The University of Richmond football program will bring aboard a highly respected assistant with deep institutional knowledge. Jeff Hanson is returning to the Spiders.
Hanson has coached college football for 48 years, 26 at UR, his alma mater. Hanson supervised East Carolina’s defensive linemen last season under former James Madison coach Mike Houston. Hanson also worked for Houston at JMU.
Hanson’s role at Richmond is to be determined. The Spiders, of the FCS and Colonial Athletic Association, will not play football this fall because of the pandemic and are looking into the possibility of a spring season.
Hanson played linebacker during the late 1960s and early 1970s, then immediately joined the UR staff. He has worked at all college levels.
“To him, it didn’t matter if you were the star player or the back-up. It mattered to him what type of young man you were, if you were going to class, finishing your education,” said former UR standout defensive end Lawrence Sidbury. “If you went to class and worked hard, man, he loved you for it.”
Hanson was the defensive line coach for the Dukes who won the 2016 FCS championship, and the assistant head coach and defensive line coach for the 2008 Spiders who captured the FCS championship.
Richmond coach Russ Huesman was the defensive coordinator for those 2008 Spiders. When Hanson stepped down at ECU in January, Huesman called Hanson “one of the best coaches I’ve had the privilege to coach with. Hard worker. Knows ball. He was a huge part of our success.”
Hanson, a native of Beloit, Wis., coached at Richmond (1974-79, 1989-06, 2008-09), Marshall (1980-81), Lamar (1982-83), Texas State (1983-86), West Texas A&M (1987-88), VMI (2007), Virginia (2010-12), Ferrum (2014) and Virginia State (2015) in addition to JMU and ECU.
“Everyone knows how much he loves the University of Richmond,” said Sidbury. “His passion for the school is unwavering.”