Onekama’s Jim Hunter to be inducted into coaches’ Hall of Fame Saturday

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Over the 40-year career of Jim Hunter, he has been called Coach, teacher, mentor and friend to generations of young people in Onekama and elsewhere.

Now, those people can call him a Hall of Famer.

Hunter will be inducted this weekend into the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Hunter, who retired as head football coach at Onekama after the 2016 season and over 100 career wins in his time as a head coach, said that this honor is one of the more meaningful, since it comes from his peers in the coaching profession.

“When you’re recognized by your peers it carries a lot more weight, because they really understand,” Hunter said. “It’s just weird, getting honored for doing something that was an honor in the first place. And there were so many people who contributed to it, but it is a big deal.”

Hunter took over the Portager football program when Jim Taylor retired in 1989. He was the second coach in program history dating back to its inception in 1964. Prior to Onekama he coached in from Manistique, where he spent 11 years beginning in 1978. Before that he was an assistant at Alma High School for two seasons.

“He built the foundation of the program that we are able to enjoy with so much success this season,” current Onekama coach John Neph said. “Our entire coaching staff learned a lot from him over last the couple years of us all working together. We owe him so much for all that he’s done.”

Along with football, Hunter also coached swimming and diving, girls softball, wrestling, track and basketball at various points throughout his 40 years in coaching.

“I think what we do (as coaches) is really important,” Hunter said. “You help young men develop and grow, and young ladies now, too. I’ve coached a lot of sports, and played them too, but there is nothing that demands the teamwork to a level that football does.”

The other coaches to go into the Hall of Fame are Don Baxter (Napoleon), Michael P. Centala (Monroe Jefferson), Randy Dunny (Saline), Mike Giannone (Warren DeLaSalle), Ron Glodich (Marine City), Ron Green (Portland), Kevin W. Langs (Climax-Scotts), Chris Luma (Hudson), Marty Spencer (St. Ignace LaSalle), Paul A. Test (Ann Arbor Pioneer), Dennis Thompson (Onsted), David Thorne (Farmington Hills Harrison) and Thomas Wilcher (Detroit Cass Tech).

The M.H.S.F.C.A. Hall of Fame induction ceremony and banquet will be held on Saturday at the Crowne Plaza Lansing West, in Lansing.

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Posted by Scott Yoshonis

Scott is the sports editor of the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3112 or syoshonis@pioneergroup.com.

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