For his outstanding contributions as an elementary physical education teacher, Norman is recognized on the Donors’ Wall of Fame by his mother and father, Hazel and Claude Hunt, his brother, Marvin Hunt and his wife, Terrie, and their three children, Aaron, Nathan, and Ashlee of Emporia, Kansas.
Norman Hunt was a teacher for twenty-eight years. During this time he taught in schools such as Williamsburg, Kansas; Mulvane, Kansas; Emporia, Kansas; and Americus, Kansas. Norman made a decision after high school to attend college at Emporia State and study education. His passion for physical education, however, began very early and remained with him throughout his life. Although he formally began teaching in schools in 1973, his coaching and teaching career began long before that date.
The definition of a teacher’s or coach’s role may be found in any number of academic papers. Yet Norman defined teaching and coaching on his own terms–naturally and almost without concern for definitions by academics or other educational standards. It simply addresses the fact that coaching, to Norman, was part of his very being. His younger brother noted, “Norman planted the seeds of passion for football within me when I was a child. We would line up bales of hay as defenders. Then he would throw the football hundreds of times while I would avoid these ‘defenders’ prior to catching the ball, or I’d catch the ball only to slam into them immediately. These were happy times for us.”
Norman was a good athlete himself. He was a starting tackle on his high school football team in Eskridge, Kansas, through most of his four years there. He viewed life through a lense powered by athletic training and coaching. This view motivated him to continue training activities throughout his life. Norman ran or walked many miles ever year; lifted weights; coached his children; documented with great detail, statistical records of the team he coached as well as his own training activities; and attended countless athletic events in his spare time.
Norman’s family has accomplished much in the realm of athletics. His children’s achievements stand as a testimony to his abilities. His oldest son, Aaron, played football as a red shirted freshmen at KU, then started at ESU in 2001. His next son, Nathan, received a black belt in Tai Kwon Do as a fifth grader and started as a lineman in football at Emporia High School. His daughter, Ashlee, has become a solid athlete in basketball, javelin, and on the tennis courts at Emporia High School.
A brief description of Norman’s special abilities can only be that-brief and incomplete. By knowing Norman as a man, husband, and father, we know that he accomplished much more in life than being a good coach or a committed teacher for twenty-eight years. One day in 1980, Norman claimed Matthew 19:27, “we have forsake all, and followed thee.” He made a commitment of faith and trust in his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. His wife and children each since have made that same commitment. It is because of the blessed hope of a reunion one day that we can continue. It would be his prayer as well that each of you would consider the same decision. One of his favorite verses was II Timothy 4:7-8, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
Norman Hunt’s family greatly appreciates all who take a moment to read about his life as an educator and a great man.