Many, including renowned author Grantland Rice, recognized Vic Hanson as Syracuse University’s best all-around athlete. As a three-sport star for the Orangemen, he was a nine-time letterwinner, a three-sport captain, a basketball and football All-American and the Helms National Player of the Year in 1927. He also excelled at baseball. Hanson, a standout second baseman, was good enough to be signed by the New York Yankees.
Hanson began his collegiate career in 1924 as the only sophomore on the varsity football team. During his three varsity seasons, SU posted a 23-5-3 record. Hanson, playing end, called the plays for the offense.
In basketball, his SU 1925-1926 team went 19-1 and won the Helms Athletic Foundation National Championship. In 1927, his senior year, Hanson tallied 280 points, a single-season Syracuse record that remained until 1946. He also won national player of the year honors.
After graduation, Hanson shifted to baseball and played one year in the minor leagues. He returned to Syracuse as an assistant coach in 1928 and 1929. In 1930, at the age of 27, Hanson was named head football coach. In seven seasons, he posted a 33-21-5 record.
Hanson, who later became a prominent insurance counselor, is the only player in history to be enshrined in both the Football Hall of Fame (1973) and Basketball Hall of Fame (1960).
1925-1927: All-American in basketball and football
1927: Named the Helms National Player of the Year; Signed by the New York Yankees
1930-1936: Served as head football coach at SU with a 33-21-5 record
1952: Selected to the All-American Team by Grantland Rice; Named to the Helms Foundation Hall of Fame
1960: Inducted in the National Basketball Hall of Fame
1973: Inducted the College Football Hall of Fame
1981: No. 8 SU basketball jersey was retired
2000: Honored by SU as a member of the All-Century Basketball Team