Can You Name the Only LSU Football Coach With a Perfect Record?
In the history of its storied program, Louisiana State University has had - officially - 32 head football coaches. The list starts in the late 19th century with Charles Coates (0-1) and continues all the way to present day and the soon-to-be-departing Ed Orgeron (48-18 so far). One man, Charley McClendon, led the Tigers into hundreds of games (203), while another, Bo Rein, died before he ever coached a single game.
But there's one - and only one - coach in all of LSU's 128 seasons with a perfect record. And in the LSU football annals, he's not even listed as an "official" head coach. His name is Hal Hunter. And Hal was perfect: One win, no losses, no ties.
Here's the Hal Hunter Story
The 1999 LSU Tigers were pretty bad. So bad, in fact, that they make this year's Tigers look like national champs. That team, coached by Gerry DiNardo, was a season long disappointment and the once beloved DiNardo didn't make it to the end of the year, getting his walking papers after the Tigers fell 20-7 to Houston.
At that point the LSU was 2-8 with a single game left on the schedule, a home finale against nationally ranked Arkansas. Both the administration and fans wanted the season done, so they could get on with the serious work of finding the next head coach. But what to do about Arkansas?
Hal Hunter came to LSU in 1995 as Offensive Line Coach and at the start of the '99 season, DiNardo promoted him to Assistant Head Coach. And now, with DiNardo out the door, Tigers longtime Athletic Director Joe Dean turned to Hunter.
And did Hunter ever do the job.
One game, one win. And what a win it was.
The Tigers, behind a pair of TD passes from quarterback Rohan Davey, stunned the #17 ranked Razorbacks by a score of 35-10. And Hal Hunter had his win. His one and only.
With the arrival of Nick Saban the next season, Hunter (and the rest of the DiNardo crew) were gone. But LSU's only unbeaten, untied coach spent another two decades in the game and mostly at the NFL level. The Pennsylvania native, now 62, retired after the spending 2018-19 season with the New York Giants.
So, when you look at the list of LSU coaches and see #29 Gerry DiNardo, then #30 Nick Saban, take a closer look at the name between. It's the coach with the "I" (for interim) next to his name. It's Hal Hunter, LSU's only coach with a perfect record.