During his successful 30-plus year coaching career, Dick Hunsaker's players have demonstrated desire, determination and discipline while on the basketball court. These characteristics have led to successful collegiate basketball teams and players competing at the next level.
A telling example of Hunsaker's success was the 2001 University of Utah basketball team. After only one game, the Utes head coach, Rick Majerus, took a leave of absence from coaching. Utah administrators turned to Hunsaker to take over the team. He led the team to an 18-12 record, winning the Mountain West Conference and garnering local and national attention.
Hunsaker was named Mountain West Coach of the Year and Los Angeles Times National Coach of the Year.
"Dick Hunsaker did a remarkable job at the University of Utah under some very difficult circumstances," Mountain West Conference Commissioner Craig Thompson said. "The timing of his taking over the basketball program and then ultimately winning the league and being named coach of the year are a testimony to not only his on-court coaching ability, but also his numerous skills. He is a real tribute to college basketball."
Hunsaker has brought attention and success to Utah Valley in transitional years when some teams struggle. In fact, Utah Valley finished with a 22-7 record in the 2006-07 season, the best record by a Division I Independent since Notre Dame's 1985-86 year.
During the following off-season, Hunsaker was rewarded for his success with a five-year contract renewal. Hunsaker's efforts have not gone unnoticed as he earned Street & Smith Independent Coach of the Year three straight years. In 2007, Hunsaker was named the Independent Coach of the Year as voted upon by the Independent head coaches and sports information directors. Hunsaker was also tabbed as the Independent Coach of the Year by Collegeinsider.com.
In the Wolverines first two seasons with a full Division I schedule they compiled back-to-back 16 win seasons. Such success is not common for teams competing in their first season of Division I basketball. In fact, in the last 25 years, only three out of 74 teams making their initial jump to Division I play have won over 16 games.
An evident success story from the Wolverines' 2005 squad was the play of super guard Ronnie Price. Price was third in the nation in scoring, averaging 24.3 points a game. Price's efforts earned him national attention as well.
In January 2005, CBS Sportsline tagged him as the top point guard in the nation. Price's success also got him a job after college: A guaranteed contract with the Sacramento Kings. Price came home to Utah after signing as a free agent with the Utah Jazz.
Entering his 11th season as the Wolverines' head coach, Hunsaker's record is an impressive 187-110, a 63 percent winning percentage.
One of Hunsaker's biggest wins at Utah Valley came in the 2005-06 season when his squad beat Arizona State of the Pac-10 75-71 in Tempe.
In his second year at Utah Valley he led the Wolverines to the Division I Provisional National Championship by beating Florida Gulf Coast 81-80. That year his team finished with a 23-5 record.
In Hunsaker's first year at Utah Valley, which was also the program's final year as a junior college, the Wolverines finished 27-6 and finished second in the Region 18 tournament. That same season the Wolverines finished with the schools' first-ever undefeated home record at 14-0.
"Dick is a proven `big time' coach who has shown his teams are capable of beating any team in the country," Sun Belt Conference Commissioner Karl Benson said.
Hunsaker was named the 2010-11 Great West Conference Coach of the Year after leading Utah Valley to an 11-1 mark in conference play and a 19-11 overall record. The season included a win at Pac-10 Oregon State, his second win over a school from the power conference, during his tenure in Orem.
That season also represented a first for Utah Valley University, as junior guard Isiah Williams became the program's first NCAA Division I All-American following a year that also saw him named the GWC Player of the Year.
He repeated the feat in 2011-12, leading UVU to back-to-back Great West Championships with a 9-1 record in league play and a 20-13 record overall. It was another first for the program and University as well, as the Wolverines received an at-large bid for the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. It was the first UVU program to participate in a team postseason tournament since the school's move to DI in 2003.
Hunsaker's success at Utah Valley is no surprise. Overall, in 18 seasons as a head coach, he has a 354-183 career record.
Hunsaker has been a head coach at Ball State University, University of Utah, Manchester College and a stint in the CBA. He has also been an assistant at his Alma Mater, Weber State.
In 1990, he led Ball State to the NCAA Sweet 16, as the Cardinals head coach. Two years later, Dick Vitale called Hunsaker the Mid American Conference Coach of the Year. He compiled a 97-34 record and led the Cardinals to two NCAA tournament appearances. He also guided Ball State to two NIT appearances. He posted four 20-win seasons and never lost back-to-back regular season games. He won the Mid-American Conference twice and finished second twice.
Following four successful seasons at Ball State, Hunsaker headed to the CBA where he was the Head coach of teams in Hartford and Grand Rapids. In 1994-95 he was the head coach and the Director of Basketball Operations for Grand Rapids. During his time with Grand Rapids, Hunsaker was named the American Conference Coach of the Month for the month of December where he guided Grand Rapids to the best road record in the CBA. That same month, Flip Saunders (current Detroit Pistons coach) was named the CBA National Conference Coach of the Month. A year earlier he was the interim coach and Director of Basketball Operations for Hartford.
In 1995, he returned to the college game. Hunsaker led Manchester College (Ind.) to three of the 10 most successful seasons in school history while posting a 51-27 overall record before returning to Utah where he joined Majerus and the University of Utah staff.
While at Utah, Hunsaker served in many capacities: Director of Basketball Operations, Assistant Coach and Acting Head Coach.
In Hunsaker's year as Acting Head Coach, the Utes won the Mountain West Conference title while posting an 18-12 record with the toughest regular season schedule the Utes had faced.
Hunsaker, entering his 10th season at UVU, currently serves as the Independent Congressman for the NABC.
He played college basketball at UTEP under Hall of Fame coach Don Haskins in 1972-73. He then finished his playing career at Weber State from 1974-77.
Hunsaker earned his bachelor's degree from Weber State in 1977 in Psychology and in 1983 he earned his master's degree from BYU in Educational Psychology. In 1985, Hunsaker was named Weber State Alumnus of the Year.
Hunsaker and his wife Diane are the parents of four children: Lance, Jodi, Holton and Zachary. Dick has one grandchild named Lauren.