Larry Hunter, who was a college basketball coach for 47 years and won 702 games, died Friday morning at 68.
Hunter's death came five days after he suffered a massive stroke. In March, Hunter retired from coaching. He spent the previous 13 years leading the Western Carolina Catamounts, in the Southern Conference.
Hunter also coached at D-III Wittenberg from 1976-89 and Ohio University -- his alma mater -- from 1989-2001. He is one of only 40 men's coaches in college basketball history to win 700 or more games. In 1977, he coached Wittenberg to a Division III national championship. At Ohio, Hunter coached program legends Dave Jamerson and Gary Trent.
The man won 193 games at Western Carolina. The Catamounts went 13-19 last season. He is the only coach to get WCU to 20 wins in a season at the D-I level.
Hunter was considered an old-school kind of coach, a man with a stubborn mind but also kind intentions. Someone capable of scheming basketball tactics at a very high level. Indiana coach Archie Miller, who played at NC State when Hunter was an assistant there, said he was about toughness and competition.
"He was a good man," Miller said. "I really respected him as a guy. But I loved his way of approaching the game."
From Western Carolina's obituary: "Hunter was a fierce competitor that spent countless hours in the office, on the team bus, and even at home dissecting game film and creating game plans. But above it all, he loved teaching, educating, and reveled in the successes of his student-athletes not just on the court, but in life. His eyes would light up when talking about what his former players were doing with their lives after basketball -- or when players would visit with their families, wives and children -- it was Hunter's extended family, bound through a common tie of basketball."