Dr. Virginia “Ginny” Hunt

Dr. Virginia “Ginny” Hunt

Dr. Virginia “Ginny” Hunt

Iowa City

Dr. Virginia “Ginny” Hunt, 86, of Iowa City, Iowa; former Women’s Athletic director at Montana State University died Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.

Virginia Hunt was born Dec. 3, 1935, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the daughter of Reid and Virginia (Gordon) Hunt. Growing up in Tipton, Iowa, she attended schools here where she graduated from high school. During her senior year, she had one of those life-changing moments that would influence her life and career for the rest of her life. Basically, being told young women couldn’t participate in competitive sports because it would harm them for childbearing in years to come. Following graduation, she traveled a short distance to attend the State University of Iowa in Iowa City. While attending, she was a member of the Pi Beta Phi and the Scottish Highlanders. Graduating from the University with a degree in political science and physical education, later returning to receive her master’s degree in physical education. She decided that her mission in life was to teach and coach so that women could play and excel in competitive sports.

Her first teaching/coaching position was at Oberlin College in Ohio. From here, she was asked to join the faculty of Wooster College, Wooster, Ohio. During her 13 years here, she taught and coached field hockey, volleyball and golf. But also involved in organizing and encouraging women’s athletics programs and tournaments throughout Ohio and the Midwest. She then started work on her doctorate, an Ed.D in educational administration, knowing that she could do so much more to advance women’s athletics with this. A short stay at the University of Michigan as Associate Director of Athletics allowed her to understand that the recent enacted Title IX laws banning sex discrimination at any institutions was going to be an uphill battle that she would spend the rest of her career achieving for women. She applied for the position of director of Athletics at Montana State University in 1977, and was offered the position starting Sept. 1, 1977. By her own words, she had just started the best job, with the best coaches living in one of the best parts of the country!

Not only did she contribute, teach, coach and take the Wooster University Program to nationwide recognition; she also worked hard on the national level through the AIAW (women’s counterpart to the NCAA) and the U.S Olympic Committee. Again receiving numerous awards and recognitions. Women’s athletics in the United States advanced through the hard work of many women like Dr. Ginny Hunt. Ginny made many friends along the way and most of them were lifetime friends. In retirement, she would spend time visiting these dear friends all across the United States.

Ginny’s family includes two siblings, Nancy Ryden and Pete Hunt (Nancy Noyer); sister-in-law, Angela Hunt; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; brother, James Hunt; and brother-in-law, Rex Ryden.

Celebration of Ginny’s life will be held at a later date to be announced. Memorial donations can be made in her memory to Montana State University – Department of Women’s Athletics. To share a thought, memory or condolence, please visit Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service website at www.gayandciha.com.

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