METAIRIE, La. -- This week on Pizza and the Playbook Tulane Men's Basketball Head Coach, Mike Dunleavy, Sr., sits-down with Karen Loftus at That's Amore Pizzeria to talk about making the move from the NBA to the college game, why Tulane has been such a good fit, and how coaching college athletes differs from coaching professional athletes.
KL: "This is your second season as the head basketball coach at Tulane but it's your first college coaching job. Tell me how this came about and when was this sort of on your radar to get into the college game?"
MD: "I started thinking in terms of what is it I like to do? During that time I was spending time with my son, Baker, who was the associate head coach at Villanova while they made their championship run. I was sitting at this practice and I was going, 'I love this. I'm really thinking seriously about doing it.' If I want to do it, I want to do it on my terms. I needed a city that I knew I could enjoy living in, I could stay for the next 10-15 years. I wasn't interested in going from job to job."
KL: "What's been the biggest difference that you've seen between the NBA game and the college game?"
MD: "First of all, nothing I do is different, except from the starting point at which I teach. There's also a huge up-side in how quickly you can make guys better."
KL: "When you take a new job, it's a new phase in your coaching career and you have certain expectations with the city, with the team, with everything. You've said it's far exceeded your expectations?"
MD: "It has. I really thought I'd like it but I love it."
KL: "I saw that you were a psychology major in college. Do you think that helps at all with your coaching?"
MD: "I think it does. The psychology part of it is, when I'm dealing with players it's about putting them in situations to make them successful and really feel good about themselves. But then also to where they have a hunger to get better."
KL: "Final question-- what's your favorite type of pizza?"
MD: "Well I'm from Brooklyn and Brooklyn has the best pizza. Grimaldi's in Brooklyn is a major stop for pizza lovers.
KL: "And favorite topping?"
MD: " Favorite topping for me is sausage."