VANCOUVER — It was the place that gave him his first chance as a basketball player coming out of high school.
It’s the place that gave him the opportunity to establish himself in what has become a lifelong occupation as a basketball coach.
Now, Kevin Hanson is thrilled that his name will attached to a scholarship endowment fund which will annually help a deserving men’s basketball player find his own path in life while competing for Vancouver’s Langara College Falcons.
“It was a really special moment when I got the telephone call, and (Langara athletic director) Jake (McCallum) informed me that they were going to create this scholarship in my name,” said Hanson, who after leading the Falcons to back-to-back CCAA national titles in 1997-98 and 1998-99, arrived at UBC in time for the 2000-01 season.
Now in his 19th season as ‘Birds head coach, Hanson’s 296 career Canada West Conference victories are second only to former Alberta head coach Don Horwood (313). Perhaps most impressive of all is the fact that over his 28-plus seasons as a head coach between UBC (451-168) and Langara (261-74), Hanson has a 712-242 record and a career 74.6 winning percentage.
“Langara was where I got my start with post-secondary playing and coaching,” continued Hanson, who after graduating from North Delta’s Seaquam Secondary, became a CCAA All-Canadian for the Falcons in 1984, later played for UBC, then served as a Langara assistant (1987-88) before ultimately returning to his roots on 49th Ave., by starting a nine-year run as Langara head coach which netted five BCCAA league titles. “It held a special place in my heart then and it always will.”
The move towards establishing a scholarship endowment fund in Hanson’s name comes just as Langara College launches its 2018 ‘Beyond 49 Campaign’ to celebrate its 49th anniversary as an institution on 49th Avenue. It hopes to raise some $2.5 million for all things student-related between now and April of 2020.
For more on the Kevin Hanson Scholarship Fund, or to donate click HERE
The men’s basketball program, which enjoyed huge prominence under longtime head coach and athletic director Dunc McCallum, has been a part of campus life for almost the entire duration of the school’s near half-century of existence.
And even after Hanson’s long run of success, the program has remained vibrant, especially lately under the guidance of current head coach Paul Eberhardt whose charges captured a CCAA national title in 2014 when the championships were hosted by Squamish’s Quest University.
Adding even more meaning to the creation of the Kevin Hanson scholarship endowment amidst the school’s unique half-century celebration is the fact that Langara will play host to this season’s CCAA national championship men’s tourney March 13-16 at the Langley Events Centre.
“Kevin has meant a lot to this institution as a coach and as a student-athlete,” says current Langara athletic director Jake McCallum, who is part of a committee which continues to raise funds for the scholarship endowment, funds which will be matched by the college.
“It’s a special time here at Langara, but we see this scholarship as more of a Kevin Hanson legacy piece,” added McCallum. “He played and coached at Langara and UBC, but he also coached Canada at the FISU Games (four times) and the U19s (at the Canada Summer Games).”
McCallum noted the rich athletic history that has been part of the Vancouver-based city college’s DNA.
“Two weeks ago we had an alumni event that recognized our back-to-back men’s soccer champions from 25 years ago,” he said. “Last year we celebrated the back-to-back championships that Kevin’s teams won 20 years ago. And before that it was the 10-year anniversary of our back-to-back women’s soccer champions.”
Langara already presents scholarships in the name of Jake McCallum’s father, Dunc McCallum, who over the span of 1971-94 both coached men’s basketball and served as athletic director, including many years in both capacities; Theresa Hanson, who served as Langara AD for 11 years (1994-2005, before holding a similar position at UBC for 10 years, and now at Simon Fraser where since 2015 she has been the Clan’s Senior Director of Athletics and Recreation); and Marc Rizzardo, a four-time CCAA national title winner at the helm of Falcons men’s soccer, where he has once again returned to lead the program.
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