Mike Hankwitz - Inductee - 2005

George Michael Hankwitz made his mark in athletics as a participant at Mason County Central High School, as a member of the University of Michigan's football team and as a long-time assistant college football coach. In his 40 years of coaching, his teams have recorded 34 winning seasons. He has also coached in 25 bowl games, including every major New Year's Day bowl game including the Rose, Sugar, Fiesta, Orange, Cotton, Outback and Capital One bowls. Additionally, in his 25 years as a defensive coordinator, his defense ranked in the nations top 25 on 14 occasions. Several of the players he coached in college went on to distinguised NFL careers. In 1990, Hankwitz was the defensive coordinator for the University of Colorado's National Championship team. Including his work as a graduate assistant at Michigan and his time as an interim head coach, Hankwitz had made 11 different coaching stops and is considered an X's and O's guru. He has served under a number of accomplished head coaches to include Bo Schembechler, Bill McCartney, R.C. Slocum, John Mackovic, Gary Barnett and Glen Mason. He is currently the defensive coordinator at Northwestern University, a position he has held since 2008. As a high school athlete at MCC, Hankwitz earned 13 letters including four in football and four in basketball. With Hankwitz leading the way, the Spartans, under coach Loren Dietrich, won West Michigan Conference championships in football 1964 and 1965, the school's first since 1932. "Mike was everything you could want in a son or a player. I can't say much more than that," said Dietrich. Mike was the leading scorer on Mason County Central's state semifinal basketball team in 1966. He finished his high school cage career with school records for points in a career (1,312), season (521) and game (42). "He was a good perimeter shooter and he was a good leaper, too. He could dunk," said Central coach Duane Ingraham. He earned all-state honors in football and basketball and also won four letters in track and field, qualifying for state and setting a school record in the high hurdles as a senior. At the University of Michigan, Hankwitz played linebacker and tight end and kicked on the nationally-ranked 1968 and 1969 teams. As a senior, he played in every game for the Wolverines, including a victory over then top-ranked Ohio State. That year, the Wolverines shared the Big Ten title and went to the Rose Bowl.