Hunter inducted into Hall of Fame
Published 10:26 am Friday, March 22, 2013
By Walter Hill
Special to The Signal
Calhoun head basketball coach Jim Hunter Jr. received the highest tribute for his coaching career on Monday when he was included among the 12 latest inductees into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame.
The 23rd Annual Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Banquet was held at the Renaissance Hotel in down town Montgomery.
During the ceremony, Hunter’s coaching career at Calhoun was chronicled as hundreds of attendees viewed the highlights from two big projection screens.
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More than a dozen family members, school officials, administrators and former basketball players were among those on hand.
Hunter coached football at Southern Normal, St. Jude and Calhoun High Schools and amassed an overall record of 98-144, according to the information he provided.
He was area champion three times, regional champion once, area runner-up four times and made the state playoffs six times.
He coached those same schools in basketball (as an assistant at St. Jude).
Prior to this season at Calhoun, as a head basketball coach he amassed a 366-225 record, according to his records, winning two 3A state championships at Calhoun in 2001 and 2003 and a total of eight area championships.
According to the AHSAA, the 18-member Hall of Fame Committee made the selections from 46 nominations on the Hall of Fame ballot.
Sponsors of the Hall of Fame program are the Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association (AHSADCA) and the AHSAA. The corporate sponsors are AL.com, Cadence Bank, Coca-Cola, Encore Rehabilitation, Farmers Insurance, Russell Athletic, TeamIP and Wilson Sporting Goods.
The AHSAA described Hunter as “an outstanding multi-sport prep athlete” at Billingsley High School, who has spent most of his teaching/coaching career at Calhoun High School in Lowndes County.
He began his basketball and football coaching career at Southern Normal High School in Brewton from 1978 to 1983, moved to St. Jude from 1984-85 and moved to Calhoun in 1986.
He was head football coach at Calhoun from 1986-2001 and has been head basketball coach since 1997.
He has also been the school’s athletic director during his entire tenure.
He coached in the 2003 Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game and 2001 and 2007 North-South games. He was named 3A coach of the year in 2001 and 2003.
“His teams have been recognized often for their outstanding sportsmanship,” according to the AHSAA.
He graduated from Billingsley in 1973 and Tusculum College in 1978. He served as president of the AHSADCA in 2011-12.
Hunter has earned the admiration of his former and present colleagues both in the athletic arena and in throughout his teaching and coaching career.
“He is an extra-ordinary individual who teaches with his mind and who coaches with his heart and soul,” Calhoun High School Principal Kenneth Fair said. “Hunter demonstrates dedicated consistency as an educator, coach, and athletic director.”
Fair said as athletic director Hunter works to ensure that administrators, coaches, students and parents have an accurate understanding of what is mandated and permissible by the AHSAA.
Fred Guarino contributed to this report.