Dave Hunter began his head coaching career in 1983 with Peachtree, but his claim to fame came with Brookwood High School where he won the state title in 1996 over Valdosta High School. The title is one of the greatest coaching achievements during his 19-year head coaching career. He was recently selected to the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame. It’s the second major career honor of the kind for Hunter, who was a 2013 inductee into the Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame.
Hunter currently serves on multiple GHSA executive committees where he has worked for nearly 25 years. He currently serves on the committees for reclassification, soccer and golf. One of Hunter’s achievements on the executive committees was his proposal for six classifications, which passed and will take place next season. Another aspect of Hunter’s post-coaching career has been his contribution to the Corky Kell Classic, which has evolved over its 24 years of existence. He has helped choose teams for the event and has helped expand viewership and appeal to fans. This past year, he helped provide viewers from across the state the opportunity to watch the event live on Fox SportSouth. He is the Executive Director of the MetroPCS Corky Kell Classic and has chosen the teams participating in the event.
Some of Coach Hunter’s favorite memories from the event included the 2nd Corky Kell Classic when his Brookwood Broncos defeated Southwest DeKalb Panthers 21-13. The Panthers were ranked No. 2 in the country at the time, but Hunter’s Brookwood squad took out Southwest DeKalb, coached by the legendary Buck Godfrey. Future UGA quarterback Quincy Carter was under center for the Panthers. The game was moved to a Monday night before school started, and Hunter called the win “another program starter.” The first program starter was a win over Clarke Central 6-3 in 1987, this was the first time any Gwinnett school had ever beaten Clarke Central.
In 1996, Brookwood played what Hunter would call a “watershed game” against state power Valdosta Wildcats. Despite falling 31-28 when the Wildcats scored in the game’s final moments, Hunter’s team was encouraged. “Our kids figured out they could play with anybody.” Later that season the Broncos would get a rematch with Valdosta for the state championship, and the Broncos would walk off of that field victorious, something that Hunter credits to the experience learned at the Corky Kell Classic.
Hunter’s all-time record in the event was 6-4, and he has still been a huge part of the Classic ever since retiring from coaching. He has helped grow the game and he takes pride in the event. “I like to think it is a prestigious event. It can really set a benchmark for the season,” said Hunter. “It is a great confidence builder for teams, but to play in that game, you can’t be faint of heart.”