Menu Down Arrows


Download Magazine

View or download the print version of the magazine. PDF icon   

winter 2018

Remembering Lee Hanning

Wofford College lost a legend when Lee Hanning passed away on Oct. 2, 2014. He was associated with Wofford athletics for a quarter of a century, primarily assisting the football team as the kicking coach, but touching the lives of every student-athlete with his deliveries of ice cream after big wins.

In 1989 he joined the Wofford football staff as the equipment manager and then began working as an assistant coach with the kickers and punters. Under Hanning’s tutelage, two Wofford punters signed National Football League contracts. Jimmy Miner ’04 inked a deal with the St. Louis Rams in April 2004 after being a four-time All-SoCon selection. Brandon Kale ’01 signed with the Carolina Panthers in 2000. Hanning also coached a pair of All-America placekickers in Brian Porzio ’95 and Darren Brown ’02.

His final season with the football team was in 2009 when punter Chris Tommie ’09 was named first team All-Southern Conference. Hanning then assisted with the men’s golf team for several seasons.

“Lee Hanning was a Wofford man,” said Dr. Jud Heldreth ’93 at a memorial service held on campus on Oct. 12. “Lee Hanning sought Wofford out. He never needed or wanted anything from Wofford other than a chance to teach and learn and lead and share — a chance to change lives. And that is what he did.”

A World War II veteran, Hanning was a member of the 101st Airborne Division. He parachuted onto Utah Beach on June 6, 1944 – D-Day. His unit was tagged with controlling bridges and destroying enemy communication lines in the Allies’ first true thrust at regaining control of Europe from the Nazis. Hanning moved with American forces into Holland and eventually Germany. He also fought in the Battle of the Bulge.

Following his service to our country, Hanning worked for a Pittsburgh railroad before becoming a minor league baseball umpire. Hanning then moved to California, where he worked in the aerospace industry during the Apollo missions to the moon. He also worked for Houston Light and Power in materials management before moving to Spartanburg.

Named an Honorary Letterman in 1998 to the Wofford College Athletic Hall of Fame, Hanning received a Distinguished Service Award from the Wofford Captain’s Council in 1993. He also was recognized with a 1996 Award of Excellence in Equipment Management from Athletic Management. In 2010, he was presented with the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award at Commencement.

Hanning and his late wife, Barbara, were married on May 18, 1977. She passed away in May 2009. They established the Barbara Jean and Lee Hanning Endowed Scholarship at Wofford, which supports student-athletes on the women’s golf team.

by Brent Williamson