Marist Hires Saint Peter's John Dunne as Men's Head Basketball Coach

The Marist College athletic department has confirmed John Dunne of Saint Peter’s College as the new men’s head basketball coach. Dunne will be the 12th head coach in Marist basketball history. 

Dunne headed the Saint Peter’s Peacocks from 2006-2018 where he took home the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) conference championship in 2010-2011 and made an appearance in that year’s NCAA tournament. Dunne finished out the 2017-2018 season with a 14-18 record and a career coaching record of 153-225.

With the release of former head coach, Michael Maker, on March 5, the athletic department announced his replacement in a press release Tuesday. 

“We're extremely excited to welcome John and his family to the Hudson River Valley," said Athletic Director Tim Murray. "With over a decade of experience as a head coach, he has a proven ability to build teams and develop student-athletes. His teams are always tough, hard-working and competitive in the MAAC, and we look forward to coach Dunne instilling that culture in our basketball program." 

The team, who had been training under transition assistant C.J. Lee, were able to meet with Dunne before an official press conference was held Thursday morning. 

"Coach Dunne is a great coach. I've heard a lot of good things about him from a bunch of different people. When I talked to him briefly today, he had a lot of good things to say. I'm excited about the future, and how it's going to be next year," said junior forward, Ryan Funk. 

Dunne's specialty revolves around being a strong defensive team—a valuable asset to all collegiate basketball programs. 

"He always gets the best out of his players. Saint Peter's under him has always been a very tough-minded team, and good defensive team. I look forward to being like that too," said junior guard, David Knudsen. During the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 seasons Dunne had St. Peter’s ranked second in the nation in Field-Goal percent defense. 

Inter-conference moves for head coaches within the MAAC are not typical for many basketball programs, but Dunne felt Marist was the right move for him, and he expressed his confidence in relocating to Poughkeepsie.

 “I did not chase jobs like some coaches do in this business; I was content at Saint Peter’s, because at the end of the day it comes down to people and the people there are fantastic. When an opportunity like Marist College opens up, it is the kind of community that I envisioned myself in. So, when the opportunity came, we had apprehension and we didn't move on it, but when [the opportunity] came back around, we felt like it was fate and we wanted to follow the signs,” Dunne said.  

Dunne’s mentality revolves about winning but also involves building relationships with the young men he coaches. “I think that when you can get demanding for our system and you can get guys to run for a wall for you if they know you will run through a wall for them. I think for me, I hire people that have the same philosophy. They try to build relationships because I want them to so we all have a shared vision as far as that goes as a staff and I think that’s one of the top things we can bring to the table,” Dunne said. 

As the men’s team looks now toward next season, Dunne is preparing his team philosophy to maintain continuity within the program. His full assistant coaching staff has not yet been announced.