(WTNH)–Quinnipiac University is reportedly getting closer to hiring a new men’s basketball coach, and Villanova assistant Baker Dunleavy appears to be the leading candidate for the job.
Dunleavy, who is the son of longtime NBA coach Mike Dunleavy Sr., played at Villanova and has spent five seasons as the associate head coach at the school.
— John Pierson (@JPPierson) March 22, 2017
Correction: Baker Dunleavy is a finalist for the Quinnipiac job, expected to meet with the President.
— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) March 21, 2017
Quinnipiac was also reportedly considering former Bobcat and current Iona associate head coach Jared Grasso, Xavier assistant Travis Steele and St. Bonaventure head coach Mark Schmidt, among other candidates.
The school is reportedly willing to pay big-time money–upwards of $800,000 according to the New Haven Register’s David Borges–to land a candidate that can help the program reach its first-ever NCAA Tournament.
Athletics have become a priority at QU, and it’s shown, as the men’s and women’s hockey programs have become national championship contenders and the women’s basketball program has reached the Sweet 16 for the first time in its history.
The school would like for men’s basketball to have similar success, and there is reason for optimism in the near future, as the Bobcats return their top three scorers, including MAAC Rookie of the Year Mikey Dixon and fellow freshman Peter Kiss.
The fact that Quinnipiac is willing to pay makes the school more attractive to coaches who might consider jumping to a program that finished near the bottom of the MAAC last season a backwards or lateral move.