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5 Questions with UVU men's basketball coach Dick Hunsaker

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 2 2015 11:07 a.m. MDT

Utah Valley University men's head basketball coach Dick Hunsaker talks with his team during a timeout in a game earlier this season.    (Ben Brewer, Deseret News) Utah Valley University men's head basketball coach Dick Hunsaker talks with his team during a timeout in a game earlier this season. (Ben Brewer, Deseret News)

Q: What is the most memorable win or winning streak of the 200 in your career?

A: You know, it's tough to top the Pac-12 wins against Arizona State and Oregon State. Those are awful special.

Q: Does having your son Holton on the team add to milestones like this?

A: I've never planned to coach my sons and never did when they were growing up on youth activities and sports and never thought of coaching Holton. As it worked out, he's here and he's a very good player. I've really enjoyed watching him progress as a player and a young man, but there are a lot of times I'd actually just like to be his father than his coach.

Q: From the outside looking in over the past few years, it appears that despite the frustrations at times and the high emotions, your players are loyal to each other and to you. How have you been able to bring different personalities together over the years?

A: Work ethic. I think anyone that truly puts a good day of work in and puts out a good effort gains self-esteem and self-respect and confidence. I do coach with an expectation and a demand, and the competitive kids I've coached over the years have really embraced it. It may take a little time to understand and realize that this is how you are going to improve and get better, but I've always said I don't know how a player will get better unless they are taught and instructed and corrected.

Q: What is the most important aspect of coaching you learned as an assistant to the late Rick Majerus?

A: It's really difficult to pick one thing I learned from Rick. I'd say the game plan preparation has been an important addition philosophically, certainly a mainstay and a cornerstone now.

Q: What has been the most challenging transition you've had to make in your career, whether as a coach or as a player?

A: We've had a number of difficult transitions, probably none greater than the scenario I've experienced in the shadow of coach Majerus. Taking over as head coach at Ball State at the age of 34 and then when he stepped away in the 2000-2001 season after a game or two at Utah with extremely high expectations and an inexperienced team, that was quite a challenge to put a season together. Just the uncertainty with him returning — not returning — to the team that occurred probably three or four times, four or five times actually, that was quite a difficult challenge. And probably the most fun and rewarding times have been as the coach at Utah Valley University.

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