MURRAY — Murray State men’s golf coach Eddie Hunt has announced his retirement after 20 seasons at the helm of the Racer program.
Hunt continued solid leadership in the men’s program as just its second all-time head coach, taking over for MSU and Ohio Valley Conference legend Buddy Hewitt, who started the program in 1961 and led it for 40 years.
A two-time OVC Coach of the Year, Hunt’s retirement becomes official June 30. His final event will come at the OVC Championship (April 25-27) at The Shoals Golf Club on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
“Coach Eddie Hunt has done an excellent job with our men’s golf program for many years and we will miss him,” MSU President Dr. Bob Jackson said. “He has been a mentor to student-athletes and continued the long legacy of success of this program. I wish Coach Hunt and his wife, Lanette, all the best in retirement. They are wonderful people.”
MSU Director of Athletics Kevin Saal also praised Hunt.
“I want to thank Eddie for his selfless service to our men’s golf program and our athletics department over the last 20 years,” he said. “He and Lanette have served this program, department, university and community well. Coach Hunt has impacted the lives of many young men, developing them as students, persons, golfers and eventually professionals, husbands and fathers. Thanks to Eddie and wife, Lanette, for their service to, and love for, Murray State. We wish them the very best and know they will always be a valued member of the Racer family.”
Hunt’s legacy at Murray State is that of great standards on and off the course. His teams performed at a high academic level by earning six NCAA Academic Progress Rate Public Recognition Awards by being among the top 10% among all Division-I teams nationally. On the course, Hunt’s teams won 36 tournament titles, including the 2010 OVC Championship, the fourth in program history.
“It has always been about the players,” said Hunt, who became MSU head coach in 2001. “I had a coaching colleague tell me one time that you know you have been successful as a coach if your former players still want to be in touch with you and be around you. I have enjoyed that part. Our golf alumni are a big part of this program, and I am very proud of that. I think the world of every one of my former players. It never mattered to me if they were the last guy on the roster or the OVC Player of the Year. They were important to me.”
Hunt came to Murray State in the 1960s and earned three degrees. He worked in Murray State administration after serving two years in the U.S. Army in Vietnam. A Paducah native, Hunt was part of a successful sporting goods business for 26 years in Murray.
“Murray State has been a part of my life for more than 50 years, but it does seem like it has gone by fast. In 2001, I had an opportunity to coach the men’s golf team, and it was appealing to me. My goal was to have a competitive program on the course and in the classroom, and I think we did that. Seeing our players earn their degrees was first on the list and playing golf was second. We kept that priority all the way through.”
Hunt’s former players will individually attest to the high level of competitiveness he demanded.
“Some might say I am a little too competitive,” Hunt said with a chuckle. “I always wanted my players to perform up to their potential. If we played up to our potential and just got beat by someone better, I knew we had done all we could do. I think our players understood there was no more important shot than the next shot.”
Hunt’s teams performed well at the biggest event of the spring, the OVC Championship. The Racers won it in 2010, had four second-place finishes (2001, 2004, 2008, 2009) and five third-place showings (2003, 2005, 2011, 2012, 2019). His 36 tournament wins also produced 32 individual medalists, including four OVC individual titles and 15 different players who earned All-OVC status 22 times.
Academically, Hunt’s teams averaged a 3.19 grade-point average and produced two OVC Scholar Athlete winners and 13 OVC Medal of Honor winners.