Merton Hanks

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Merton Hanks
No. 36
Position: Safety
Personal information
Date of birth: (1968-03-12) March 12, 1968 (age 47)
Place of birth: Dallas, Texas
Career information
College: Iowa
NFL draft: 1991 / Round: 5 / Pick: 122
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Tackles: 445
Interceptions: 33
INT yards: 410
Touchdowns: 3
Stats at
Stats at

Merton Edward Hanks (born March 12, 1968) is a former college and professional football player who was a safety in the National Football League (NFL) for nine seasons during the 1990s.[1] He is currently the NFL Vice President of Operations.

College career[edit]

Hanks attended Lake Highlands High School, where he was a district track and field champion. He went on to the University of Iowa, earning all-Big Ten honors at cornerback. However, at the NFL scouting combine, his 40-yard dashes were extremely slow, and he was not drafted until the fifth round by the San Francisco 49ers.

Professional career[edit]

Despite his low selection, Hanks was selected for 4 Pro Bowl and 3 All-Pro teams. He was well known for his interceptions and returns, as well as his unique "pigeon dance" celebrations which were later emulated by basketball star Shaquille O'Neal.[2][3] He was a member of the 1994 San Francisco team that won Super Bowl XXIX. Hanks finished his career with the Seattle Seahawks, retiring in 1999.

Executive career[edit]

Hanks was previously the assistant director of operations for the National Football League, and he currently is the NFL Vice President of Operations in charge of player conduct.[4] He regularly goes on speaking tours.[5]


  1. ^ "Merton Hanks". National Football League. Retrieved December 31, 2010. 
  2. ^ Gwen Knapp (December 21, 1997). "Dances with Hanks". Retrieved October 16, 2011. 
  3. ^ Phil Taylor (December 1, 1997). "Basketball Jones". Retrieved October 16, 2011. 
  4. ^ Smith, Michael David (October 19, 2013). "Merton Hanks: I fined Ndamukong Suh to get his attention". Pro Football Talk. NBC Sports. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  5. ^ "Where are they now? Merton Hanks". Hawkeye Sports. October 9, 2008. Retrieved December 31, 2010.