COACH CLASS

Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame inducts Larry Hunter

By SEAN FORRESTER
Coach

Western Carolina men’s basketball coach Larry Hunter has joined the basketball greats in the state of Ohio after being selected to the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame. The 11th annual induction took place May 21 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

In 45 seasons as a collegiate basketball coach – 30 of which were spent in the state of Ohio – Hunter has put together a resume deemed worthy of induction by officials at the hall of fame. He has been a part of 845 wins as a coach, including 680 as the leading man on the sideline. His 680 victories rank him ninth among active NCAA Division I coaches and 39th all-time, ahead of two giants of the sport he passed this season – John Wooden (664) and Gary Williams (668).

“I am very humbled and excited to receive this honor,” said Hunter. “As a coach, you can’t achieve anything without the help of others. This is a coaching recognition and obviously I am indebted to a great many players, assistant coaches, managers, trainers, administrators and support staff who worked extremely hard to help make this possible. I have been fortunate to have worked at five outstanding institutions with leadership who value athletics and the student-athlete experience. While I’m the one being recognized, this is an honor I share with all those who have been by my side throughout this amazing journey.”

In his 25 years as a head coach in Ohio at Wittenberg University and Ohio University, Hunter amassed an incredible 509-224 record while winning the 1977 NCAA Division III National Championship and advancing to the 1983 National Championship game. He has advanced to 18 NCAA tournaments, including 11 as a head coach, and has suffered just nine losing seasons in his 36-year head coaching career.

After four seasons as assistant coach at NC State University, Hunter returned to the head coaching ranks in 2005, taking over WCU’s men’s basketball program. He has guided Western Carolina to just its second and third Southern Conference divisional titles, sharing both the 2008-09 and 2010-11 crowns with Chattanooga. He also led the Catamounts in setting a Ramsey Center record with 14 home wins in 2009-10, leading WCU to its first 20-plus win season that year as the Cats earned 22 victories.