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Hal Hunter (American football, born 1932)

Harold Theo Hunter, Jr.[1] (June 3, 1932 – August 28, 2014) was an American football coach. He participated in football, wrestling and track at Canonsburg High School in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. He played college football at Pittsburgh, where he was a three-year letterman at offensive guard and linebacker. Hunter earned Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American honors for his senior season in 1955. He was also a three-year letterman in wrestling at Pittsburgh. He signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1956. Hunter was a football coach at various high schools and colleges from 1956 to 1976, mainly serving as his team's offensive line coach. He was then the head coach at California State College from 1977 to 1980, accumulating a record of 9–30–1. He began his professional coaching career as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats' offensive coordinator in 1981. Hunter later served as an assistant coach for several National Football League (NFL) teams from 1982 to 1992, including a one-game stint as the interim head coach of the Indianapolis Colts in 1984.

Hal Hunter
Hal Hunter (American football, born 1934).jpg
Position:Offensive guard / Linebacker
Personal information
Born:(1932-06-03)June 3, 1932
Canonsburg, Pennsylvania
Died:August 28, 2014(2014-08-28) (aged 82)
Denver, North Carolina
Career information
High school:Canonsburg (PA)
College:Pittsburgh
Undrafted:1956
Career history
As player:
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
As coach:
Coaching stats at PFR

Contents

Early yearsEdit

Hunter played high school football at Canonsburg High School in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, where he was a three-year starter as an offensive and defensive tackle. In 1950, he was co-captain of the WPIAL Class A football champions while earning All-Conference, All-County, All-WPIAL and All-State honors. He was a three-year heavyweight in wrestling at Canonsburg, recording 18 pins with a total of 33 wins, six losses and four ties. Hunter also won three letters in track and field as a sprinter, shot putter, discus thrower and javelin thrower. He was inducted into the Washington-Greene County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.[2] He also became an Eagle Scout while he was in high school.[3]

College careerEdit

Hunter was a three-year letterman at offensive guard and linebacker for the Pittsburgh Panthers from 1953 to 1955.[2][4] He was a captain of the 1955 Panthers team that appeared in the 1956 Sugar Bowl. He earned All-East honors and was named Washington County Athlete of the Year in 1955.[2] Hunter also garnered Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American accolades for his senior season in 1955.[5][6] He was named United Press International's Lineman of the Week and won UPI's Unsung Hero Award for his play against the West Virginia Mountaineers in 1954.[5][2][6] He graduated from Pittsburgh with an A. B. Degree.[7] Hunter also later earned a Master's Degree from West Virginia University in 1962.[5][7]

He also lettered three years as a heavyweight wrestler for the Panthers.[5][2] He placed first in the 1953 Great Lakes Open, second in the 1954 Four-I Intercollegiate tournament and third in the 1957 Greco-Roman National Amateur Athletic Union tournament.[2]

Professional careerEdit

Hunter signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL as an offensive guard after graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 1956.[8][9][10] He started three of the team's four preseason games before going home to be with his family after his father died of a heart attack.[8] He did not make the Steelers active roster and was placed on the team's taxi squad.[8][9]

Coaching careerEdit

Hunter began coaching and teaching at Avella High School in Avella, Pennsylvania in 1956.[5][8] He coached at Berlin High School in Berlin, Pennsylvania in 1957.[5] He was an assistant coach for the Washington & Jefferson Presidents in 1958.[5][11][12] Hunter served as defensive line coach for the Richmond Spiders from 1959 to 1961.[5][12][13] He was then the offensive line coach for the West Virginia Mountaineers from 1962 to 1963, the Maryland Terrapins from 1964 to 1965, the Duke Blue Devils from 1966 to 1970 and the Kentucky Wildcats from 1971 to 1972. He was also the offensive coordinator at Kentucky.[13] Hunter served as the offensive line coach for the Indiana Hoosiers from 1973 to 1976.[7][11] He was the head coach and assistant athletic director for the California Vulcans of California State College from 1977 to 1980.[11] He accumulated a 9–30–1 record with the Vulcans.[11][14]

Hunter was the offensive coordinator for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League in 1981 under head coach Frank Kush.[11] He later served as the offensive line coach for the NFL's Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts from 1982 to 1984 under Kush.[15][11] Upon Kush's resignation to become head coach of the Arizona Wranglers of the United States Football League, Hal became the Colts' interim head coach for the final game of the 1984 season.[11][16] The Colts lost the game 16–10 to the New England Patriots.[11] He was an offensive line coach working with the guards and centers of the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1985 to 1988.[15][17] Hunter was the offensive line coach of the Cleveland Browns of the NFL in 1989 under coach Bud Carson and was nominated for Offensive Line Coach of the Year.[15][2][18] He was then the Browns' special assistant to the head coach in 1990.[15][18] After the firing of Carson in November 1990, Hunter was hired to be the Browns' offensive line coach by new head coach Bill Belichick on February 20, 1991.[18] Hunter resigned at the end of the 1992 season, saying "I don't think I could live through another year with [Belichick]."[11]

Scouting careerEdit

Hunter began working as a scout for the NFL's San Francisco 49ers in 1994.[11][18] He was later a scout for the Carolina Panthers of the NFL from 1995 until his retirement in 2006.[2][18][19][20] He also served as personnel coordinator of the Panthers from 1998 to 2006.[2][19]

Personal lifeEdit

His son, Hal, also coached in the NFL.[21] Hunter died on August 28, 2014, in Denver, North Carolina after a brief illness.[22]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Obituaries -Week of 9/4". Denver Weekly. September 5, 2014. Archived from the original on March 20, 2016. Retrieved March 19, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "HAL T. HUNTER". Washington-Greene County Chapter: Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on March 19, 2016. Retrieved March 19, 2016.
  3. ^ "Harold Theo Hunter, Jr". Warlick Funeral Home. Archived from the original on March 20, 2016. Retrieved March 19, 2016.
  4. ^ Bansch, John (January 13, 1985). "Colts' Hunter would like to join 'Cradle'". The Indianapolis Star. pp. 2D. Archived from the original on November 9, 2017. Retrieved March 19, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h "1965 Maryland Football Guide". University of Maryland. 1965. p. 16. Retrieved March 19, 2016.
  6. ^ a b DeCarlo, Francis (February 8, 1966). "Bench Banter". The Evening Standard. p. 11. Archived from the original on November 9, 2017. Retrieved March 19, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ a b c "Hal Hunter Joins Staff At Indiana". Observer-Reporter. February 9, 1973. pp. B7. Retrieved March 19, 2016.
  8. ^ a b c d Cook, Ron (February 12, 1985). "Hunter joins Steelers faculty". The Pittsburgh Press. pp. B13. Retrieved March 19, 2016.
  9. ^ a b Adams, John (February 12, 1985). "Hunter added to Steeler coaching staff". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 23. Archived from the original on November 9, 2017. Retrieved March 19, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
  10. ^ "Steelers All-Time Roster" (PDF). Steelers.com. p. 423. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 19, 2016. Retrieved March 19, 2016.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Maxymuk, John (2012). NFL Head Coaches: A Biographical Dictionary, 1920-2011. McFarland. p. 133.
  12. ^ a b Trent, Tod (September 20, 1961). "SPORTS STANDARD". The Evening Standard. p. 11. Archived from the original on November 9, 2017. Retrieved March 19, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
  13. ^ a b Bansch, John (December 14, 1984). "Hunter feels no pressure as Colts' interim head coach". The Indianapolis Star. p. 52. Retrieved March 19, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
  14. ^ "Hal Hunter Records by Year". College Football Data Warehouse. Archived from the original on March 20, 2016. Retrieved March 19, 2016.
  15. ^ a b c d "HAL HUNTER". ProFootballArchives.com. Maher Sports Media. Archived from the original on March 29, 2016. Retrieved March 18, 2016.
  16. ^ "Harold Theo 'Hal' Hunter Sr". OldestLivingProFootball.com. Archived from the original on March 19, 2016. Retrieved March 18, 2016.
  17. ^ "Hal Hunter Steeler aide". Reading Eagle. Associated Press. February 12, 1985. p. 12. Retrieved March 19, 2016.
  18. ^ a b c d e "Hunter hired as offensive line coach". United Press International. February 20, 1991. Archived from the original on March 19, 2016. Retrieved March 19, 2016.
  19. ^ a b Maxymuk, John (2012). NFL Head Coaches: A Biographical Dictionary, 1920-2011. McFarland. p. 134.
  20. ^ "Tar Heels hire Hal Hunter as Offensive Line Coach". Scout.com. January 18, 2002. Archived from the original on March 20, 2016. Retrieved March 19, 2016.
  21. ^ "HAL HUNTER". Colts.com. Archived from the original on March 19, 2016. Retrieved March 18, 2016.
  22. ^ "HAROLD THEO (HAL) HUNTER". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Legacy.com. Archived from the original on March 19, 2016. Retrieved March 19, 2016.

External linksEdit