Yet Dunlap hasn't actually been named the interim coach for this season. The reasons remain unclear. According to one report, Dunlap just hasn't decided at this point. Another report suggests it is because there are still negotiations over how much money Dunlap should get for taking the reins for one year. Dunlap's salary as an assistant was to be for $375,000.
Another report is much more salacious.
According to sources close to the situation, Arizona associate coach Mike Dunlap, who was hired a few months ago after two years as an NBA assistant coach, is in a stalemate concerning taking over for Olson on an interim basis.Of course, that too could be a negotiating ploy to make Arizona pony up a nice paycheck for being put in a no-win, one-year job at the last minute.
The word I'm getting is that Dunlap is threatening to leave if he doesn't get job on a permanent basis.
It's hard to fault Dunlap. This is the strongest hand he will have in negotiating. He is the most experienced member of the Arizona coaching staff that was revised after last season. He's also the only one on the staff with head coaching experience.
The only other choice Arizona AD Jim Livengood has is to promote a less experienced assistant, hire an unemployed coach at the last minute, or even bring in long-time Olson assistant Jim Rosborough (who Olson pushed out for Kevin O'Neill the year before) to run the show. The problem with all of those scenarios is that Dunlap would be gone as well.
Arizona fans better hope that Dunlap is doing this just for the money, not the power.