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Brother duo brings expertise to football field through playing, coaching

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VANN HUNT

In the span of just one year, Vann and Quinten Hunt entered the Allegheny football program, both under very different circumstances.

After a distinguished college career at Wabash College, Vann Hunt shifted his focus from playing to coaching. He found his way back to the NCAC in 2017 when he joined the Gator football staff. He now coaches Allegheny wide receivers and special teams and serves as recruitment coordinator.

“The thing that I think’s special about the NCAC is the blend it has of academics and athletics,” Coach Hunt said. “There’s a lot of places that throw around the words ‘student-athlete,’ but the NCAC is a place where it’s really meant … It’s pretty special to just be involved with some of those places.”

Less than a year after Coach Hunt began his employment, his younger brother Quinten transferred from Mesa Community College in Arizona after two years in junior college and a year in Division 1-AA football. His reasons for choosing the NCAC were similar to that of his brother’s.

QUENTIN HUNT

“The drawing part to me was the football aspect, being able to come out here and play football, something I love to do,” Quinten said. “And on top of that, the academic aspect of it being a really good school.”

Both brothers arrived in Meadville with impressive athletic resumes. Quinten originally played Division I football for South Dakota State, a powerhouse FCS ranked third in the nation as of October 2018.

“I had a few Division I offers for offense and some for defense,” Quinten said. “And I decided to go with the offensive ones.”

Quinten played wide receiver for the South Dakota Jackrabbits, but after one season he realized both the school and that side of the ball was not for him. After spending a couple years in his home state Arizona at Mesa Community College, he transferred to Allegheny and began the difficult transition from offense to defense.

“Defense is just a brand new switch for me,” Quinten said. “This is the first time I’ve played at this position since I was a sophomore in high school.”

Hunt appears to be adjusting well to the defensive game for the Gators. Through seven games, Quinten is second on the team in solo tackles, with 20, and leads the team in interceptions, with 3. He cited the vicious intensity of Sean Taylor, the Washington Redskins safety who was murdered in 2007, as one of his defensive back inspirations that helped him improve as a defender.

Coach Hunt made the opposite transition while attending NCAC school Wabash College. After making the switch from defensive secondary to running back, Hunt earned all-NCAC honors and a conference championship in 2011. But now as a coach for the Gators, he’s found that not playing can be just as stressful than being on the field.

“One of the biggest (adjustments) is probably just not being the person that, at the end of day, is able to make the play,” Coach Hunt said. “You don’t actually get to be the one physically out there on the field making the play happen or not happen … you just gotta trust (your players) to go out and execute.”

Quinten and Vann may be brothers, but on the field it is all business.

“They’re pretty professional about it,” said defensive back Karol Vargas,’19. “If you were to see how they interact on the football field you couldn’t tell that they were brothers.”

This professionalism is no accident. With a family member on the coaching staff, Quinten felt the extra need to prove to his teammates that he belonged since day one.

“Obviously the guys knew I was (Coach Hunt’s) brother, so a few of them weren’t sure how to feel about me just coming in without proving myself,” Quinten said. “But after our first game … I had three or four guys on the team come up to me and say, ‘I really respect you now,’ because they weren’t sure what kind of effort I would put in or what kind of person I would be.”

Quinten’s ability and drive may have been a surprise to some players, but not to his older brother.

“When we were younger, even when (my friends and I) were like 12 and he was six years old, he would always come play football or basketball and he was always better than a lot of my friends,” Coach Hunt said. “When you play football as a kid, you usually don’t want your little brother on your team, but with Quinten we’d be like, ‘No, no, he can be on mine.’ ”

Safe to say that whatever the coming seasons hold, Gator fans are going to want both Hunt brothers on their football team for years to come.

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Brother duo brings expertise to football field through playing, coaching