Sue Gunter

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Sue Gunter
Sport(s) Women's college basketball
Current position
Title Head coach
Team 1962–1964
Middle Tennessee State University
1964–1980
Stephen F. Austin State University
1982–2004
Louisiana State University
Biographical details
Born (1939-05-22)May 22, 1939
United States Walnut Grove, Mississippi
Died 4 August 2005(2005-08-04) (aged 66)
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1962–1980,1982–2004
Head coaching record
Overall MTSU 44–0 (1.000)
SFA 266–87 (.754)
LSU 442–221 (.667)
NCAA 708–308 (.697)
All 752–308 (.709)
Accomplishments and honors
Championships
SEC Tournament Champion (1991,2003)
Awards
SEC Coach of the Year 1997, 1999
Basketball News National Coach of the Year 1983
Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame
Women's Basketball Hall of Fame
Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2005

Sue Gunter (May 22, 1939, Walnut Grove, Mississippi, USA - August 4, 2005, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA) was a women's college basketball coach. She is best known as the head coach of the Louisiana State University (LSU) Lady Tigers basketball team.

AAU and USA Basketball player[edit]

A fine player in her own right, Gunter played Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball for Nashville Business College from 1958 to 1962 earning AAU All-America honors in 1960.[1] She attended George Peabody College for Teachers (now part of Vanderbilt University), with Nera White. Gunter obtained both a bachelor's and a master's degree from Peabody in 1962.[2] George Peabody did not have a women's basketball team, so she played for the AAU team in Nashville sponsored by Nashville Business College.[3] She was also a member of the U.S. National Team, which competed against the Soviet Union, from 1960-1962.

College coaching[edit]

Gunter began her coaching career at Middle Tennessee State University where she led the Blue Raiders to undefeated seasons in both of her years there (1962–1964). Gunter then had a very successful coaching stint at Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA) in Nacogdoches, Texas. While at SFA, Gunter led the LadyJacks to a 266-87 mark in 16 years as head coach (1964–1980). In addition, she led SFA to four top 10 national rankings, including top 5 final rankings in 1979 and 1980. While at SFA, Gunter coached four sports—women's basketball, softball, tennis and track. Her basketball teams went to five Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) playoffs, won four state titles, and earned a regional crown. In 1980, she stepped down as coach at SFA and moved into the position of Director of Women's Athletics where she served two years before returning to the coaching ranks at LSU.[4]

In Gunter's 22 years as the head coach at LSU (1982–2004), the Lady Tigers played in 14 NCAA Tournaments and two WNITs. Gunter led LSU to one Final Four in 2004 and to the Elite Eight in 1986, 2000 and 2003. She led the Lady Tigers to a championship at the WNIT in 1985 and to SEC Tournament Championships in 1991 and 2003. In addition, Gunter directed LSU to 14 seasons of 20 or more wins, including one 30-win season.

In the middle of the 2003-2004 season, she became ill and took a medical leave of absence in March 2004. She was later diagnosed as having emphysema and pneumonia. Pokey Chatman, her top assistant, assumed duties as interim coach for the rest of the season. The Tigers went 15-5 under Chatman's watch and reached the Final Four for the first time in school history. However, LSU credits the entire season to Gunter. When it was apparent that Gunter would not be able to return, she formally announced her retirement on April 27 and Chatman was named her successor.

Gunter completed her career as the third winningest women's basketball coach in NCAA history with an overall record of 708-308 (behind only Jody Conradt and Pat Summitt). Gunter's LSU record was 442-221, making her the winningest coach in school history. She completed her career among the leaders in several NCAA coaching categories: seasons coached (No. 1 - 40); games coached (No. 3 - 1,016); wins (No. 3 - 708); and 20-win seasons (No. 4 - 22).

Head coaching record[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders () (1962–1964)
1962–1964 Middle Tennessee 44–0
Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks () (1964–1980)
1964–1980 Stephen F. Austin 266–87 5 AIAW Tournament Appearances
LSU Lady Tigers (Southeastern Conference) (1982–2004)
1982–83 LSU 20–7 6–2
1983–84 LSU 23–7 5–3 NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1984–85 LSU 20–9 4–4 WNIT Champions
1985–86 LSU 27–6 6–3 NCAA Elite Eight
1986–87 LSU 20–8 6–3 NCAA 2nd Round
1987–88 LSU 18–11 6–3 NCAA 1st Round
1988–89 LSU 19–11 5–4 NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1989–90 LSU 21–9 4–5 NCAA1st Round
1990–91 LSU 24–7 4–5 NCAA 2nd Round
1991–92 LSU 16–13 4–7
1992–93 LSU 9–18 0–11
1993–94 LSU 11–16 2–9
1994–95 LSU 7–20 1–10
1995–96 LSU 21–11 4–7 WNIT Third Place
1996–97 LSU 25–5 9–3 NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1997–98 LSU 19–13 7–7 WNIT Final Four
1998–99 LSU 22–8 11–3 NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1999–00 LSU 22–8 11–3 NCAA Elite Eight
2000–01 LSU 20–11 8–6 NCAA 2nd Round
2001–02 LSU 18–12 8–6 NCAA 2nd Round
2002–03 LSU 30–4 11–3 NCAA Elite Eight
2003–04 LSU 27–8* 10–4* NCAA Final Four*
Total: 708-308

      National champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

* Gunter went on medical leave in the middle of the 2003-04 season. Assistant Pokey Chatman coached the final 20 games of the season, but LSU credits the entire season to Gunter.

USA Basketball coaching[edit]

In 1980, the United States Olympic Team selected Gunter as the head women's basketball coach.[4] Gunter guided her team to the title at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament prior to the Games, however, they did not compete for a gold medal due to the United States' boycott of the Olympic Games in Moscow.

Gunter shared success at the Olympics, however, as an assistant coach of the 1976 U. S. Team which captured the silver medal in Montreal.[5] She has also served as head coach for the U.S. National Team three times in 1976, 1978 and 1980.[4]

Awards and honors[edit]

While at LSU, Gunter was named the SEC's Coach of the Year in 1997 and 1999.[4] She was also the Converse Region IV Coach of the Year in 1983; the Basketball News National Coach of the Year in 1983; the Louisiana Coach of the Year in 1983, 1997, 2002, and 2003; the Carol Eckman Award recipient in 1994;[6] and the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Regional Coach of the Year in 1999 and 2003.

In 2000, she was elected to the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, located in Knoxville, Tennessee.[7] On April 4, 2005, Gunter was elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.[8] She was enshrined posthumously in September 2005.

In 2005, Gunter, along with timber industrialist Roy O. Martin, Jr., the civil rights pioneer Andrew Young, the comedian Kix Brooks, and the Louisiana State University football legend Paul Dietzel were named a "Louisiana Legend" by Louisiana Public Broadcasting.[9]

Gunter died at her home in Baton Rouge on August 4, 2005, of respiratory problems and emphysema. She was 66.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ikard, Robert W. (2005). Just for Fun: The Story of AAU Women's Basketball. University of Arkansas Press. pp. 96, 210. ISBN 978-1-55728-889-9. Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  2. ^ "Sue Gunter". Louisiana State University Athletics. Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  3. ^ Organ, Mike. "Nera White was the greatest player of all time". The Tennesseean (Nashville). Retrieved 2014-08-25. (subscription required (help)). 
  4. ^ a b c d David L. Porter, ed. (30 July 2005). Basketball: A Biographical Dictionary. Greenwood Press. pp. 182–183. ISBN 978-0-313-30952-6. Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  5. ^ Grundy, Pamela; Shackelford, Susan (5 March 2007). Shattering the glass. New Press. ISBN 978-0-80785-829-5. 
  6. ^ "Carol Eckman Award". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  7. ^ "WBHOF Inductees". WBHOF. Retrieved 2009-08-01. 
  8. ^ "Hall of Famers: Sue Gunter". Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  9. ^ "Roy O. Martin, Jr. obituary". The Times. Shreveport. 24 March 2007. Retrieved 2014-08-25. 

External links[edit]