Men’s basketball coach steps down midseason
By Rich Mezzasalma, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Monday, January 11, 2010
Big Green men’s basketball head coach Terry Dunn submitted his resignation on Friday afternoon, with 15 games remaining in the season. Dunn’s resignation was effective immediately.
Assistant coaches Mark Guape, Micheal Brown, and Tim Lane collectively assumed coaching responsibilities for the team’s game against Harvard on Saturday, in which the Big Green lost 76-47. They will continue to coach until an interim head coach is announced.
Several hours after Dunn handed in his resignation on Friday, FoxSports.com reported that Dunn was forced to resign after the men’s basketball team threatened to not take the court this weekend’s game against Harvard.
According to the report, written by senior college basketball writer Jeff Goodman, “each player signed a document that was taken to the administration on Friday stating they refused to play for Dunn.”
“It’s amazing the conclusions that some media will jump to,” interim athletic director Bob Ceplikas said. “I have no idea how they got that report.”
Although the FoxSports.com article cited “multiple sources”, no source was explicitly named. Big Green team captain Robby Pride ’10 denied the existence of such a document.
“That is totally bogus,” Pride said. “I don’t know where that guy got that information. It was all a very civil process — as far as everything that happened — and that’s definitely not true.”
While denying the rumor of a document signed by players, Pride declined to disclose any further details surrounding Dunn’s resignation.
“The details are going to stay within the team just because it’s pretty big news,” he said. “There are no hard feelings at all. He was a great coach and did a lot of things for the program.”
Ceplikas said in an interview with The Dartmouth that he plans to announce an interim head coach within the next few days.
“Certainly the process for determining a new head coach will be a national search,” he said. “With an interim situation, it’s a more abbreviated process. We just evaluate all our options both internally and externally and reach a decision within a short period of time so the program can move along to be as successful as possible.”
According to Pride, Ceplikas has spoken to the team about the coaching vacancy, but has yet to come to a decision.
“We’ve talked about it as a team and we talked with [Ceplikas], but the final decision is going to be with him,” Pride said. “Most of the guys [on the team] just want to stay with the coaches we have right now and I think Mark Guape, the assistant coach right now, is what we want for the interim head coach.”
Ceplikas said in an e-mail to The Dartmouth that Dunn left for “personal reasons,” and added that he respects Dunn’s decision.
“I know he cares deeply about the program and the players, so I’m sure it was an agonizing decision,” Ceplikas said in the e-mail.
Dunn was in his sixth season as Dartmouth’s head coach, compiling a 47-103 overall record during his tenure. He is credited for coaching the Big Green to the second-best turnaround in Ivy League history, as the team went from a 1-13 mark in the 2003-2004 season to a 7-7 record the following year when Dunn joined the program.
A statement by Ceplikas on DartmouthSports.com reflectes an appreciation for Dunn’s service.
“[Dunn] has been a loyal and dedicated member of our staff,” Ceplikas said in the statement. “We thank him for his service and leadership to our basketball program and wish him the best in his future pursuits.”
The team hopes to move on from this situation and doesn’t expect the loss of Dunn to impact the team significantly, according to Pride.
“Right now, we’re just looking go forward,” Pride said. “We’re excited for the assistant coaches we have right now and the potential we have for the future.”
The announcement came nearly two weeks after Dunn’s twin brother, Jerry Dunn, took an indefinite leave of absence from his post as associate head coach of the University of Michigan’s men’s basketball program.
“Presently, I have family matters that need my immediate attention,” Jerry Dunn said, according to Michigan’s web site.
The Big Green currently have a 3-11 record and will play St. Francis College at home on Monday night.
Dunn could not be reached for comment by press time.