Will Hunter, a longtime swimming and lacrosse coach at Conard, will be posthumously inducted into the Connecticut High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Thursday, November 16th at the Aqua Turf in Southington. He will become the fourth Conard coach to be inducted, joining Bob McKee (1982), Rob Cersosimo (2012) and George Beaudry (2015).
During his 16 seasons leading the boys swim team, Hunter’s teams were 160-26, including a 114-3 record over his first 10 years. They captured one state championship, nine CCIL titles, won 48 consecutive dual meets and posted nine undefeated seasons. He was named the CHSCA Boys Swim Coach of the Year in 1978. He also coached the girls program for four seasons from 1975-78.
Hunter has been referred to as “the father of Connecticut public school lacrosse” for starting the first program in the state at Conard in 1963. Paul Beattie, who played for Hunter and was one of his captains in 1974, said “when Will Hunter spoke, you just knew he was right and he had a way to communicate like no other coach. He taught with a high level of intellect that made you feel worthy of being treated special.”
The 1975 season was a big year for Hunter. Not only did his team win the Northern Division championship, but he also helped organize the first public school championship game when the Chieftains faced Wilton. Because of his dedication to the sport, the Northern Division Championship was renamed the “Will Hunter Classic” in 1986.
Hunter’s teams had winning campaigns in 29 of his 33 seasons. He retired with a lifetime coaching record of 254-81-2.
Hunter was elected into the Connecticut Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2012. He was named the U.S. Lacrosse Coaches Association Man of the Year in 1972, the CT High School Lacrosse Association Coach of the Year in 1974, the CHSCA Boys Swim Coach of the Year in 1978 and U.S. Lacrosse Coaches Association Man of the Year in 1981.
Also being honored this year are:
Tickets are $46 and can be obtained by writing to CHSCA Executive Director John Fontana at P.O.Box 632 Southington, CT 06489 or by calling 860-628-4122.