After a 13-year tenure as Western Carolina University’s head Men’s Basketball coach that also saw him notch his 700th career win, Larry Hunter will step down at the end of this season.
Only seven active NCAA coaches have more wins than Hunter, who this morning said that he’s glad to have been part of the growth he’s seen at the university.
“In the 13 years that I’ve been associated with Western Carolina University, I’ve seen a tremendous positive change at both the university and within the athletics department – and it’s been fun to be a part of some of that change,” Hunter said in a statement issued by CatamountSports.com Mar. 4. “With regards to the men’s basketball program, I was brought here to add some stability and do things the right way. I feel during my time in Cullowhee, we’ve done just that."
Just 40 NCAA men’s basketball coaches have reached 700-win mark; a Feb. 3 home win over Samford put Hunter in elite company.
“Larry Hunter knows what he is doing,” said Tar Heels coach Roy Williams earlier this year. “He is a big-time coach, and I’ve known him for a long time.”
And Hunter’s coached a long time – 47 years, to be exact. He served as an assistant at Marietta College starting in 1971, became head coach at Wittenburg (Ohio) in 1976 and then moved on to Ohio University in 1989, departing in 2001. Hunter became a Catamount in 2005.
At Cullowhee, Hunter claimed a pair of Southern Conference North Championships and guided his squads to two appearances in the SoCon Championship game. According to the statement, a national search for the next Western Carolina head men’s basketball coach will begin immediately.
For more on Hunter, check out Todd Vinyard’s Feb. 14 story, A life in coaching: WCU’s Hunter earns career 700th win.