Dunlap Resigns After 11 Seasons at Southeastern
April 16, 2012
Legendary Coach Won Over 250 Games at SEU
LAKELAND--Legendary basketball coach John Dunlap, has resigned as the head men's basketball coach at Southeastern, SEU Athletics Director Duane Aagaard announced, Monday afternoon, in a release posted on the school's athletic website. Dunlap, who spent 11 seasons at Southeastern, has won over 460 games in his career, and is Polk County's all-time winningest basketball coach.
Dunlap went 256-142 during his tenure at SEU, including winning the program's only national championship back in 2005. He also led Southeastern to a 19-14 record this season, while guiding the Fire to their first ever NAIA national ranking.
"I am thankful for the past 11 years at Southeastern," said Dunlap reflecting on his time at Southeastern. "I have had the privilege to coach outstanding young men that love Jesus, and who are world changers. Everyone that has been involved in the men's basketball program from assistant coaches to managers to student assistants, has played a major role in the tremendous success that was achieved these 11 years. Thanks to each and every one."
Dunlap came to Southeastern after 13 years as the head coach at Webber International University in Babson Park, Florida. As head coach for the Warriors, he collected more than 200 victories, made two appearances in the NAIA National Tournament, and had a perfect 17-0 conference record in the Florida Sun Conference in 1992-93. Dunlap also was selected as the Florida Sun Conference Coach of the Year in 1992-93 and 1993-94.
In his first season at Southeastern, he guided the Crusaders to the South Region Championship in 2002, and to a sixth place finish in the NCCAA D-II National Tournament.
During the Fire's tenure within the NCCAA D-II, Dunlap dominated his opponents, as Southeastern set a NCCAA record by winning 40 straight South Region games from 2003-2006. From 2001-2010, Southeastern finished with a 136-18 South Region record, six South Region Championships, seven NCCAA II National Tournament appearances, and two national runner-ups.
In 2004-05, Dunlap and the Fire captured the school's only NCCAA II National Championship in basketball, as Southeastern ended the year with a 30-8 record, setting a new school record for wins in a season.
In the Fire's first season within the NCCAA D-I affiliation, Southeastern made a magical run through the South Region Tournament and captured the school's first D-I title while also making their first NCCAA D-I National Tournament appearance.
"John’s legacy goes so far beyond the basketball court; he has embodied the mission of Southeastern University from the barrio in Cartagena, Colombia, to leading a relief project to the victims of the Alabama tornados," said Aagaard. "There is not an athlete he has coached that has not been impacted by the ministry of John Dunlap."
Dunlap has always been a well respected figure within the Lakeland community, as his teams have historically donated numerous hours to many local ministries and charities. Anchor House Ministries, Talbot House Ministries, Lighthouse Ministries, the Dream Center of Lakeland, and VISTE are just a few of the ministries his teams have volunteered at over the past decade.
In 2008, he also took players on a mission trip to Colombia, and former player Mason Gravely credits the mission trip as a life changing experience. Now Gravely feels called to help support missions worldwide, and even rode his bicycle from Alaska to Florida last summer in order to raise money for an African missionary.
Last summer Dunlap also oversaw an outreach to Alabama, where he organized a relief effort to help victims whose lives were destroyed by devastating tornados near Birmingham.
"Unfortunately transition is a part of college athletics; we are very thankful and honored for the 11 years John Dunlap served at Southeastern University," added Aagaard. "It is only a matter of time before we see John inducted into the Polk County Hall of Fame and the SEU Hall of Fame. We want to celebrate John's tenure at Southeastern, his 256 wins, the 2005 NCCAA National Title, and the countless lives he has influenced over the years. I will miss his magnetic passion for God."
Dunlap leaves Southeastern with a career record of 464-362 over 22 years of coaching.