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John W. Hancock (April 13, 1901 in Marshfield, Wisconsin – 1993) was a Hall of Fame wrestling coach at the University of Northern Colorado. He was also an All-American football player for the University of Iowa from 1922–1924 and a college football coach at Mississippi State University.

Playing careerEdit

John Hancock played football at the University of Iowa from 1922-1924. He played a significant role on Iowa’s 1922 Big Ten championship team.[1] As a senior, Hancock played both the tackle and end positions and kicked five field goals for the Hawkeyes.[2] He was named all-Big Ten and a second team All-American after the 1924 season. He also won three letters in track with the Hawkeyes, capturing a title in the discus event at the 1925 Big Ten championships.[3]

Coaching careerEdit

Hancock went into college coaching after graduation. He coached Mississippi State football for three years from 1927-1929. He went to the University of Northern Colorado in 1932 and began a long coaching career. Hancock served as their athletic director for 34 years and coached football and track for decades as well.

Hancock held the head football coach at Northern Colorado for 20 seasons, from 1932 until 1953. His coaching record at Northern Colorado was 77 wins, 78 losses and 5 ties and in 1950 he led his team to the Bean Bowl.[4] As of the conclusion of the 2012 season, this ranks him #3 at Northern Colorado in total wins and #4 at the school in winning percentage (.497).[5]

John Hancock is best known as a college wrestling coach at Northern Colorado. He originated the Mountain Intercollegiate Wrestling Association and proceeded to lead UNC to 30 consecutive conference championships. He served on the NCAA rules committee for 16 years and chaired it in 1962-63.[6]

Hancock has been nicknamed “the father of Colorado high school wrestling”.[7] He helped start the Colorado High School Wrestling Tournament in Greeley in 1936 by going door-to-door in the community to find families that could house the visiting high school wrestlers.[8] Two of his sons became well-known wrestling coaches as well.

HonorsEdit

John Hancock was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1998. The Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion at the University of Northern Colorado was named in honor of John W. Hancock and Pete Butler, former UNC baseball coach.[9]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Hawkeye Greats, By the Numbers, by Lyle Hammes and Neal Rozendaal, Page 133 (ISBN 1-426-94303-2)
  2. Hawkeye Legends, Lists, & Lore, by Mike Finn & Chad Leistikow, Page 40 (ISBN 1-57167-178-1)
  3. Hawkeye Greats, By the Numbers, by Lyle Hammes and Neal Rozendaal, Page 133 (ISBN 1-426-94303-2)
  4. DeLassus, David. "Northern Colorado Bowl History". College Football Data Warehouse. http://www.cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/div_iaa/bigsky/northern_colorado/bowl_history.php. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
  5. DeLassus, David. "Northern Colorado Bears Records By Year". College Football Data Warehouse. http://www.cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/div_iaa/bigsky/northern_colorado/coaching_records.php. Retrieved April 24, 2013.
  6. Wrestling Hall of Fame bio
  7. Hawkeye Greats, By the Numbers, by Lyle Hammes and Neal Rozendaal, Page 133 (ISBN 1-426-94303-2)
  8. Hancock bio
  9. Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion

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