John Hanson: The Man Behind VSU Tennis

Valdosta, GA - John Hanson's office is a tennis goldmine. Look around and you'll see 40 years worth of Valdosta State treasures.

"Every year is different," he said. "I always tell the guys when we start out, the most important year of my career is this year."

Hanson is the head coach of both the men's and women's tennis teams at VSU.

Hanson was about 25 years old when he accepted the job. He was a graduate student at the time, barely making ends meet.

"Unforunately, my mother never got to see me have a real job," he joked. "This is what I come to work in, pants and a t-shirt. And the kids keep me young."

Hanson has won two national titles, his most recent coming last year with the men. He also won with the men in 2006.

Sixty-three of his athletes were All-Americans, an honor his current players hope to attain.

"He knows exactly what he's talking about, especially with the stuff that he's telling me," sophomore Jessica Tuggle said. "I'm also young and just to stick with it and not give up."

Hanson is already a member of the VSU Athletics Hall of Fame, the only active coach to receive that honor. Only one other active coach at VSU had also been in the Hall of Fame at the same time.

Despite his infallible resume and his age - he's 65 - Hanson isn't ready to stop.

"It's fun. When it stops being fun then, of course, I'll have to quit," he said.

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