Hocking represented Victoria on numerous occasions in the State of Origin series and played in four losing Grand Final sides (1989, 1992, 1994, 1995).
Hocking was considered unlucky not to win the Brownlow Medal, due to his many close finishes, finishing amongst the top three vote-getters on four occasions, although twice as an ineligible player. Hocking's consistency over a period was recognised by the club in 1995 when after former-captain Bairstow's departure at the end of 1994, Hocking was given the captaincy role for the 1995 season. However early in the season, he stated his intentions to give up the captaincy to concentrate purely on playing. The role would be shared between three players; Ken Hinkley, Barry Stoneham and Gary Ablett.
Hocking's tenacity, hardness, consistency and quality was rewarded in 2001 when he was named ruck-rover in Geelong's Team of the Century; a great honour given the fact there have been other quality ruck-rovers in Geelong's history.
In the late 1990s (1999) Hocking was part of a promotion with cat-food company Whiskas, where for a short period of time he changed his name by deed-poll to "Whiskas". He announced this on The Footy Show. This was to help lessen the financial burden that the Geelong Football Club was facing at the time.
Hocking retired at the end of the 2001 AFL season after playing 274 games, which at the time was the third highest amount of games for Geelong. He was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame on 8 March 2008.
After his playing career, which ended in 2001, Hocking moved into coaching. In 2005, he coached Peel Thunder Football Club in the WAFL, a team which was struggling and managed to win just 4 games for the year in 2005. In one match, Hocking employed a tactic where every player on the Peel team was stationed in defense for a centre-bounce. Known as a "full-flood", this was viewed as a farcical situation, and one that Hocking wanted to use with his team down by a massive margin. Hocking has promised never to use the tactic again, and has said that in this one instance, it was appropriate for the circumstance.
At the end of the 2009 AFL season, Hocking joined the coaching staff at Port Adelaide. On 6 August 2012, he was appointed caretaker coach for the remainder of the 2012 season after Matthew Primus was sacked. On October 4, 2013, Hocking was announced as the SANFL senior coach of Port Adelaide, a position he held in 2014 and 2015 before returning to be an assistant coach at Port Adelaide's AFL squad.