|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (August 2011)|
His father died when he was a small child and he spent two years in an orphanage. In 1934 he won a scholarship to Charterhouse, where he remained until the onset of World War II in 1939. He spent the war as a captain with the Westminster Dragoons, and was mentioned in dispatches.
From 1946-49 he was a student of classics at University College, Oxford. In 1947 he married Jasmine Holmes, the daughter of his Charterhouse house master. From 1949-52 he was an assistant master at Uppingham School teaching classics. From 1952-59 he was an assistant master at Shrewsbury School teaching classics. From 1960-64 he was Headmaster of St Edmund's School, Canterbury.
From 1964-71, he was Headmaster of Bradfield College. In 1971 he was named Headmaster of Harrow. He headed Harrow at a difficult time for British public schools generally, due to the political environment and financial pressures. Despite sometimes public criticism, Hoban responded with cost-saving measures, whilst refurbishing houses. During his tenure at Harrow, numbers slipped below 700 only three times. He oversaw many important building projects, including the new Central Feeding block; the New Knoll boarding house; and new physics and maths schools. He retired in 1981. 
Hoban died on 6 July 2003, aged 81.