Former Western Carolina basketball coach Larry Hunter passed away Friday morning, the university has announced.
It is with a heavy heart that we report that former Western Carolina head men's basketball coach Larry Hunter has passed away. Hunter left a legacy as a head coach at three schools and countless student-athletes. RIP Coach Hunter - Always #TogetherWinners https://t.co/1cKpkr7qOe— Catamount Athletics (@Catamounts) May 4, 2018
Hunter, 68, had been in the hospital since the weekend after suffering a massive stroke. Reports surfaced that he was on life support.
He served as head coach for the Panthers from 2005-18 and announced his retirement at the end of last season. Mark Prosser, son of the late Skip Prosser, replaced Hunter earlier this offseason.
In 38 seasons as a head coach, Hunter amassed 702 career victories, with stops at Wittenberg and Ohio before making his way to Cullowhee. Hunter was also the associate head coach at NC State from 2001-05 under Herb Sendek.
On his resume, Hunter had a D-III national championship, which he won with Wittenberg ins his first year as a head coach, as well as four other D-III Final Four appearances, an NCAA Tournament appearance with Ohio, and two postseason bids at Western Carolina.
Reactions from around college basketball:
Larry Hunter was a man of tremendous character that spent his life mentoring and helping to develop the lives of young men. His impact was felt far beyond his many achievements on the basketball court. Coach Hunter and his legacy will live on within our program for years to come.— Mark Prosser (@MarkProsser15) May 4, 2018
Wittenberg coach Matt Croci:
Matt Croci said Larry Hunter, who died Friday at 68, emailed him a number of times this past season to say how proud he was of the season Wittenberg was having. pic.twitter.com/Px8ZxqqtQ7— David Jablonski (@DavidPJablonski) May 4, 2018
Indiana coach Archie Miller:
RIP Coach Hunter! Thoughts and Prayers go out to his entire family.— Arch Miller (@Archie_Miller) May 4, 2018
UMass coach Matt McCall:
Extremely sad to hear about the passing of Larry Hunter. Terrific Coach and an even better person. Praying for him and his family.— Matt McCall (@CoachMattMcCall) May 4, 2018
Samford coach Scott Padgett:
Thoughts & prayers go out to Larry Hunter’s family. Great man, great leader. Did everything with class.— Scott Padgett (@ScottPadgett34) May 4, 2018
Stony Brook coach Jeff Boals:
Surreal feeling. RIP to my coach Larry Hunter. Old school, always got his teams to compete at a high level. You’ve impacted a lot of young men during your coaching career. Hard to believe what happened. The coaching profession lost a great one.— Jeff Boals (@JeffBoals) May 4, 2018
ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla:
Known Larry Hunter since my first year at Ohio U. A coach’s coach, a great teacher and a good man. Sad news. https://t.co/VcQKVeOOvF— Fran Fraschilla (@franfraschilla) May 4, 2018