Former NFL Star Credits Parenting Team with Wife
By Rodney Campbell
One 2022 Father of the Year recipient owes much of his success to the women in his life.
Former University of Arizona All-American and Arizona Health owner LaMonte Hunley was greatly influenced by his mother and three older sisters – strong female role models who made sure he stayed on the right track while growing up in Petersburg, Va., a small community with limited options for young people.
“Women were always my guiding light and influence. They have always had a great impact on my life,” Hunley said. “My mom was a mother and father to me. My sisters made sure everyone was taken care of.”
It’s no surprise that Hunley and his wife of 31 years, Stephanie, have two daughters who are both successful women. Kendra, 30, and Devyn, 27.
Kendra earned her undergraduate degree from UArizona and master’s from Grand Canyon University. Kendra works for Progress Residential as a recruiting coordinator. Devyn played soccer and earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Texas at El Paso and master’s at ASU. Devyn works for Zanes Law
“My oldest daughter has a lot of similarities to me,” Hunley said. “We both have strong compassion for people. We want to nurture people. (Both daughters) have pieces of me.” Hunley added that Devyn has his competitive gene.
Stephanie Hunley, who LaMonte calls “my everything, my foundation,” is a retired fourth-grade school teacher with the Tucson Unified School District. The Hunleys stressed the importance of education and self-sufficiency while raising their daughters.
“Both my wife and I are very proud of them,” he said. “We tried to raise our kids to become independent. There’s a big difference between how the world treats men and women.”
Hunley grew up with nine siblings. His mother, Scarlett, had her hands full, but she was up to the challenge. Her guidance helped lead Hunley and his older brother, Ricky, to successful football careers at the UArizona and later, the NFL. LaMonte played three seasons for the Indianapolis Colts and one for the Miami Dolphins. Ricky spent seven years in the league as a member of the Denver Broncos, Phoenix Cardinals and Los Angeles Raiders.
“My mom taught us to listen before we opened our mouths,” LaMonte said. “We were gifted with two ears to listen and one mouth to speak.”
The Hunley kids still had their say. Scarlett didn’t believe in making decisions by herself when the whole family would feel the impact.
“That’s the thing about growing up around my family – we always did things as a group,” LaMonte said. “Whether it was family or personal, my mom would gather us to make a decision.”
Hunley said playing sports as a youngster and coming from a large family gave him the perspective he needed when he became a parent. Both require teamwork whether on the football field or at home sharing what the family had with six brothers and three sisters.
“There’s no room to be selfish when you’re part of a team,” he said. “You’re dividing yourself from everyone else. Being around sports allowed me to be the man I am today. I’m never going to think about myself before someone else. If I let my team down, then everyone suffers.
“I apply the same philosophy at my company and the Tucson community.”
Hunley’s family and friends made it a special occasion when they let him know about his Father of the Year honor. His two daughters came to Tucson to head up the entourage that gathered at Arizona Health to spring the surprise on him.
“I saw a flock of people coming down the hall with my daughters and wife leading the way,” he said. “They had balloons and I knew it wasn’t my birthday. They then gathered in my office and let me know the reason they were there. My mom and sisters were on the phone through FaceTime. I was speechless and very honored.”
Pictured above from left – Kendra Hunley, Devyn Hunley, LaMonte Hunley and Stephanie Hunley