Schools Sports

Former Conard Coach To Be Inducted into Connecticut High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame

Will Hunter (center). Submitted photo
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Will Hunter, a former coach at West Hartford’s Conard High School, will be inducted into the Connecticut High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame this November.

Submitted

Will Hunter, a longtime swimming and lacrosse coach at Conard High School, will be posthumously inducted into the Connecticut High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Thursday, Nov. 16 at the Aqua Turf in Southington.

Hunter 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 year 1975 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.

The Hunter Resume

  • 1972 U.S. Lacrosse Coaches Association Man of the Year
  • 1974 CT High School Lacrosse Association Coach of the Year
  • 1978 CHSCA Boys Swim Coach of the Year
  • 1981 U.S. Lacrosse Coaches Association Man of the Year
  • 2012 Connecticut Lacrosse Hall of Fame

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Will Hunter coaching a Conard swimmer. Submitted photo

Will Hunter on the lacrosse field. Submitted photo

Will Hunter. Submitted photo

A news clip of Will Hunter from a 1965 issue of the Hartford Times. Submitted photo

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