Legendary Coach Sue Gunter Dies
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- Sue Gunter, the Hall of Fame women's basketball coach who ranks fourth in all-time victories, died Thursday. She was 66.
LSU said Gunter, who had suffered from emphysema, died at her home in Baton Rouge.
Gunter had a career record of 708-308, including a 442-221 mark in 22 seasons at LSU. She was not credited for two years at Middle Tennessee, when her teams were 44-0, or her first four years at Stephen F. Austin, because official records were never turned over to the NCAA.
Even with the six missing years, Gunter ranked third in wins and games coached and fourth in 20-win seasons (21). Among women's college coaches, only Tennessee's Pat Summitt, Texas' Jody Conradt and Rutgers' C.Vivian Stringer have more victories than Gunter.
Gunter went on medical leave during the 2003-04 season, and watched as protege Pokey Chatman led the Lady Tigers to their first Final Four. Gunter, tethered to an oxygen tank, continued to attend practices and film sessions for the rest of the season, but was unable to be at games.
She watched the games from the team hotel. She retired at the end of the season.
After retirement Gunter was forced to limit her activities because of the illness. She watched all the LSU games on television, however, including their Final Four run in 2005 when she was hospitalized with pneumonia.
Gunter, who was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000, was voted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005.
A smoker for more than 30 years, Gunter quit the habit in 1994. She had a variety of respiratory problems during childhood, however, and thought that might have predisposed her to emphysema.
In 1980, Gunter was selected as the women's basketball coach for the United States Olympic team. She guided the team to the title at the Olympic qualifying tournament before the Olympics, but did not get to compete in the games because of a United States boycott.
Gunter was an assistant coach on the 1976 U.S. team which captured the silver medal in Montreal. She served as coach of the U.S. National Team in 1976, 1978 and 1980.
Gunter played on the 1960-62 U.S. teams that competed against the Soviet Union.