Head Basketball Coach Ron Hunter to Leave IUPUI
Coach Ron Hunter
March 21, 2011
- Ed Holdaway
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The IUPUI Athletics Department has announced that Head Basketball Coach Ron Hunter has stepped down to pursue the head coaching vacancy at Georgia State University.
"Ron Hunter's passion for basketball, his players and their academic success, IUPUI, and his philanthropic efforts is legendary,” said IUPUI Chancellor Charles R. Bantz. “We will miss Ron and his wife Amy. Ron is leaving very big shoes to fill--but his 17 years of leadership built a strong Division I program that is also a great opportunity for his successor."
Hunter came to IUPUI in 1994 and has been the program’s only coach during the Division I era.
“We would like to thank Coach Hunter for all he’s done for our program at IUPUI,” IUPUI Athletics Director Mike Moore said. “He’s been the long-time face of our program and helped build it to where it is today. He guided us through the move from NCAA Division II to Division I and helped make IUPUI a more recognizable name, both in the Midwest and across the country.
“In addition, his work with Samaritan’s Feet speaks for itself. Countless needy children have benefited all across the world because of his charitable efforts. We all wish him nothing but continued success.”
Having recently completed his 17th season at IUPUI, Hunter moves on as the school’s all-time leader in wins (254), winning percentage (.537) and games coached (473). He also led the Jaguars to their only NCAA Tournament berth at the Division I level when IUPUI defeated Valparaiso in the Mid-Continent Conference title game in 2003.
Hunter’s 2007-08 squad set the school record with 26 wins and was headlined by Summit League Player of the Year George Hill, who later went on to become the first former IUPUI player to be drafted and play in an NBA regular season game. In 2010, IUPUI earned a spot in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) and recorded the program’s first-ever Division I postseason win with a first round victory at Hofstra.
In all, Hunter totaled 105 wins in Summit League play and he’s one of just five coaches in league history to have eclipsed the 100-win mark. He achieved four 20-win seasons and finished the past 10 years at .500 or better. Since 2007, IUPUI had won better than 64 percent of its games with Hunter on the sidelines and reached The Summit League championship game twice. He coached three All-Americans and two Summit League Players of the Year during his 17-year career.
Hunter has becoming increasingly well recognized for his charitable efforts with Samaritan’s Feet as he was the first coach in the country to work the sidelines in his bare feet, doing so against Oakland on Jan. 24, 2008. That night, he helped raise more than 100,000 pairs of shoes for children in need and initiated a nationwide effort that has continued to grow. Now, thousands of coaches at all levels coach games in their bare feet annually to benefit Samaritan’s Feet. Since 2008, he has traveled to Peru, Costa Rica and South Africa to personally deliver footwear.
For his efforts, Hunter has been honored by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), the National Consortium for Academics and Sport (NCAS) and was named the 2010 Indiana Pathfinder Award winner.