Jon Teitel's "Coaching Greats" Series: Former High Point coach Bart Lundy
Jon Teitel: You attended five different high schools while growing up in North Carolina. How on earth did that happen, and was it hard to keep moving around each year?
Bart Lundy: My father worked for the Kroger grocery store chain and he kept getting transferred around the state. It was difficult at the time but good for me now because I got to learn from a bunch of different coaches and meet people from all over the state.
JT: You began your coaching career at Queens University, where you had a record of 115-41 in five seasons. How were you able to come in and be so dominant right from the start?
BL: I came in after a coach who had built a great foundation so I just followed his line. We had some great players when I took over, and we found our niche and kept recruiting some great players.
JT: In 2003 you made it to the Division II Final Four led by national Player of the Year Spencer Ross. How good a player was Ross, and how close did you come to winning it all that year?
BL: I really thought we were going to win it all, but we ran into a team that made a boatload of three-point shots. I thought Spencer was an NBA-level player, but his 5'10" size probably hurt him in the eyes of the scouts.
JT: Later that year you became coach at High Point and ended up leading your team to the Big South Tournament title game in your very first season before losing to Liberty by 45 points. What went wrong for your team in the title game,
and what was your reaction like the following month when your star forward Danny Gathings handed over his tournament MVP plaque to Liberty guard Larry Blair?
BL: It just felt like we had wrung everything out of that team that we could. Nine of our top ten guys were new, including a couple of walk-ons. We had one guy get hurt in the first round of the conference tournament, and the wheels just fell off in the final. We went right to spring break after the loss, and after getting back to campus Danny came by my office and said that he felt that he did not deserve the award. He had played great in the first two rounds, but played terrible in the conference final. The league still does not acknowledge that he gave the award to Larry but it was a great gesture on his part. Danny was later named co-sportsman of the year by the NCAA.
JT: You were named 2004 National Rookie Coach of the Year by collegeinsider.com. What did it mean to you to win such an outstanding individual honor?
BL: It was nice, as we took over a program that had not had any success at the Division I level. I had a really good staff.
JT: You had the top-rated recruiting classes in the Big South during five of your six years at High Point. What is the key to being a good recruiter, and is it possible to be a successful coach without being a good recruiter?
BL: It is probably impossible to be a good coach without having good players. We were young and my staff and I just worked hard at it. When we got to High Point they had a tiny gym and no money, so we really beat the bushes to find players.
We just sold them on our style of play.
JT: Your best player was two-time conference Player of the Year Arizona Reid, who remains the all-time leading rebounder in conference history despite being only 6'5" tall. What made him such a great player, and what kind of success do you think he will have as a professional basketball player?
BL: He had as big a heart/motor as anyone I ever coached. He was good as a freshman but made great strides throughout his career. I do not take credit for that as he just worked amazingly hard. He is quick and tenacious, and I could not keep him off the floor due to his talent.
JT: 90% of your student-athletes earned their degrees during your time as a head coach. How important are academics to you, and how do you balance recruiting students vs. recruiting athletes?
BL: If you do not keep in mind that your sole purpose is to help kids, then you should go do something else. A lot of guys have one parent and come from families that did not send a lot of people to college, so you have to instill pride in them to get their degree. 90% sounds good but I wish it was closer to 100%.
JT: You are currently in your second year as Director of Basketball Operations at Marquette. How do you like the job, and what do you hope to do in the future?
BL: I love it here. The resources/commitment are unlike anything I have ever seen, from the way we travel to the way we work. Coach Buzz Williams has an enormous work ethic and is a really great coach. I do not know where it will go from here; in this profession you just see what comes your way.
JT: When people look back on your career, how do you want to be remembered the most?
BL: It goes back to the fact that I always did right by my kids. We won a lot of games, but more importantly we had good people who got their degrees and became good citizens. Hopefully I do not die anytime soon!
Coach Lundy is also on Jon's list of best coaches in Big South history.
Charleston Southern: Gary Edwards (1987-1996) 115-139, 2-time conference COY
Coastal Carolina: Russ Bergman (1985-1994) 149-112, 2 NCAA tourneys, 4 conference titles, 3-time conference COY
Gardner-Webb: Rick Scruggs (1995-2010) 199-218, 1 conference title, 1-time conference COY
High Point: Bart Lundy (2003-2009) 96-87, 1-time conference COY
Liberty: Jeff Meyer (1981-1997) 259-206, 1 NCAA tourney, 1 conference title
UNC Asheville: Eddie Biedenbach (1996-present) 201-216, 2 NCAA tourneys, 5 conference titles, 3-time conference COY
Presbyterian: Gregg Nibert (1989-present) 362-292, 2 conference titles, 2-time conference COY
Radford: Ron Bradley (1991-2002) 192-125, 1 NCAA tourney, 3 conference titles, 1-time conference COY
Virginia Military: Charlie Schmaus (1976-1982) 75-90, 1 NCAA tourney, 1 conference title, 1-time conference COY
Winthrop: Gregg Marshall (1998-2007) 194-83, 7 NCAA tourneys, 6 conference titles, 4-time conference COY