You may remember Ron Hunter for falling off of his chair after his son, R.J., drilled a three-pointer to upset Baylor in the NCAA Tournament last March. Well, he’s also the president of the coaches association and is trying to educate coaches about the importance of taking care of themselves health-wise.
“A few years ago, I was struggling with exhaustion a little bit,” the Georgia State head basketball coach said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “I think with all coaches, the No. 1 issue comes down to stress. It’s a very stressful business that we’re in. Most of us don’t sleep very well. We keep crazy hours.”
Hunter, 51, was experiencing stress, and his doctor told him to stop wearing neck ties during games. After all, why put something constricting around your neck when you’re sweating and getting animated on the sideline? That’s only going to make your stress worse.
“I don’t wear neckties anymore,” Hunter said. “You’re starting to see a lot of coaches get away from that. Because a lot of it is the stress that we put ourselves under. You’re staring to see coaches get away from that – not because of the look, but because of the comfortably of being able to do that.”
Countless coaches have had issues with stress, high blood pressure and other health ailments. Former Xavier and Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser died of a heart attack at 56.
“We’ve lost coaches that have passed away,” Hunter said. “A lot of it has to do with stress. We’ve got to do a better job of taking care of each other and making ourselves aware that we’ve got to do some things that can help us be around for a long period of time. . . . Again, I think that when we talk about these things, we got to do a little bit more. We have to continue to educate all of our coaches, especially our young coaches coming up, to take care of themselves. This is a very, very stressful business.”
Hunter pointed out that college basketball is the only sport where coaches usually wear neckties – aside from, perhaps, the NBA.
“Although, in the NBA, there’s no stress,” Hunter said, laughing. “They just roll (the ball) out there and let those guys go play. There’s no stress out there.”