With associate head coach Billy Lange making the move to the Philadelphia 76ers coaching staff, Villanova head coach Jay Wright had a position to fill just days before schools are allowed to officially begin team practices. With Kyle Neptune, who served as the program’s video coordinator from 2008-10 rejoining the staff as an assistant, Villanova announced Wednesday that Baker Dunleavy’s been promoted to associate head coach.
Dunleavy’s been a part of the Villanova program for quite some time, first as a player from 2002-06 and then serving as director of basketball operations and an assistant coach under coach Wright. The associate head coach is essentially the head coach’s “right hand man,” so having someone familiar with the program and how the head coach wants things done can certainly be an advantage.
“Baker was one of the leaders of our 2006 Big East championship team and he’s developed into an outstanding coach,” Wright said in the release announcing both moves. “Baker has a great understanding of what it takes to succeed at this level and an instinctive feel for this program’s core values. He serves as a great example of what a successful Villanova Basketball player can become.”
Villanova also officially announced Neptune’s hiring, which was reported earlier this week. After spending two seasons on Wright’s staff as the video coordinator Neptune made the move to Niagara, where he served as an assistant under Joe Mihalich. After coach Mihalich accepted the open head coaching position at Hofstra in the spring Neptune made the move to Hempstead as well, but Lange’s move to the NBA resulted in an opening the young assistant would ultimately fill.