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
Playing career
Position(s)Tackle, end
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1925–1926Colorado State Teachers (assistant)
1927–1929Mississippi A&M
1930–1931Marquette (assistant)
1932–1953Colorado State Teachers
1943–1945Colorado State Teachers
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
1932–1966Colorado State Teachers
Head coaching record
Overall83–90–9 (football)
1–25 (basketball)
Accomplishments and honors
2 RMFAC (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 75–78–5. In 1950, he led his team to the Bean Bowl.[4][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]

Head coaching record[edit]


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Mississippi A&M Aggies (Southern Conference) (1927–1929)
1927 Mississippi A&M 5–3 2–3 T–2th
1928 Mississippi A&M 2–4–2 1–4 18th
1929 Mississippi A&M 1–5–2 0–3–1 20th
Mississippi A&M: 8–12–4 3–10–1
Colorado State Teachers (Rocky Mountain Faculty Athletic Conference) (1932–1953)
1932 Colorado State Teachers 4–2–1 2–2–1 8th
1933 Colorado State Teachers 4–3 3–3 7th
1934 Colorado State Teachers 6–1 6–1 T–1st
1935 Colorado State Teachers 4–3 2–1 5th
1936 Colorado State Teachers 5–4 4–3 5th
1937 Colorado State Teachers 2–6 2–4 9th
1938 Colorado State Teachers 3–4–1
1939 Colorado State Teachers 4–4
1940 Colorado State Teachers 2–5–1
1941 Colorado State Teachers 3–5
1942 Colorado State Teachers 4–5
1943 No team—World War II
1944 No team—World War II
1945 Colorado State Teachers 4–3
1946 Colorado State Teachers 6–3
1947 Colorado State Teachers 4–4–1
1948 Colorado State Teachers 4–4 1st
1949 Colorado State Teachers 0–8
1950 Colorado State Teachers 5–3–1 L Bean
1951 Colorado State Teachers 4–3 2–3 T–4th
1952 Colorado State Teachers 5–3
1953 Colorado State Teachers 2–5
Colorado State Teachers: 75–78–5
Total: 83–90–9


  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 February 9, 2013, at
  7. ^ Hawkeye Greats, By the Numbers, by Lyle Hammes and Neal Rozendaal, Page 133 (ISBN 1-426-94303-2)
  8. ^ Hancock bio Archived July 14, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion Archived July 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.