration, faculty and students are the essence of LMU: so much talent and raw energy.”

An LMU graduate himself in 1980, Dunlap departs the Bluff following a six-year stretch as head coach that has served as part of a coaching career lasting nearly 40 years. After taking over at the start of the 2014-15 season, he guided the Lions to one winning season, one .500 season and four losing seasons. His total record at LMU was 81-108. His most successful year as head coach was 2018-19, when LMU began the campaign with a mark of 8-0, the best start to a season in program history. They finished the year at 22-12, having achieved the most wins in a season for the men’s basketball team since 1990, and reached the semifinals of the 2019 College Basketball Invitational for their first postseason tournament appearance since 2012.

LMU has already begun searching for a new head coach. The search is a collaboration between the school, the athletics department and Fogler Consulting, a firm created in 2006 specifically to help Division I basketball programs hire coaches. A timeline for the search has not been announced.

Sports Editor

Alex Hutton is a junior journalism major from Oakland, California. He is a diehard fan of the Warriors, Giants, 49ers, Sharks, Cal Bears and LMU Lions. He lists getting his plays produced and meeting Paul McCartney as among his current life goals.

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