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