There’s one thing in particular that Jerry Hanson looks forward to in retirement.
“I’m kind of looking forward to not having a laptop with me all the time,” he said.
Hanson, 65, is retiring today after 29 years as the sports information director at Clarke. During his tenure he’s seen just about everything, from Clarke transitioning from a college to a university, and going from the Crusaders to the Pride.
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“I’ve had a great career and a great life. I really enjoyed it,” Hanson said. “Lots of nights and weekends and going from one thing to another. We have a family cabin in northern Minnesota by the Canadian border and I’ll spend a lot of time there, but I’ve got grandkids here in Dubuque that I’ll look forward to spending more time with. It’s going to be different not working on Saturdays and Sundays with games going on, but it’s time to wrap it up after 42 years.”
Hanson is concluding 42 years in the field of athletic communications, and recently received the CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America) Lifetime Achievement Award. The honor is presented to members who have served at least 25 years in the profession and who are retiring, have retired or are leaving the profession.
“It’s a nice award and a great honor,” Hanson said. “It’s nice to be recognized by your peers after many years of service to the profession. It was kind of neat, as I worked my last basketball game with the women’s team at nationals in Sioux City, where my career started. We won that game, and we also won the last games I worked in softball and baseball, so it was fun to go out on a winning note. I’ve worked with a lot of great coaches and athletes. It’s been a lot of fun.”
Hanson has been at Clarke since 1992, and also served as the men’s golf coach for seven years. Before his time in Dubuque, he served at his alma mater, Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa, for 12 years (1980-1992). Hanson was Briar Cliff’s sports information director for 18 years and coordinated athletic fundraising for seven years.
Hanson was the 1994 recipient of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Clarence “Ike” Pearson Award for outstanding contributions to, and excellence in, sports information. He was a 2000 inductee into the Briar Cliff Athletic Hall of Fame.
But it’s the memories he’s made at Clarke that will last a lifetime.
“The neatest thing that ever happened during my time here was adding football,” Hanson said. “I thought I might go my whole career not working a football game. I hadn’t worked with football since 1974 in high school. But then we’re at Dalzell Field, and the first time the football team ran out it was amazing and it was a great crowd. It was just awesome. I was the last one left sitting in the stadium when it was over, and I just sat there and thought about what it meant to see us play our first football game after all those years. It was special.
“It’s been wonderful and I’ve really enjoyed it, but I’m ready for someone else to do it. I still enjoy it, but I’m 65 years old and it’s time for someone else to take it over.”
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