Mines Wrestling Giant Gets His Due
Dedicating nearly four decades to an athletics program is no small feat and ensures one leaves a lasting legacy, both in its athletes and the school itself. Honoring a figurehead in the schoolsâ€™ athletics history, Mines dedicated the Jack Hancock Wrestling Center on July 20, 2017, celebrating the longtime athletics coach.
Hancock, a member of the Mines, RMAC, Northern Colorado and NCAA wrestling halls of fame, served in numerous roles in the schoolâ€™s athletics program over 37 years, including as head wrestling and tennis coach, assistant football coach and head athletic trainer. He was the head wrestling coach throughout his time at Mines, coaching the team to second-place finishes at the 1961 and 1964 NAIA National Championships. He coached tennis from 1955 to 1966 and from 1979 to 1992, and led the Orediggers to 1974 and 1978 RMAC titles. During his tenure, Hancock produced 33 All-Americans.
Nearly 150 alumni, friends, family and current Mines wrestlers gathered for the wrestling centerâ€™s dedication, coinciding with the announcement of the final piece of the centerâ€”the locker roomâ€”which will complete the facility and make it the best in NCAA Division II.
â€œIâ€™m overwhelmed by the number of people here for this special occasion,â€ Hancock said at the dedication, with dozens of his former wrestlers in attendance. â€œYou have no idea what your presence here today means to myself and my family.â€
â€œCoach led me through many, many stages of life, first as a coach and teacher, and then as I got a little older as a mentor and confidant and close friend. But most importantly, I can still call him coach,â€ said Mines Hall of Famer Marv Kay, who wrestled for Hancock before going on to a distinguished career as an Oredigger coach and athletic director.
The first piece of the Hancock Wrestling Center was completed in 2010, when the former pool space within Volk Gymnasium was decked over to create a dedicated practice facility for the program. However, the team has used the same locker room since the opening of Volk in 1959. With the roster more than doubling in size since the 1950s, the team has far outgrown the space it needs, and a new addition with modernized lockers, bathrooms and a study lounge will be built in space occupied by the current wrestling and former menâ€™s soccer locker rooms.
37 years at Mines
3 teams coached
(head wrestling and
tennis, assistant football)
3 wrestling individual national champions
2 wrestling national team runner-up finishes
4 wrestling national team top-10 finishes
2 RMAC tennis championships
4 Halls of Fame Hancock has been inducted to (Mines, RMAC, Northern Colorado and NCAA Wrestling)
33 All-Americans coached by Hancock