New Broomfield chief executive no stranger to career changes
Gary Hunter left a career in law for a college athletic department, a switch that has led to many other opportunities in sports. Hunter, formerly the commissioner of the CBA, is helping to launch a new team in the NBA Development League, as well as an expansion hockey team, and opening a new arena in Broomfield, CO.
New title: President and chief executive officer, Broomfield Sports and Entertainment
Previous title: Commissioner, Continental Basketball Association
First job: Farm and ranch hand
College education: Bachelor of science, business, University of Kansas (1966); Juris doctorate, law, University of Kansas (1969)
Resides: Fort Collins, CO, with wife Pam, son Shawn, daughter Shannon Short and five grandchildren
Grew up: Council Grove, Kan.
Executive most admired: Philip Anschutz
Brand most admired: Disney
Favorite vacation spot: Mountains of Colorado and Idaho
Last book read: “The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century” by Thomas L. Friedman
What will be the biggest challenge in your new position?
Before November we must staff, market, promote and oversee the construction of a new arena and do the same for our new expansion teams in the Central Hockey League and NBA Development League.
What is the biggest risk you’ve taken in your career?
Leaving to become the associate director of athletics at the University of Kansas after practicing law at a litigation firm and being a municipal court judge for 16 years.
What made you want to get into college athletics?
I have participated in and been a fan of sports all my life. I had an opportunity to go back to the University of Kansas and just took a deep breath, closed my eyes and jumped in. I had always dreamed of being in either the collegiate or professional (sports) ranks and this was an opportunity that presented itself, and I went for it after 16 years as a lawyer and judge.
What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
While at the University of Idaho, we were able to attract a number of administrators and coaches that have gone on to highly successful careers (including Michigan State football coach John L. Smith), and we are really proud of that.
What is one story you are continuing to watch in sports today?
There are two stories: the rapid impact that technology has had on the way we administer, market and promote our business. And two, the influence that foreign nations are having on our industry. The world is getting flatter in the sports and entertainment business. I think it is inevitable that all our sports will be influenced by foreign nations and eventually we might have foreign divisions in sports.
This career spotlight is courtesy of the SportsBusiness Journal. CLICK HERE to visit their official website.