Home » Columns »Your Phil of Hoops » Currently Reading:

Ron Hunter a wonderful addition to the CAA coaching ranks

March 7, 2012 Columns, Your Phil of Hoops No Comments
georgiastate

Ron Hunter is a terrific addition to the Colonial Athletic Association coaching ranks. That could have been said before the season given his track record and the positive energy he showed talking about his Georgia State team on Media Day in October, but after the CAA Tournament it bears repeating because it was so obvious.

Hunter was already well-known for the winning he did at IUPUI, and perhaps even more for the organization he partners with and serves on the board of advisors for, Samaritan’s Feet. Hunter has coached a game barefoot every year for several years, has taken a team at IUPUI and will take a team from Georgia State overseas to see the difference receiving a pair of shoes can make in someone’s life, and he can run off the important numbers about it quite easily as it helps him keep a lot in perspective.

“One of the things I have to remember every time I do this is that 300 million children wake up without a pair of shoes,” said Hunter. “125,000 of those children will die because of diseases of the feet. When I give a child a pair of shoes, it’s not giving them a pair of shoes, it’s giving them hope. There’s no game I could ever coach – national championship, Final Four – that will ever, ever match the feeling when I go to Africa, when I go to China, or some of the South American countries when I see them with a pair of shoes.”

More than that, though, Hunter has further proven himself as a coach, and done so in fine fashion this year. He inherited a team that was full of upperclassmen and had struggled to win over their careers in Atlanta. They bought in to what he was doing, and the Panthers were a force in the CAA. He also got them to play with a purpose for a lack of respect, and kept it up as they advanced in the CAA Tournament this past weekend.

“We felt like, for the most part all year, no one gave us the respect we felt like we deserved,” Hunter said after their win on Friday. “That doesn’t come from me, it’s just that these kids have been around for a long time. I’ve never seen a bunch of kids as hungry – as hungry – as these guys are.”

Hunter is energetic and pours everything he has into what he does. He’s serious, yet fun-loving as well, able to very easily intersperse light comments in with coaching insights. He says he coaches with a chip on his shoulder, so there is an edge to him as a competitor, but he doesn’t carry that edge in dealing with people. You get the sense that he enjoys this just as much as he works hard at it, and isn’t afraid to let it be known.

What he’s put into this was evident after his team’s last game on Saturday night, when he was struggling to walk around because of a bad hip. He still coached through it, constantly moving and getting on his team, at times lighting into them in the tough love fashion he is able to. In the post-game press conference, he paused at times, clearly emotional about what this group of young men has meant to him, and he noted how he has put his health on the line to a degree with the hip.

Georgia State loses a lot of seniors from this season’s team, but what Hunter established is that the Panthers will be even more of a force to be reckoned with. Rod Barnes certainly made them competitive during his tenure, especially considering they never had a full allotment of scholarships until his last year at the helm. Hunter already has them taking the next steps as a program. And for that, as well as his work off the court, fun-loving nature that we get to see, and more, he has already proven to be a great addition to the CAA coaching ranks.

Comment on this Article:







Advertisement

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

Your Phil of Hoops

Watson’s transfer will sting BU the most

April 11, 2014 by

bostonuniversity

Boston University recently saw three players transfer. The impact of the departure of one of them will be felt more than the other two.

Mihalich’s first year at Hofstra is over but will have plenty of value

March 9, 2014 by

hofstra

The first year for Hofstra under Joe Mihalich is in the books. Many expected that wins would be hard to come by, and they were, but this season was about more than that and is hardly a throwaway year.

Cornell’s future can only be better

March 2, 2014 by

cornell

Cornell has had a rough season, as could be expected given some personnel losses. It’s almost in the books, and the future at least looks brighter.

Hoopville Archives

2014 Prep School Tour

Missed a recap of an open gym workout? We have them all right here for you.

Sept. 9: Putnam Science Academy
Sept 10: Commonwealth Academy
Sept. 11: St. Andrew's
Sept. 12: Northfield Mount Hermon
Sept. 16: Brewster Academy and Phillips Exeter
Sept. 17: Brooks School
Sept. 21: Holderness School
Sept. 23: St. Thomas More and Marianapolis Prep
Sept. 24: South Kent School and Kent School
Sept. 25: Williston Northampton
Sept. 28: Wilbraham and Monson Academy and Suffield Academy
Sept. 30: New Hampton
Oct. 5: Worcester Academy
Oct. 7: Brimmer and May
Oct. 8: Cushing Academy
Oct. 9: Tilton
Oct. 12: Tabor Academy and Rivers School
Oct. 14: The Master's School
Oct. 16: Vermont Academy

You can also find them all right here.

Even More: City Hoops Recruiting

Mass Elite and Boston Warriors hold college showcase

Mass Elite and Boston Warriors, two of the largest programs in Massachusetts, teamed up for a college showcase on Wednesday night. Here are some evaluations from that event.

Massachusetts 11th grade AAU Tournament recap

Teams gathered at Mass Premier Courts to chase the state title in the oldest age group, and one champion was a familiar one.

Travel team profile: All For One

All For One has been one of the better travel programs in Massachusetts for players before they reach high school

Travel team profile: Blackstone Valley Chaos

Size and options on the wing are not lacking for this year’s junior team

Travel team profile: Expressions Elite

Expressions Elite has quickly become one of the deeper programs in New England

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Marianapolis Prep will battle in Class AA

October 20, 2014 by

marianapolis

Marianapolis Prep is far from loaded with talent, but they have enough perimeter talent to be dangerous. As is usually the case, they will battle and be a tough out in Class AA.

New Vermont Academy coach has put together a contender

October 17, 2014 by

vermontacademy

Vermont Academy has a new coach for the second year in a row, but they shouldn’t skip a beat. They have enough talent to win a lot of games and make a deep run in NEPSAC Class AA.

The Master’s School has good students and talent

October 15, 2014 by

mastersschool

The Master’s School has a number of good students, and they will continue to head to college later. This time around, they also have some talent on the hardwood and should win a few more games.

Rivers will try to build on a breakthrough season

October 13, 2014 by

riversschool

The Rivers School had a breakthrough season last year, winning the Independent School League. They will try to build on that with a team that loses a lot but also returns a lot from last season’s team.

Tabor Academy looks to have more depth this time around

October 13, 2014 by

taboracademy

Tabor Academy will once again be headlined by a frontcourt player. This time around, though, the Seawolves appear to have a deeper support cast than in recent years.