Ron Hunter GSU’s new basketball coach

According to a Georgia State source with knowledge of the situation, IUPUI coach Ron Hunter will be Georgia State’s new men’s basketball coach. The school has called a Monday afternoon news conference to introduce Hunter. The story was first reported on the Wilmington (N.C.) StarNews website Sunday evening.

“Look at VCU, George Mason,” Hunter told the Indianapolis Star Sunday evening, naming other members of the Colonial Athletic Association. “In my opinion, it’s the best mid-major league in the country.”

Shortly after the firing of coach Rod Barnes Feb. 27, Georgia State athletic director Cheryl Levick said she wanted a coach who was a builder and could be a CEO of the program. Hunter has credentials as a builder. Hunter arrived at Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis in 1994 when the school was competing in Division II.

His first season, he led the Jaguars to their first winning season in five years. In 1998, he led the school’s transition into Division I and has developed IUPUI into a premier team in the mid-major Summit League. He was twice named the league’s coach of the year and led the Jaguars to their first-ever NCAA tournament berth in 2003.

The Jaguars were 19-14 this season and 12-6 in their conference. Over the past four seasons, IUPUI was 51-21 in the Summit League and Hunter averaged 21.5 wins per season.

“We have to change the culture, just like we did here,” Hunter told the Star.

Hunter has also gained acclaim in the state and in college basketball circles for his commitment to humanitarianism. He is a partner of the non-profit Samaritan’s Feet, which provides shoes for impoverished children all over the world. According to his biography on the school website, he has raised more than 250,000 shoes.

The program did run afoul of NCAA rules when the school erroneously certified players as eligible, which required the team to vacate wins from the 2003-04 season and was docked one scholarship. The NCAA found that no coaches or athletes were knowledgeable of the violations, which were found in all 14 of the school’s teams.

86 comments Add your comment

Brian Mull

March 20th, 2011
9:37 pm

It was first reported at the Wilmington (NC) StarNews.

Montinod

March 20th, 2011
9:45 pm

Don’t know much about Mr. Hunter–just hope he can bring much success to the program.

mo

March 20th, 2011
9:56 pm

gee, I thought Mark Bradley told GSU to hire the Augusta coach, hard to believe they didn’t listen

WJ

March 20th, 2011
10:03 pm

Mo, they may wish they had………….

Go Panthers!!

March 20th, 2011
10:03 pm

Don’t know much about the guy, but welcome to State, Coach Hunter!

[...] Ken Sugiura has also reported the the hire on the AJC Georgia State blog. [...]

Go Panthers!!

March 20th, 2011
10:06 pm

BTW, why is a NC paper breaking this story?!?!

Secondly, his track record there…yeesh. I wonder what kind of sales pitch he spun on us. The Augusta State guy certainly has the better record.

Peachy

March 20th, 2011
10:10 pm

Umm…excuse the ignorance, but what the heck is IUPUI?? And why was he hired?? I’m not impressed by what I just read.

Happy St. Pat's!

March 20th, 2011
10:11 pm

He would be in a familiar situation–trying to win at an urban university in a state dominated by better-known traditional university programs. At least GSU didn’t settle for promoting the assistant of the guy they just fired for failing make the grade.

Happy St. Pat's!

March 20th, 2011
10:12 pm

IUPUI–Indiana University / Purdue University at Indianapolis

Happy St. Pat's!

March 20th, 2011
10:13 pm

UNC Wilmington is in the Colonial Athletic Conference, along with GSU. Maybe that’s how a Wilmington paper came to break the story.

Go Panthers!!

March 20th, 2011
10:28 pm

So, our league rival got the word and gave it to their press before our or Indianapolis’s local media heard about it?

Loran, Whatayagot?

March 20th, 2011
10:29 pm

I believe IUPUI beat the Yellow Jackets last time they played. Don’t know who their coach was. But who hasn’t beaten the Yellow Jackets?

Hey Loran

March 20th, 2011
10:33 pm

Nice one-and-done in the tourney. Even with Paul Freaking Hewitt we won a game last year.

directions

March 20th, 2011
10:35 pm

Ron Hunter was the coach for IUPUI when they beat the GT. He took the program from Div. II to Div. I and an NCAA appear.

Mark W

March 20th, 2011
10:35 pm

Ron Hunter will be a good coach for you. He is a class act for one, took IUPUI from a D2 school to a D1, and won better than 50% of his games over 15 years. He was great for the community here and will be missed for sure. You not only got a good coach but an even batter man in my opinion.

Hoosier Aaron

March 20th, 2011
10:36 pm

Here is a link to Coach Hunter’s bio:
http://www.iupuijags.com/coaches.aspx?rc=173&path=mbball

If you follow the NBA, you might know that George Hill of the San Antonio Spurs played at IUPUI for Coach Hunter. He was the 26th pick in the first round of the Spurs in 2008.

GStateBen

March 20th, 2011
10:37 pm

44 wins in the last two seasons. Very good reputation. Looking forward to the presser tomorrow.

Good Hire

March 20th, 2011
10:37 pm

He will be able to turn GSU’s program around. He has a proven track record of winning and has basically built the program at IUPUI. With GSU’s and the CAA’s growing status in basketball, this is the recipe for success.

panther blue

March 20th, 2011
10:38 pm

Please not Ron Hunter! I thought this Administration could do much better than this! Wow another 5 years wasted! Guess basketball is not a priority at GSU! We can all collect shoes instead of winning basketball! Bet this scares all the CAA schools!

itsmeagain

March 20th, 2011
10:52 pm

I really dont know much about this guy, but I’m actually quite refreshed that we’re taking a currently successful guy from a lower level program rather than a guy who is getting fired from an upper level program. I’m excited to have a new coach and I’m excited to see what energy he brings to the team and school. Welcome to Atlanta and Georgia State coach!

Ken Sugiura

March 20th, 2011
11:01 pm

On the surface, it looks like a good hire. He built up a program and won consistently.

Justafan

March 20th, 2011
11:02 pm

Give the guy a chance. He’s a winner thats what you want I hope.

STATEment

March 20th, 2011
11:13 pm

Not sure how I feel about this, but I do think that we needed to find someone who will be truly excited about being at Georgia State and not someone who is using us as a rebound. He had been at the same school for a long time so he obviously is excited about the situation or he wouldn’t have jumped ship. We need someone with true passion for the program. I hope he can turn things around. I can’t stand watching the product we have had as of late!

William Satterwhite

March 20th, 2011
11:15 pm

Hunter is a good solid coach and outside of taking a chance on a fired guy like Capel or Hewitt looking for a quick rebound he is probably about the best Georgia State could hope for, this is a darn good hire. Honestly I’m surprised he would want to make what amounts to a lateral move, the CAA is indeed a much better league than the Summit but IUPUI is in a much better position within their league than Georgia St is in theirs.

GStateBen

March 20th, 2011
11:27 pm

He averaged more than 21 wins per year for the last 4 years. Yes, I’ll take him as my coach.

Welcome Coach Hunter!

People are stupid

March 20th, 2011
11:29 pm

People complaining about this ‘unsexy’ hire are the same ones who griped about Mike Smith, then watched him post 3 straight winning seasons

GSU_2012

March 21st, 2011
12:03 am

I think that he is a good hire. He is a winner and built a program and that is what we need. The Augusta State guy would not have fit GSU. D2 is not D1, even if you dominating. And I do not want a guy like Hewitt. Way too much money for what we would be getting.

Hammer22

March 21st, 2011
1:09 am

Welcome CRH. Get this program winning again.

GState08

March 21st, 2011
2:35 am

I remember when his team played Kentucky in the 03 NCAA tournament. I chose them in my bracket for an upset win. Lol. Never would have thought that he would end up coaching at my alma mater.

glsjunior

March 21st, 2011
2:38 am

Making one tournament is winning consistently? Was Ga Perimeter’s coach not available?

who?

March 21st, 2011
2:57 am

why did GSu hire this no name? Why not get a bigger name who recruits have heard of? It will be more of the same bad basketball at gsu for years.

Bracket Master

March 21st, 2011
3:32 am

I like the hire. I think Coach Hunter has a chance to do well at GSU.

I think Hunter is about as good of a hire as GSU could hope to make. Seems like some folks think Coach K or Roy Williams would be willing to leave their current jobs if asked about the GSU job. LOL

marcus

March 21st, 2011
3:51 am

would have thought they’d hire hewitt, but i guess they needed a fresh face. may be the best thing for the program though. nobody knew georgia’s coach and he’d done a great job. good luck coach hunter, just don’t get on bradley’s bad side, or he’ll run you ouy of town.

GSooner

March 21st, 2011
5:52 am

The guy famous for coaching w/o shoes? Would rather have a guy famous for winning ball games..

Sopwith Camel

March 21st, 2011
6:12 am

Hired from where??? Do they even know where they are???

Panther Class of' '75

March 21st, 2011
6:52 am

Thought the BB program already is D1?

Panther Class of' '75

March 21st, 2011
7:05 am

BTW, AD Levick, knows what she’s doing, and is very aware of who would be the best fit for our program at this stage. Barnes era, put us behind, not ahead of where GSU athletics is heading. Let them make the decisions and just embrace a new look. Auburn football fans were saying the same thing when they hired Gene Chizik. Who is he? What has he done? Where did he come from? What kind of record did he have? Time will tell…

John

March 21st, 2011
7:05 am

GSU – what makes you think the Augusta State coach was a bad fit? If all AD’s thought like you, nobody would have a chance to move up. You obviously haven’t seen his credentials. He is a super coach and has a fantastic record and runs a clean program and is well liked throughout the country. Someone will get him soon in Div. 1 and he will turn another program around soon. It isn’t like GSU is a super power or ever has been.

Roar!

March 21st, 2011
7:45 am

Panther Class of’ ‘75 – yes, we are Division 1. Try re-reading the article and pay attention this time.

John – please get over your man-love for the Augusta Coach. GSU wanted someone else. Move on.

GSU Men's BB Fan

March 21st, 2011
7:47 am

I am little underwhelmed about this hire. Some of the names that were being discussed were a little more appealing. I am also concerned that after being at a school for 14 years, Mr. Hunter would want to move on. It raises my eyebrow so to speak.

Anyway. I am keeping an open mind. All I want is a winner, and a competitive team in the CAA. VCU, GMU, and ODU have shown that being competitive in the CAA can get you an at-large bid. I want that. And if Mr. Hunter can do that for Georgia State, then he has my full sport.

RomeDawg

March 21st, 2011
8:26 am

Not splashy, but very solid.

WOW!!

March 21st, 2011
8:26 am

It’s Georgia State……Pantherblue. Who did you think we were going to get??? You are probably upset that Mike Leach or Brian Billick didnt accept the football job. This guy is a huuuuge upgrade from what we had. Just remember… third tier in the state…..who wants that gig?? You should be glad anyone wanted the job.

boring

March 21st, 2011
8:34 am

augusta state coach? Get real—he would be worse than the no name they hired.

Big Money

March 21st, 2011
8:35 am

Will they pay this new coach enough money so he doesn’t have to coach without any shoes?

RidgeRunner

March 21st, 2011
8:37 am

Welcome aboard. I reserve comment for 2 years, then we will see. I suspect the comment will be very positive.

Mr. Optimistic

March 21st, 2011
8:41 am

As a current student at Georgia State, I am glad that this program is a clean slate. Honestly, I don’t care if nobody has heard of Ron Hunter or IUPUI. If the guy can run a clean program and win his ass off while doing it, who am I to complain? Welcome Coach Hunter, you have A LOT of work to do… Let’s get to winning!

HOYAMD

March 21st, 2011
8:55 am

He has credibility as a coach and as a humanitarian. His teams have been to the NCAA. He has gained notoriety for his promotion of “samaritan feet” by coaching barefoot to bring attention to this issue. ESPN has reported on this. Give him a shot. GSU could use a fresh look. I have 2 kids there and will start going to games next year.

panther blue

March 21st, 2011
9:28 am

If you want to see a WINNING GSU program go watch Panther BASEBALL!!!! If you are a Panther Fan go see the team that wins!!!!!

swatguy

March 21st, 2011
9:46 am

Nice pick. He should love it here. If he recruits metro Atlanta he will have teams in the tourney. Atlanta is nicer than “Naptown” and a whole lot warmer.