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Clippers select Mike Dunleavy as new head coach

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Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - The Los Angeles selected to be their new head coach. The announcement was made at a Friday afternoon press conference. The 49-year-old Dunleavy replaces interim coach Dennis Johnson, who took over when Alvin Gentry was fired on March 3. The finished last in the Pacific Division in 2002-03 with a 27-55 record. Los Angeles hasn't qualified for the playoffs since 1997. "This Clipper organization over the years has done a great job drafting talent," said Dunleavy. "They've got a great young nucleus of players. For me that was a big lure." A former NBA player, Dunleavy has had previous head coaching experience with the Los Angeles , Milwaukee and the Portland . In 1991, Dunleavy guided the to an NBA Finals appearance in his first season as their head coach. The defeated Los Angeles in five games. "Our goal was to hire an experienced coach who has been a winner and who has had success in the postseason," said vice president of basketball operations Elgin Baylor. "Mike is a real student of the game. He eats, drinks and sleeps basketball. He is an innovative and tireless worker. He is well-organized and well-prepared. He communicates well with his players, and as a great teacher. We're delighted to have him as our head coach." In his 10 years as a head coach, Dunleavy has compiled an overall record of 398-390. Dunleavy was also a candidate for the Houston and Washington coaching vacancies. The hired Jeff Van Gundy, while the chose Eddie Jordan.

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