Q: What was the feeling of winning your first NCAA tournament game as a coach?
Hunter: “It was special for many reasons, one of the biggest being who I got to spend it with. It was incredible getting to coach my son, but also the fact that we were so close to Atlanta (we were playing in Jacksonville, FL) everyone got to come see us. The win and really the entire tournament were a special five days of my life.”
Q: There have been some funny memes of your famous fall from your stool at the end of your win against Baylor. Do you have a favorite?
Hunter: “I actually did see a lot of them as I really tried to enjoy everything around the tournament. My favorite had to be me in a full body cast. It think it was about what I would look like if we made it to the Final Four or something. That was funny.”
Q: What are the keys to getting your players to perform well at such a high level?
Hunter: “Keeping them relaxed is the most important thing. For example, during practice, we play music. If you can keep them relaxed, I feel like they learn more and perform better.”
Q: What advice would you give to other coaches that may be coaching their own son/daughter?
Hunter: “The biggest thing I would say is to spend more time being a father than a coach during the basketball part. It is a lot easier to say than do, but I always worked on that and I think by the end, I almost had it figured out.”
Q: With all of your recent success, how do you stay humble? How do you keep your team hungry for more next season?
Hunter: “It’s actually easy for me to stay humble just having my wife and kids. We have a great support system and that has been the trick. It keeps me grounded. As for staying hungry, I have always been a competitor and want to win. I don’t see that changing. I’m not satisfied just making the NCAA tournament last year, I want to get Georgia State back as many times as possible.”
Q: What Bible verse has impacted your life the most?
Hunter: “Luke 12:48 – ‘From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”
Ron Hunter is the Men’s Basketball Head Coach at Georgia State. In 2015 the Panthers won the Sun Belt tournament, giving them a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Hunter led his 14th seeded Panthers to a first-round upset of 3rd seed Baylor. His son RJ Hunter made the winning shot. Coach Hunter was also named the Sun Belt Coach of the Year in 2014. Along with Georgia State, Hunter has coached at IUPUI. His son RJ was drafted in the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics. You can follow Coach Hunter on Twitter @coachrhunter