The journalism community and readers of the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star News and our sisters papers in the Southern California Newspaper Group lost one of its best with the passing of Steve Hunt on Tuesday. He was 64.
Hunt worked 45 years in the newspaper business and did it all. He was the President and Publisher of the Daily Press in Victorville when he passed, but local readers remember him for his many years of contributions, especially in high school sports.
Hunt penned his goodbye column in 2014 after 40 years with our newspaper group, most of it spent with the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Hunt became the prep editor at the Tribune in 1988 after 14 years with the Star-News and immediately his legend started grow with his unmatched work ethic and relationships with players and coaches.
When the local community learned of Hunt’s passing, the outpouring of support and tribute’s on social media, from former colleagues, coaches and players all helped explain a life that meant so much to so many.
Here are a few of the tributes as well as local coaches and players reaction from his days with the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, where he spent 25 years sharing your stories and inspiring those who knew him.
Damien basketball coach Mike Leduc, whom Hunt covered during the glory days of LeDuc and Glendora basketball in the late 80s and early 90s.
“I know he really cared a lot about high school athletics. He was about being positive, being fair and he worked really hard,” LeDuc said. “He was always receptive to a phone call. Back then you had to call Steve or you would see him in person, that’s how it worked.
“There was no social media, and what I remember about Steve is beyond all the talk about basketball or what have you, he generally cared about people. He cared about the kids he wrote about. That’s that first thing that comes to my mind thinking about Steve.
“I remember him as a young reporter and he had a lot of energy, he worked as hard as you could and he was just positive. I get frustrated with all the negative news today and the thing about Steve is he didn’t take the low road. He was always about being positive.”
Fred Claire, former Dodgers General Manager
“Steve was a true professional and always a pleasure to work with during my time with the Dodgers,” Claire wrote. Steve treated the smallest high school and the largest pro teams with the same dedication and respect.”
RIP to the first sports reporter to interview and write a feature article on me in the SGV Tribune me back in 1992. Thanks for always showing me and all the local athletes love. Your column was always insightful and a joy to read. You will be missed. 🙏🏽 https://t.co/qUgF85xWK1
— WILLHANS ILI (@willhansili) August 29, 2019
Don Lugo football coach Greg Gano, who remembers Hunt when he started his career in the San Gabriel Valley with Northview and Los Altos.
“What I loved most about the Steve Hunt days at the Tribune is they would call you, invite you down for all-area pictures and Steve and everyone always made you feel so welcome, Gano recalled. “It was so personal and just a great relationship between the newspaper, your reporters and it was a great time and nobody did it quite like Steve.
“Yes, he was a great writer and he did so much for so many, but you just talk to Steve a couple times and you know what a great person he was, and how fair he was. He was deeper than a sports page and he made those years of high school sports some of the most memorable ever.” –
When I first started as a teenager he was the managing editor. At the time I was like, “Damn, a sports editor now runs the entire newsroom?!” I finally got to work for him when he hired me as the @PasStarNews preps editor. He knew how to light a fire in ya w/o raising his voice.
— Miguel Melendez (@MelendezTMZ) August 28, 2019
Steve has always been a great friend and has always been a great co-worker. I’ve known him for 40 years (long before joining SGVT/PSN/WDN). Enjoyed his wit, love of music and his ethics. An icon among San Gabriel preps. Truly an inspiration for many. https://t.co/K9RvxzJkSq
— Keith Lair (@KeithLLair) August 28, 2019
Glendora basketball legend Tracy Murray, who later when on to play at UCLA and in the NBA and also with the Lakers.
“I met Steve when he was with the Star-news when he was covering Muir, Stacy Augmon and those guys, and we just started a relationship,” Murray said. “It built from there. It became a friendship. He was somebody you could trust that would tell the story and how you said it.”
Murray talked about the relationship between reporters and athletes back then.
“There was so much trust between both. It use to be the reporters and beat guys would get to know each other on a personal level, could go out and have drinks and you would hang out socially and you didn’t have to worry about anything coming out. Those were the good old days when reporters and athletes trusted each other.
“Steve was just fair, and he was good and he loved what he did. But he wasn’t just close to me, he was close to my dad and my family and this is just very hard to digest because my friend just passed away.”
Charter Oak football coach Lou Farrar, who has been coaching for nearly 50 years.
“Steve was a beginning reporter when I first met him, Farrar wrote. “And I learned from the first time he interviewed me that I could trust him. I watched him grow into the prep editor and beyond, and he did a great job as a leader too. But more than a talent, Steve continued to be a friend and I’m going to miss that friendship a great deal.”
Steve gave me my start in this business 28 years ago, almost to the day. I can’t thank him enough. He was one of the hardest-working journalists I’ve known. That’s why he climbed the ladder the way he did. RIP, my friend. See you again one day. #RestInPeace https://t.co/sAjtJfeEx6
— Robert Morales (@RMoralesPT) August 28, 2019
A quiet, dignified man with a sly sense of humor. A newspaperman through and through. I’m a better writer, editor and person for having met him. https://t.co/v7nIYGc4z5
— Edward Barrera (@edwardbarrera) August 28, 2019
A lot of people – present company included – owe a lot to Steve, who above all believed in you and made anything seem possible. Rest easy. https://t.co/Li3zlQ3UlS
— Gabe Lacques (@GabeLacques) August 28, 2019
Bonita football coach Steve Bogan, who met Hunt during his glory days at South Hills.
“Steve was straight up and honest,” Bogan remembered. “He worked hard at getting high school sports in the arena when there wasn’t social media to do it. He worked.
“He worked as hard as anyone and that was obvious, but he was also fair and made sure he that whatever he wrote, he got it right. He was a win-win type of guy. He wrote during a time when newspapers were at their peak and he did it as well as anyone.”
Steve was one of the good ones and I owe him much in helping start me on my path in sports journalism. For that, I will be forever indebted. RIP https://t.co/kXuyhbcvVw
— Jim Barrero (@jimbarrero) August 28, 2019
You all knew him better than I, but working with him for a little while in West Covina showed me what a class act he was. Great listener, calming presence, clever sense of humor. And he got things done. One of the good guys. Condolences to his family and friends.
— Brian Martin (@TheBMartin) August 28, 2019
— Keith Birmingham (@photowkb) August 28, 2019
It’s a sad day. Steve was our mentor and friend. Whenever my career took a turn up, Steve was there. He hired me as a freelancer in 1989, promoted f-time to the desk in 97, picked me to be Trib prep editor in 2000 and CFB writer in 09. I wouldn’t b here w/o him. RIP https://t.co/mlKbKbV3G0
— Steve Ramirez (@SteveRRamirez) August 28, 2019
Steve hired me at SGVN and allowed me to have a career. He was a gentleman and a true believer in the importance of community news. Gone too soon.
— kevenchavez (@kevendc) August 28, 2019
Steve gave me my start as a reporter for the @SGVTribune & took a chance on me w/ my first promotion to digital editor. He was a mentor who went out of his way to let you know he had faith in you. He treated you w/ respect, rarely raised his voice & was passionate about his work. https://t.co/B0mb2RCMV8
— Daniel Tedford (@dgtedford) August 28, 2019
Huge loss……was a great writer and an even better person. Couldn’t thank him enough for the support and many articles he wrote during my times as a HS student athlete. RIP 🙏🏾
— Daylon McCutcheon (@DMcCutcheon33) August 28, 2019
I’m heartbroken. Steve Hunt took a chance & believed in a college burnout by offering him his first full-time journalism job. Steve provided validation and confidence when I needed it. I will always be grateful he was in my life. Thank you for everything. RIP. https://t.co/KpRzfAp5qv
— Andrew J. Campa (@campadresports) August 28, 2019
Totally devastated by this news, as many of us are today. It was an honor to work for Steve Hunt. It was an even bigger honor to be his friend. Absolute legend. https://t.co/4unhmRJ48Z
— Aram Tolegian (@ChemicalAT) August 28, 2019
Very sad to hear this news. Steve Hunt gave me so many opportunities early in my career as a stringer and answering phones late at night at the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. I was extremely fortunate to learn from him. https://t.co/ZcsGyNAu1V
— Steve Virgen (@SteveVirgen) August 28, 2019
— Frank Girardot (@FrankGirardot) August 28, 2019
Steve was my boss for a few years. More than that, a friend and a gem of a man. He was talented, caring & generous. He cared for people not just in word, but in action. We’ve lost a good man & I consider myself blessed to have had the privilege of knowing and working with Steve. pic.twitter.com/jVgZmXXMmC
— Grace (@GraceReaza) August 28, 2019
— Daily Press (@VVDailyPress) August 29, 2019
— Rep. Paul Cook (@RepPaulCook) August 29, 2019
— Martin Estacio (@DP_mestacio) August 28, 2019
When I talked news with Steve Hunt he always had a smirk like he completely understood why stories were important. It gave me the confidence to pursue certain stories and made me a better journalist for it. For you Steve 🍺 https://t.co/NO5Hi0AjGq
— Garrett Bergthold (@DP_Garrett) August 29, 2019
Steve Hunt was a hell of an editor and a fine human being. He helped launch countless journalism careers, including mine. He was a man of integrity and principle. Godspeed, Mr. Hunt. You will be missed.
— Brian Day (@TheNewsBrian) August 29, 2019
I never met Steve Hunt, but living in the SGV all my life, I felt like I knew him. I followed and admired his work for many years. He was highly principled, set and demanded accurate reporting standards and laid a foundation for prep sports coverage that continues to thrive.
— Fred Robledo (@oneputteagle) August 28, 2019
Steve Hunt and Doug Spoon vetted me out for my first job at the Tribune in 2001. Without him, I don’t know where the hell I would be today. He was our personal GPS back in the day at the Tribune. Those were magical years at the Trib. Heavy hearts today. #rip https://t.co/KqaX43GOmV
— James Escarcega (@James_Escarcega) August 28, 2019