Poughkeepsie, N.Y. – After 12 years at the helm in Jersey City, John Dunne is taking his talents to the banks of the Hudson River.
Dunne takes over a team that, for the last decade, ranks 350 out of 351 Division I schools in terms of wins and losses.
“I feel very confident that this is going to get turned around,” Dunne said. “[These players] have a desire to win, and they are tired of losing.”
Dunne comes to Marist with a career 153-225 (.405) record, all coming from his time with St. Peters. The 47-year-old, Queens-born coach is well respected throughout the coaching community and is known for his team’s hard nose defensive mentality. Unlike previous coach Mike Maker, Dunne likes to run down the shot clock and look for the good shot instead of the quick look.
It appears Coach Dunne was at the top of the list for Athletic Director Tim Murray. However, Le Moyne Head Coach Patrick Beilein was offered the job initially. Beilein rejected the offer from Marist and put Murray behind his initial self-imposed deadline of the start of the Final Four. Like Beilein, Dunne also rejected Murray’s initial advances, but after hearing the news that Beilein was staying put – Dunne called Murray.
“When it went in another direction you can’t help but think I made a mistake,” Dunne said. “I went to my wife and I said, ‘I think this guy is going to turn the job down,’ and she said, ‘We’re going to follow the signs’ and we went and followed it, now I’m here.”
During the press conference, Dunne would not state if he had hired any assistant coaches for his staff at Marist. Even though one of his assistant coaches from St. Peters, Serge Clement, was present in the room and referenced to multiple times by Dunne while at the podium. Tim Murray later confirmed after the press conference that Clement has been hired to join Dunne’s staff, “He has hired Serge Clement, someone I have heard really good things about in terms of his ability and his relentless work ethic in recruiting”
Dunne also floated the idea of potentially bringing a former Red Fox point guard on to the staff.
“Jared Jordan is a guy that, if he is done playing, if he is looking at ending his career, he is guy I would love to talk to. Bringing him back into the mix – that is something I will try to do,” Dunne said.
This is surprising, as Jordan is currently playing professional basketball in Germany, and has not shown any sign of ending his career.
Dunne would not confirm if current transition coach C.J. Lee would be given the opportunity to join his staff.
“I met C.J. yesterday. I have known him from afar for years. He is a tremendous high character person and really has impressed me in the short time we have been together, but there is a lot of things to sift out here as far as the staff goes,” said Dunne.
While Dunne’s approach to recruiting is reminiscent to that of Maker—bringing in high character players that fit their system of play—Dunne will be forced to teach current players a completely different style than what Maker recruited them for.
“It’s going to take some time. Coach Maker spent most of his time in the offensive end, my guess is that Coach Dunne will spend most of his time in practice in the defensive end,” said junior guard David Knudsen. “I’m really looking forward to it because we have not been that good defensively, but we have been showing we can score the ball.”
Dunne has a big task ahead of him. While attempting to repair a team that has had ten straight losing seasons, Dunne finds the April 11 signing day deadline already bearing down on him.
For the full press conference, plus analysis, watch the video below.
— Center Field (@CFMarist) April 5, 2018