Our Dad, known to most as simply “Dr. Lunt”, was called home to his Heavenly Father and eternal companion on January 31, 2018.
Dad was born the second of three children to Willard H. and Inez (Knell) Lunt on October 5, 1936, having been raised in Cedar City, Utah. Dad graduated from Cedar High School in 1953. He spent many of his summers working for Bryce Canyon Lodge where he developed a great love for our local national parks.
While attending school at the College of Southern Utah (SUU), Dad courted his sweetheart, Sherrill Hunter from Fillmore, Utah. “Steve and Sherrill” were sealed in the St. George, Utah Temple on September 6, 1957.
Following completion of his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Education from Utah State University, Dad accepted a coaching and teaching position at Kanab High School, Utah where he coached football and track & field, and taught mathematics and biology. He led the ‘Cowboys’ to Region Championships in 1963 and 1964 before accepting a coaching and teaching position in 1965 at the College of Southern Utah in his hometown of Cedar City (later Southern Utah State College and currently Southern Utah University). During his 53 years at SUU, Dad functioned in many positions and was instrumental in guiding SUU from an NAIA college to an NCAA Division I university. Early in his tenure, Dad was an assistant coach for SUU’s football, baseball, men’s basketball, and wrestling teams. He was also the head track & field coach, and head athletic trainer. However, first and foremost, Dad was a leader, teacher, mentor, and professor of physical education.
Knowing that progress required a higher level of education, Dad returned to school and earned his Doctorate of Education from Brigham Young University in 1976.
Dr. Lunt was the Athletic Director at SUU for 11 years, and Department Chairman of the Physical Education Department for 21 years. Not to short-change his breadth, Dad served as the liaison between SUU athletics and Utah High School Athletics Association (UHSAA) for 26 years, and Executive Director of Southern Utah Officials Association for 12 years. He co-founded the Utah (Larry H. Miller) Summer Games, and served for over a decade on the Utah Summer Games Board of Trustees. Dad was also proud of his time on the Utah Boxing Commission, serving as Chairman for a year in 1995.
In 1994, Dad was inducted as a member of the UHSAA ‘Circle of Fame.’ In 1995, he was inducted into the Utah High School Officials Association ‘Hall of Fame.’
Despite his many achievements, it was his success as a mentor of students in coaching which provided him his greatest personal reward. Thanks to a sports writer of a Northern Utah newspaper, SUU was tagged “the Coaching Factory”, and it was this opportunity that set his wheels in motion. It has been noted that under his tutelage, 40 percent of all high school coaches in the state of Utah came from his coaching program at SUU. Between 1988 and 2017, SUU’s Coaching Factory had produced 593 state titles, and 432 state runners-up (more than the bigger universities combined). He also produced 18 National Coaches of the Year Honorees.
In 2001, Coach Lunt retired from SUU but remained employed part-time as an assistant to the president for special projects. During this time he continued organizing tournaments and bringing students and teams to Cedar City. He had announced his permanent retirement for June 2018, the only goal at SUU he never achieved.
Dad loved the mountains and would often speak of the day when he would be able to “fully” retire to the east campus and spend his days sitting on the deck of his cabin and fixing the road whenever a rock or tire track roughed his ride.
Dr. Steve Lunt was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was proceeded in death by his wife, Sherrill, of 59 years, and grandson, Kyson Lunt (Rick and Rochelle). Our Father is survived by his three sons Troy (Lori) Lunt, Rick (Rochelle) Lunt, and Kregg (Sandi) Lunt, all of Cedar City, and his daughter Kim (Kade) Fullmer, of Panguitch, Utah. He also leaves behind 15 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren, with two great-grandchildren on the way.
A funeral service will be held on Saturday, February 17, 2018 at 11 a.m., at the YSA Stake Center (61 N 900 W, Cedar City, UT). There will be a viewing on Friday, February 16, 2018 from 6-8 p.m., and again on Saturday, February 17, 2018 from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the YSA Stake Center. Interment will be at Cedar City Cemetery, under the direction of Southern Utah Mortuary. Online condolences can be sent to www.sumortuary.com. In lieu of flowers, we ask that you donate to the Steve and Sherrill Lunt Scholarship at SUU.