Gary Hunter will lead Skyhawk Athletics as the College's new athletic director.
Gary Hunter will become Fort Lewis College’s new director of athletics, FLC President Dene Kay Thomas announced today. Hunter will officially begin September 1, 2011.
Hunter has been on campus for several weeks acting as a consultant to the Fort Lewis College Athletic Department. He has been working closely with athletic staff and coaches in preparation for the upcoming season.
“In Gary Hunter, we have an opportunity to bring someone to campus who is exceptionally qualified to move Fort Lewis College Athletics forward,” says President Thomas. “As our new director of athletics, Gary will be in a position to make an immediate impact on Skyhawk Athletics.”
“I am extremely excited to be back working with President Thomas and this energetic, talented group of coaches and staff,” said Hunter, who worked with Dr. Thomas at both the University of Idaho and Lewis-Clark State College. “The athletic teams at Fort Lewis College are performing at a very high level and I look forward to sustaining the success.”
Hunter previously served as athletic director at two NCAA Division I schools, Wichita State University and the University of Idaho, as well as associate director of athletics at the University of Kansas.
His career includes extensive experience at the professional level, including the senior executive vice president of the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche. In this capacity, he provided leadership, administrative support, and supervision to a variety of departments, including fiscal operations, media relations, marketing and promotions, community fund, and facilities operations. He directed the drafting, negotiation, and implementation of radio, television, and corporate sponsor contracts, agreements, and event scheduling.
Hunter also supervised the acquisition and start-up of the Colorado Avalanche, which relocated from Quebec to Denver in 1995. He served as a team leader for the design, financing, and negotiations with the City of Denver for the construction of the Pepsi Center, home of the Nuggets and Avalanche.
Hunter also served as commissioner of the Continental Basketball Association and chief executive officer of the CBA’s Idaho Stampede. He began his professional career as an attorney in the Kansas City area.
He is also owner and president of Hunter Management Group, a company that provides business and legal consulting services, primarily within the sports and entertainment industry. Current and past clients include Major League Football, LLC; United Basketball Association, LLC; Continental Basketball Association (CBA); West Coast Sports, LLC; Willis Entertainment, LLC; Idaho Stampede and Bakersfield Jam of the National Basketball Association (NBA) D-League; 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games; NorthWest Motor Sports, Inc.; Diamond Sports Management; and Broomfield Sports and Entertainment, LLC.
Hunter graduated with a bachelor of science in business administration in 1966 and a law degree from the University of Kansas in 1969. While in college, he played defensive back for the Jayhawks from 1962-65. He also played one year of basketball at Kansas.
He takes the lead of a collegiate athletic program on the rise at Fort Lewis College. The Skyhawks won two NCAA Division II national championships in men’s soccer (2005 and 2009) and finished as NCAA runners-up in men’s soccer twice (1999 and 2006) and in women’s basketball once (2010). In recent years, the Skyhawk golf, softball, volleyball, men’s basketball, and women’s soccer squads have all earned NCAA playoff berths.
On the academic side, Skyhawk Athletics is also a preeminent program. In 2010-11, FLC maintained the highest grade point average of any women’s basketball team in the nation, regardless of division. Fifty-two Skyhawks earned academic all-conference honors in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference or Western Intercollegiate Athletic Association, while seven of 11 varsity teams maintained a team GPA of 3.00 or higher.
Fort Lewis fields 11 varsity teams. Women compete in basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, softball, and volleyball; men compete in basketball, cross country, football, golf, and soccer. The Skyhawks have won 17 national championships in the disciplines of mountain biking, cyclocross, road racing, and track racing. Skyhawk cycling competes at the USA Cycling’s collegiate Division I.