Ron Hunter has gotten ‘feelers’ but wants to stay at Georgia State

The Hunters, father and son. (AP photo/Chris O’Meara)

The Hunters, father and son. (AP photo/Chris O'Meara)

The Hunters, father and son. (AP photo/Chris O’Meara)

Here’s the way it works: A mid-major coach wins an NCAA tournament game and becomes a Hot Item. Ron Hunter of Georgia State won an NCAA tournament game and became the Hottest Item of the 2015 Big Dance.

Not 24 hours after the Panthers were eliminated by Xavier, Hunter was receiving the inevitable calls — he described them as “feelers” — asking if he’d be interested in this job or that job. And they made sense, for many reasons.

One, Ron Hunter is 50; if he’s going to make a big move, he needs to make it soon. Two, his son R.J. is apt to leave for the NBA. Three, he’s making $425,000 at Georgia State — his salary gets bumped to $500,000 next season because the Panthers made the NCAA tournament — which is less than half what Brian Gregory is being paid by Georgia Tech. Four, Hunter can really, really coach.

But hold your horses. Here’s what Hunter said Sunday: “I am 50, and quality of life means more to me. That’s not to say if there’s a job for me — a no-brainer — that I’d say no to looking at that, but there aren’t many of those. I don’t have to chase money. My happiness means a lot more to me.”

Then this: “I love where I’m at. I love what I’m doing.”

Then: “Me just taking a job for the money, I’m not going to do that.”

Also speaking Sunday, Georgia State athletic director Charlie Cobb said: “There’s no doubt we want Ron Hunter to be our basketball coach and continue to represent Georgia State with grace and humility.”

Asked if Georgia State would move to bump Hunter’s salary in the effort to keep him, Cobb said: “That process started last year (when Hunter’s contract was redone and extended through 2020 under then-AD Cheryl Levick). It was significantly upgraded and he has reaped the benefit of that.”

That, however, was before Hunter became famous for falling out of his chair after his son’s hero shot. There needs to be another bump coming. We say again: Ron Hunter can really, really coach.

Reader Comments 3

79 comments
USMC6511
USMC6511

Who cares about UGA, and GT basketball, GO PANTHERS! Lefty got the I dotted, Coach Hunter is putting the exclamation point!

DrPhill
DrPhill

I recall the former president of Gorgia State, dressed in a GSU warmup suit, following "Lefty" around like a puppy. Fortunately, Lefty is gone and Hunter seems to be building a program the right way as opposed to building one with players kicked out of other programs. Good luck and continued success to Coach Hunter and the GSU program.

TheD1Guru
TheD1Guru

Mr. Hunter I can respect the fact that you would like to stay at Georgia State.  I wish you the best in your endeavors.  Hopefully, you can be compensated accordingly.  The clown on North Avenue is stealing money.  He even had the nerve to take a shot at UGA, a team that actually made the tournament. Being 19-51 is only okay when you become cool with taking butt whippings and being embarrassed on the regular.  Worst hire I've ever seen at GT. If the GT job became available Ron would you take it? 

GTBob
GTBob

@TheD1Guru As much as I want Gregory fired, he didn't take a shot at UGA at all nor is he stealing any money. He isn't paid very much. We went to the bargain bin for a coach and we are getting bargain bin results. This is all on GT. Hopefully one day we will start taking our basketball program seriously.

dis_g
dis_g

Mark, still waiting for a post about your UGA  elite eight pick.  And way to go Panthers!

dontstereotypemeyo
dontstereotypemeyo

The antipathy that certain Georgia Tech fans have towards Georgia State is hilarious. Yellowjackets should worry about their own program.

5150POAD
5150POAD

@dontstereotypemeyo We do but all the LOVE for GaState is a JOKE. 1-3 in the NCAA tourney and how many D-1 conference championships have they won?

GT71
GT71

Enjoy your 15 minutes, coach.

Pounceman
Pounceman

@ShovelPlease @dontstereotypemeyo @GT71 CRH took IUPUI to the dance and I believe he played in three himself. And Gregory & Hewitt??? Face it as it's been a long time since Bobby was leading the North Avenue Trade School....

jeeperscrow
jeeperscrow

The world of sports is so ridiculous...here's a guy making half a million a year (more than I make in 10 years) talking about how it's not about the money for him. It's a feel good story, and he's a good coach....but give me a break.

TOJacket
TOJacket

@jeeperscrow Guess you should have worked hard and aspired to be a College Coach?.........a man is worth whatever someone will pay them.

NotDisappointed
NotDisappointed

What an incredible year for the Ga State, Panthers and Ron Hunter. 

maryjga
maryjga

Good luck in the future to Georgia State and Ron Hunter!   Go Panthers. 

5150POAD
5150POAD

Ron and the Team had to be so proud and overwhelmed by all the fan support they received when they arrived back at campus......NOBODY. Not Students. Not Fans. NOBODY was there to meet the GaState Panthers when they arrived back in Atlanta. 

TOJacket
TOJacket

@9014EAEO I think you're confusing a first round upset in MMadness to the Super Bowl?

5150POAD
5150POAD

@TOJacket Yes some Tech fans would have been there. More if the Jackets made it to 16 or better. 

You must also understand tech has been there and done pretty well. GaState won their 1st EVER NCAA Tourney game and D-1 Conference Title. 

Rick_James
Rick_James

@9014EAEO 


Where you there to meet them when they returned to Atlanta? No? Then why are you whining?

5150POAD
5150POAD

@Rick_James when? Tech didn't go the NCAA or NIT. I was there to see the team after the UGa win and after the 2 point loss to FSU in the ACC CG. I was out of town when they came back from the Orange Bowl after beating Miss St.

PantherWin
PantherWin

@9014EAEO @TOJacket Stop lying you SACK OF S**T. GSU had over 1,000 fans in attendance in Jacksonville. And that was our SECOND TOURNEY WIN. We beat Wisconsin in 2001. And we have multiple conference titles. But nice try. 

5150POAD
5150POAD

@PantherWin did I say in JAX? I said when they got home. Show GaState has more than 1 win in the NCAA tourney. It has been on the ESPN it was their first ever NCAA win.  Conference titles in the high school leagues don't matter. 

he_of_stinky_wind
he_of_stinky_wind

Sure he isn't.  No one wants another $600-750K to do the same job.

Childerscarl
Childerscarl

I lived next to Ron Hunter our freshman year at Miami University and I found him to be an upstanding guy then and I still feel the same today.  I'm very happy for his success.

aon
aon

This is a great story for State, congratulations.  But it kind of seems like some of the other players are getting lost in the father-son feel good story.

Rick_James
Rick_James

I'm sure that he loves the quality of life in Atlanta but if he could double or triple his salary and his son enters the NBA draft as he should then all bets are off.

partlycloudy
partlycloudy

It's amazing to be cheering for GA state.  But it was fun.

BravesFan79
BravesFan79

This is the sport GA State should of concentrated on the entire time instead of trying to get into football where they have NO chance.  
Good story for the coach, i hope he stays at Ga State.  

Hey fellow GT fans... you win with TALENT!    Next coach we get who can bring in top players... Support him!  

PantherWin
PantherWin

@BravesFan79 There was a time not long ago that no one thought GSU had a chance in basketball either. Bill Curry was mostly to blame for the poor start in football. They will get it fixed. Curry put the program in such a hole it will take some time. 

5150POAD
5150POAD

@PantherWin Without CURRY you still wouldn't have football. Starting from Scratch is very difficult.

PantherWin
PantherWin

@9014EAEO @PantherWin Curry was a man well past his prime. Couldn't recruit and couldn't coach. Worst of all he hired terrible assistants. Worst hire ever. 

TOJacket
TOJacket

@PantherWin @9014EAEO Your probably right about past his prime.........but GSU FB should always be proud a class act like Curry started the Program....Like Mark Richt, a good man.

Pounceman
Pounceman

@BravesFan79 Got to be a GNAT. We're going to make it successful which is your biggest fear! Right? lol

5150POAD
5150POAD

@Pounceman no FEAR. Fear the BS BoR that is all about UGa and building up their sports and diluting TECh Education. 

5150POAD
5150POAD

@PantherWin he knows football and the people in the business to get an ORGANIZATION setup at GaState. Not just any coach is prepared to do that. 

With your name Panther Win you are referring to all the football games the panthers win per season right?

hamus14
hamus14

@irishmafiahigs he ain't going if son don't go, but the way he hugged RJ and talked about "this could be the last game I coach RJ" I'm pretty sure junior will chase the dollars.  And would take out his two leading scorers and starting center.  Frankly, the opportunity for Ron is right now.


Pros ain't about being "ready", it's about showing that you have the intangibles to make it in the long run.  RJ can shoot lights out and defend.  Get him a little stronger and he has all the foundations of a good pro player.  Shoot, if JJ Reddick is still making millions, RJ is a no-brainer pick.

5150POAD
5150POAD

@PantherWin not sure how you see that coming but Bet the house on GaState being better. 

PantherWin
PantherWin

@hamus14 @irishmafiahigs The starting center was not that good. And have you paid ANY attention to the incoming recruiting class? They will have a better team next year. 

Trackbacks

  1. […] “I am 50, and peculiarity of life means some-more to me. That’s not to contend if there’s a pursuit for me — a no-brainer — that I’d contend no to looking during that, though there aren’t many of those. we don’t have to follow money. My complacency means a lot some-more to me,” Hunter said, via a Atlanta Journal-Constitution. […]

  2. […] presumably waving at some fans. Even though his son R.J. plans to declare for the NBA Draft, and other schools are trying to coax him away from the Panthers, Ron seems content with where he […]

  3. […] presumably waving at some fans. Even though his son R.J. plans to declare for the NBA Draft, and other schools are trying to coax him away from the Panthers, Ron seems content with where he […]