OFFICIAL: Tulane Names Ron Hunter Head Men’s Basketball Coach

Photo Courtesy Tulane Athletics

Tulane University Director of Athletics Troy Dannen announced today the hiring of veteran head coach Ron Hunter, as the 25th men’s basketball head coach in the 109-year history of the program.

Tulane Athletics will introduce Hunter at a news conference at Noon on Tuesday (March 26) at Avron B. Fogelman Arena in the Devlin Fieldhouse. The news conference will be open to the general public to attend.

“I could not be more excited to welcome Ron and Amy Hunter and their family to Tulane University,” Dannen said. “Coach Hunter is a winner in every respect. We are thrilled to bring his leadership to our campus and the city of New Orleans.”

Hunter joins the Green Wave after spending the past eight seasons at Georgia State University where he compiled a record of 171-95. In 25 years on the bench, Hunter owns a career record of 445-314 and has been named coach of the year three times throughout his career.

During his eight-year tenure at GSU, Hunter directed the Panthers to six postseason appearances with three trips to the NCAA Tournament, including this past season.

Ron Hunter significantly changed the national perception of the Georgia State program. Prior to his arrival, the Panthers had broken .500 just nine times in 49 years. During Hunter’s eight-year tenure at GSU, he directed the Panthers to seven winning seasons and is responsible for six of the nine most successful seasons in program history.

His stint at Georgia State also featured three Sun Belt Conference titles in the last five years. In 2014-15, the Panthers won 25 games and advanced to the third round of the NCAA tournament following the shocking upset of No. 3 seed Baylor.

It was the 2014-15 season that put Georgia State on the map. After winning the Sun Belt regular season title for the second year in a row, the Panthers claimed the tournament title for just the third time in program history. In the postgame celebration, Hunter tore his Achilles, a clip that went viral across the nation.

Coaching in the NCAA tournament from a stool, the Panthers trailed by 12 with 2:53 to play, before mounting a furious 13-0 run, capped by a 30-foot 3-pointer from son R.J. that sent Hunter off his stool and became one of the most watched clips of the tournament and a part of ‘One Shining Moment.’

Prior to his arrival at GSU, Hunter spent 17 seasons at IUPUI, where he guided the program through its transition from the NAIA and Division II levels into NCAA Division I and the Summit League. He is the school’s winningest coach, both in number of victories and winning percentage, and he led IUPUI to its only appearance in the NCAA tournament in 2003 in just the school’s third season as a Division I program.  

Hunter also established a reputation for developing players, as he has coached 27 all-conference honorees and five conference player of the year selections during his head-coaching career at Georgia State and IUPUI.

He also has mentored George Hill at IUPUI, who was drafted in the first round of the 2008 NBA Draft (26th selection) by the San Antonio Spurs. Seven years later, he would see his son R.J. Hunter get selected in the first round of the NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics.

Off the court, Hunter earned national notoriety for his humanitarian efforts, partnering with Samaritan’s Feet, an organization that collects shoes for underprivileged children around the world.

Hunter’s coaching career began in 1987, when he served as an assistant at Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Hunter earned his bachelor’s degree in education at Miami (Ohio) in 1986 and added a master’s in 1987. He was a standout player on strong Miami teams of the mid-1980s, along with high school and college teammate Ron Harper, who went on to enjoy a long NBA career. The Redhawks were 81-30 during Hunter’s four-year career and earned three consecutive NCAA tournament berths while winning two MAC championships.  

Hunter and his wife, Amy, have two children, Jasmine (28) and R.J. (23).

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