Hunter Hall of Fame

Walter Hunting

Born 1897
Died 1957

Walt Hunting was a long-time teacher and coach at Denfeld, and his last name inspired the school’s nickname, the Hunters.

Hunting grew up in Iron Mountain, Mich. He graduated from Lawrence College in Appleton, Wis., despite his education being interrupted by service in the U.S. Air Force during World War I. At Lawrence College, he played football.

In 1926, he married Duluth Central graduate Irene Long. They lived in Stevens Point, Wis., where Hunting was teaching and coaching.

In 1927, Hunting took a teaching and coaching job at Denfeld. His football team went undefeated that year, outscoring opponents 131-12 and claiming the unofficial state championship (a gentlemanly agreement of what team is state champion based on comparative scores; there was no official state championship at the time).

As head football coach for 28 years at Denfeld, Hunting was 152-63-15, winning 14 city championships. He had six undefeated teams, and five state championship teams (four unofficial and one official). His 1935 undefeated team outscored opponents 250-12. His 1944 team set a standard which is believed to be unequaled in U.S. high school football history -- it went the entire season without giving up a single point, outscoring opponents 79-0 in five games. In 1947 Hunting was named Minnesota’s co-coach of the year in football.

By 1935, as legend has it, football fans at Public Schools’ Stadium would say, as the team approached the field, “Here comes Hunting’s Hunters!” The name was quickly adopted as the school's official nickname.

In 1939, Hunting took over Denfeld’s losing basketball program, and was 14-4 in his first season as head coach. In 1948, he took over as head golf coach, leading Denfeld to its first district golf championship. In 1950, he became head baseball coach, leading the team to its only state baseball championship.

A tribute to Hunting from his players, fans and community at the silver anniversary of his coaching career in 1952 read: "It isn't the championships won that make Walt Hunting great. The boys who have played for him learned more than a game -- they learned honesty, integrity and sportsmanship. Nobody could possibly be associated with Walt Hunting and not be better for it because he symbolizes everything great about America."

In 1956, Hunting retired from coaching and his position of assistant principle at Denfeld. He died the next year of lung cancer.

Hall of Fame Members