Interview with Harris Stowe University Head Men’s Basketball Coach Brion Dunlap
Brion (BREE-ON) Dunlap will enter his fourth season as the Head Men’s Basketball Coach and first year as Assistant Athletic Director for Internal Operations at Harris-Stowe State University.
During his second season as Head Coach, Dunlap coached one of the most competitive teams in HSSU history. The 2017-2018 Hornets finished the season 23-11, securing 19 American Midwest Conference wins, tying them for 1st. The Hornets defeated five Top 25 opponents. For the 2nd straight year, the Hornets won the AMC Tournament Championship with a 95-71 win at home over Williams Baptist College (University) and received their second automatic bid to the NAIA National Tournament in two years.
The Hornets finished 2017-2018 in the top 10 nationally in Blocks Per Game, Offensive Rebounds per Game, Total Rebound Offense, and Total Blocks in which they finished #1 nationally. The team also ranked 11th nationally in Total 3-point Field Goals Made and had a season-high of 20 threes in a game. Dunlap coached Deandre Clark to be named NAIA All-American Honorable Mention as well as First Team All-Conference and Newcomer of the Year. Dwane Miner was named Third Team All-Conference and Altez Davis was named to the All-AMC Defensive Team.
In Dunlap’s first season, he led the Hornets to a 19 win season and finished American Midwest Conference play in a tie for 3rd place. In the AMC tournament, the Hornets went 3-0 on the road and won their first AMC Tournament Championship. The victory also earned the Hornets their first trip to the NAIA Tournament. The 2016-2017 team also recorded six wins against opponents that were ranked in the Top 25 or had been receiving votes, including an 88-83 win versus #3 Columbia College. The Hornets ranked 6th nationally in Field Goal Percentage Defense (40.2%) as well as 7th nationally in 3-point Field Goal Percentage Defense (30.4%). Jalen Fletcher was named NAIA All-American Honorable Mention as well as Second Team All-Conference. Craig Davila Jr. was named Third Team All-Conference. Julian Clarkson, Michael Gregg, Jalen Fletcher, Dwane Miner, Malik Wineglass, Craig Davila Jr., DeVontae Williams, and Jamaal Hinton all received AMC All-Academic honors.
Coach Dunlap came to Harris-Stowe after spending one season as an assistant at Winston-Salem State University. Prior to WSSU, he spent five seasons as an assistant coach at the College of the Holy Cross. He helped the Crusaders to an overall record of 34-30 the last two seasons. In the 2013-14 season, Holy Cross finished with a 20-14 record, which was their first 20-win season since 2006-2007. Holy Cross also placed third in the Patriot League with a 12-6 record in conference and received a bid to postseason play to compete in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. Holy Cross’ 68-65 victory over Ivy League Brown in the first round of the 2014 CIT was the institution’s first win in a national postseason tournament since 2004-2005.
Dunlap came to Holy Cross with his professional mentor Milan Brown after holding the same position under Brown at Mount St. Mary’s University for seven years. During his final three seasons at Mount St. Mary’s, Dunlap helped lead the Mountaineers to an overall record of 54-44 and a 35-19 mark in the Northeast Conference. Mount St. Mary’s also saw postseason action twice in the seven years, reaching the NCAA Tournament in 2008 and the College Insider Tournament in 2009. In 2008, the Mountaineers won the Northeast Conference Tournament title and posted the first NCAA Division I Tournament victory in school history, with a 69-60 win over Coppin State in the opening round.
Before heading to the collegiate ranks, Dunlap served as the head coach at Forest Park High School in Woodbridge, Virginia. He was the first head coach in the history of the program at Forest Park, which opened as a new school in 2000. Preceding Forest Park, Dunlap spent two years as an assistant coach at Woodbridge (Va.) High School. He was also selected as the head coach for the 2003 NOVA Hoops Classic and served as the head coach of the Prince William Pacers AAU team in 2002-2003.
Dunlap is a 1998 graduate of Old Dominion University with a bachelor’s degree in human services counseling. He was a four-year starter for the Monarchs under head coach Jeff Capel, leading ODU to two NCAA Tournament appearances and two Colonial Athletic Association titles. Dunlap was named to the CAA All-Rookie team in 1995 and the CAA All-Tournament team in 1997, also earning Chevrolet Player of the Game honors following Old Dominion’s 59-55 loss to New Mexico in the first round of the 1997 NCAA Tournament. Dunlap still ranks second all-time in the CAA and third all-time at Old Dominion with 680 career assists.
Coach Dunlap resides in St. Louis with his wife Kellie Dunlap and their three children Brooklynn, Alexa, and Anton.