Story by Collin Morris, Contributing writer
Men’s golf Head Coach Eddie Hunt capped off his 14th season at Murray State with a fifth place finish in the OVC Tournament.
During Hunt’s time at Murray State, he has been a part of many organizations outside of golf. Hunt said he’s seen many things on and off the golf course during his tenure.
“Murray is my home. I’m an alumni from Murray State, I was in business here for 28 and a half years and I’ve actually worked at Murray State for six years in the Student Affairs section,” Hunt said. “I feel like I have a really unique perspective of the Murray community, and Murray State is a special place for me and my family.”
Since finishing his 14th season as the head golf coach, Hunt said he is asked all the time about why he’s still coaching. Hunt said he answers it pretty simply. “I really enjoy working with young people,” he said.
Hunt has become synonymous with the head coaching position after more than a decade, but few are aware he actually got his start at Murray State as the interim head coach before being asked to assume the position full-time in 2002. Since then, Hunt has found himself accumulating numerous accolades, such as OVC Coach of the Year in 2009 and 2010 and an OVC Championship in 2010. Hunt’s success can be attributed to both his recruiting and coaching abilities.
“I feel like my emphasis on recruiting has been to try and get the best student-athletes within Kentucky,” Hunt said. “We’ve had some really good high school programs in this area, and over the past fifteen years, I’ve probably had at least 95 percent of my student-athletes come from Kentucky. We’ve been able to really compete with some of the best teams in the conference and in the country.”
However, Hunt does not only consider the build of his team, but also his strategy and how he can best implement his golfers. He said he likes to make sure his golfers are in the right spot for them to succeed.
“These student-athletes have had teaching professionals and swing instructors from the time they started playing golf, so it’s not my job to teach those types of things,” Hunt said. “I focus on course management, making sure they work on the things they need to work on and maximizing their potential.”
The Racers haven’t finished first in the OVC Tournament since 2010, and Hunt said the team was poised to do so again. He also said it was tough for the team to grasp because they believed they were the team to beat going into the tournament.
“We were very disappointed in the OVC Tournament,” Hunt said. “Going in, we felt we had as good an opportunity as any team in the league to win it and that was our goal at the start of the year. I’d describe our season as having a great spring season but a bad conference tournament. We had a good chance of winning it, and the four seniors worked very hard – it just didn’t work out.”
But the former coach of the year remains optimistic. When asked about the momentum of the team going into the offseason and upcoming 2016-17 season, he confidently reassured Racer fans.
“I feel like I’ve got the best recruiting class I’ve had in the last 14 years,” Hunt said. “Every year brings a new challenge, but with the mixture of these freshman coming in and our returning players from last year, we’ll be really competitive for the next three or four years.”