The late David Hunt was a successful football coach, a husband and a father. He coached at Calabar where he took the school to three consecutive Manning Cup finals. He was a past student of Kingston College (KC).
David was one of the co-founders of the Meadheaven United Football Club. He first came to Calabar to find a place for his Meadheaven team to train after their home field was closed. After a few months he was approached to take on the job of coaching the Calabar team. He accepted and started the job in April 2004. Thus began a short but very successful stint at Calabar.
Manning Cup title
In 2004 he took the Manning Cup team to the finals where they lost to Excelsior. The following year 2005 the team went two better – winning both the Manning Cup and the Olivier Shield - the symbol of all-island supremacy in schoolboy football.
The school also won the urban and all-island under-16 (Colts) titles under Coach Hunt’s leadership in 2005. In 2006 the team again reached the Manning Cup final but were denied by Bridgeport High.
David was a former General Secretary of the Kingston & St. Andrew Football Association (KSAFA), former General Secretary of the Minor League Football Association, one of Jamaica’s most notable Track and Field Analysts, former Jamaica National Under-17 Football coach, and KC, Calabar, and Meadowbrook High School Manning Cup coach.
It is not widely known that he played competeive chess and represented the island in international tournaments in the 1970’s. It remained a pastime for him all throughout his life.
A strict disciplinarian, “Wagga” understood that football was simply a microcosm of society and that once discipline and unity were shown on the field, they could be manifested in other areas of life. He was considered a great mentor and father by both the coaching staff and the players of his teams.
Even though he did not play Manning Cup for his alma mater Kingston College, Hunt coached for almost 30 years, having started in 1977 with Meadowbrook United.
That team evolved into Meadheaven United and saw much success under Hunt’s guidance. He won several youth titles over the years with this team at the Under-13, Under-15 and Under-17 levels. This led to him being appointed head coach of the Jamaican Under-17 national team. After some encouraging results from some friendlies he became the first Jamaican coach, at any level, to lead a Jamaican team to victory over a United States team. Unfortunately, the young Jamaican team hit a snag at the last hurdle and failed to qualify for the Under-17 World Cup finals.
In October 2007 Coach Hunt suffered a heart attack at home and passed on before medical help could get to him. The national grief triggered by his death is testimony to how highly regarded he had become up to that point. For the Calabar family it meant the period of our greatest football success had come to an abrupt end.
David was much more than merely a coach to his players. He was known to mentor and counsel the boys. For many he was the missing father figure and role model.
In 2009 the Hunt family in collaboration with KC and Calabar inaugurated the David “Wagga” Hunt Scholarship to give assistance to needy and worthy students of Calabar and his alma mater KC.
Since then 12 students of both schools have been provided with cash support for their high school education. Funds are raised from an annual football tournament, usually held in August, and a fundraising ball in New York in January. The next is scheduled for January 17, 2015.
COBA pays tribute to David Hunt for his selfless dedication to football and the young people in his charge. We acknowledge his successes and celebrate his memory.