Dec. 15, 2004
Columbia, S.C. –
John Hunt, who has experience in Coach Steve Spurrier’s offensive system and who played a prominent role in the success the Florida offense had from 1999-2001, has been named assistant football coach at South Carolina. Hunt will coach the Gamecock offensive line. He replaces John Latina, who is leaving the Carolina staff to pursue another coaching opportunity.
Hunt coached the offensive line at Florida from 1999-2001, working for Coach Steve Spurrier. During that three-year span, Hunt tutored three first-team All-Southeastern Conference linemen — tackles Cooper Carlisle, Mike Pearson and Kenyatta Walker. Pearson was a first-team All-America pick in 2001 and was a second round NFL draft pick in 2002. Walker was a first-round draft pick in 2001 and was chosen the Jacobs’ Blocking Trophy winner in 2000, an honor that goes to the SEC’s top offensive lineman as voted upon by the coaches. Carlisle was a fourth-round draft pick in 2000. Hunt coached in the 1999 and 2000 SEC Championship games, with the Gators defeating Auburn 28-6 to claim the 2000 SEC title.
Hunt went with Coach Spurrier to the Washington Redskins, where he worked with the offensive line for two years (2002-03). During that stretch, he worked with two of the NFL’s top tackles in Chris Samuels and Jon Jansen.
“John Hunt has worked with me for several years and he knows our system extremely well,” said Coach Spurrier, who was on the road recruiting. “He’s an excellent football coach and just an excellent person. He’ll be a great fit for our program.”
Hunt was a four-year (1980-83) letterman at offensive guard for the Florida Gators. He was named second-team All-SEC in 1983 and he started the final 23 games of his career. He appeared in four bowl games and was drafted in 1984 by the Dallas Cowboys. Hunt played two seasons in the NFL, with Dallas and Tampa Bay.
A native of Orlando, Fla., Hunt holds a bachelor’s degree (1985) and master’s degree (1991) from Florida. He worked as a graduate assistant at his alma mater for two years (1989-90) and was a volunteer assistant for the Gators in 1991. Two of those seasons (1990-91) he worked under Coach Spurrier. The 1991 Gators went 10-2 and won the SEC championship.
Hunt coached in the high school ranks from 1992-98, including a two-year stint (1995-96) as the head coach at Buchholz High School in Gainesville. At Buchholz, Hunt coached former Gators Tyrone Baker and Mike Harris, as well as former UF quarterback Doug Johnson and Kentucky wide receiver Jermaine White.
“I’m really excited about having the opportunity to work with Coach Spurrier again and I’m excited about coming to the University of South Carolina,” said Hunt. “The South Carolina program has a bright future and I’m looking forward to being a part of it.”
Hunt and his wife, Rene’, have two children: Christopher (7) and Cameron (eight months).
Comment from Coach Spurrier regarding John Latina leaving: “I can understand the opportunity John Latina is pursuing. He is going to have the chance to be reunited with some coaches he has worked with before and we wish him all the best.”