John W. Hancock

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John W. Hancock
Sport(s) Football, basketball, track and field, wrestling
Biographical details
Born (1901-04-13)April 13, 1901
Marshfield, Wisconsin
Died 1993
Playing career
1922–1924 Iowa
Position(s) Tackle, end
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1925–1926 Colorado State Teachers (assistant)
1927–1929 Mississippi A&M
1930–1931 Marquette (assistant)
1932–1953 Colorado State Teachers
1943–1945 Colorado State Teachers
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
1932–1966 Colorado State Teachers
Head coaching record
Overall 85–90–9 (football)
1–25 (basketball)
Bowls 0–1
Accomplishments and honors
2 RMAC (1934, 1948)

John W. Hancock (April 13, 1901 – 1993) was an American football player, track and field athlete, coach of football, basketball, track, and wrestling, and college athletics administrator. He played college football at the University of Iowa.

Playing career[edit]

Hancock played football at the University of Iowa from 1922 to 1924. He played a significant role on Iowa’s 1922 Big Ten Conference 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 career[edit]

Hancock went into college coaching after graduation. He coached football at Mississippi State University for three years from 1927 to 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 was the head football coach at Northern Colorado for 20 seasons, from 1932 until 1953. His football coaching record at Northern Colorado was 77–78–5 ties. In 1950, he led his team to the Bean Bowl.[4] As of the conclusion of the 2012 season, this ranks him third at Northern Colorado in total wins and fourth at the school in winning percentage (.497).[5]

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.


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 Hancock and Pete Butler, baseball coach.[9]


  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. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  5. ^ DeLassus, David. "Northern Colorado Bears Records By Year". College Football Data Warehouse. Archived from the original on January 8, 2014. Retrieved April 24, 2013. 
  6. ^ Wrestling Hall of Fame bio Archived 2013-02-09 at
  7. ^ Hawkeye Greats, By the Numbers, by Lyle Hammes and Neal Rozendaal, Page 133 (ISBN 1-426-94303-2)
  8. ^ Hancock bio Archived 2011-07-14 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion Archived 2011-07-17 at the Wayback Machine.