September First is a little too close to basketball season to be firing a coach, especially when it’s your legendary leader of your most successful basketball program. But, nope, last minute is the way DPS sophomore superintendent Rhonda Corr rolls.
Former Dunbar head basketball Coach Pete Pullen confirmed at 4:33 am this morning that he had been dismissed from coaching duties. Facebook posts suggest that the new Dunbar coach is former Stivers assistant coach Chuck Taylor. Pullen had lead Dunbar to amazing domination of State Basketball championships- 2006, 2007, 2010, 2012. NBA champion Norris Cole came through his program as did Daequan Cook who played in the NBA.
Instead of firing rookie district athletic director Mark Baker, who was firmly in the middle of the Dunbar/Belmont fiasco last year, they instead hastily extended Baker’s contract for 2 years- which brought the wrath of the Ohio High School Athletic Association upon the entire district. Pullen, had resigned as Dunbar’s AD, accepting his failure in the gpa calculation/playing of an ineligible football player, and just wanted to go back to coaching his beloved men’s basketball team into his retirement. Now that dream is dashed, we’ll see if the rest of the story comes out, since the district had a hole card on Pullen’s allegiance until yesterday.
Pullen is an interesting guy who started coaching women’s ball before taking over the men. This is probably part of his success formula at Dunbar. Women’s coaches have to coach a different game, one not centered on shear athleticism, dunking, and speed. Dunbar mens teams benefited from his approach to playing a complete, well disciplined game.
My first experience watching Pullen and his posse, was probably seeing them at a game in Trent arena soon after it opened. Coach Pete and his 4 assistants could be described as either a group of morticians, or blues brothers impersonators. All with black suits, white shirts and black skinny ties. And, while I found the costume entertaining, the game he brought was outstanding. There is a reason why Dunbar had the “x” factor working in their favor- Coach Pete created it.
This year wasn’t going to be as fun as previous years, for any of the Dunbar coaches. Robbed of players who used to be able to go to any charter school, including DECA and play at Dunbar- they were restricted to student/athletes who lived close to the school. The women’s team had 9 DECA kids. Now?
The timing of this dismissal couldn’t be more wrong. Late in the pre-season, and just before a three day weekend where DPS administrators can hide and let it blow over.
Parents will be outraged, as well as community leaders (some who sent their own boys to play for him) and Dunbar alumni. Old men, who’ve given their lives to a program that’s done something few others have, deserve a more dignified and gracious exit from a program they’ve built to set the standard in the district.
There will be more to this story, but, remember, you read it on Esrati.com first.
a few notes added 6pm same day.
Coach Pete’s record: 12 years. 261-51, 6 final fours, 4 state championships.
Chuck Taylor- Works for Judge Dan Gehres for a full time job. Judge Dan is the lazy political judge who took 9 months to add two lines to my lawyers brief and call it a “decision” on the mask case- thereby pushing the legal timelines to give the city a chance to appeal after I filed the civil suit. Not saying anything bad about Taylor- but, his boss is one of the people that’s part of the system that’s screwed the pooch in Dayton for a long time.