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Dave  Hanson Dave Hanson
Inducted: 2002 - Graduated:

"You’re only as good as the people you compete against.We had to work

harder because we were the smallest school in the county."

DaveHanson parlayed that common-sense philosophy into an ultra-successful

32-year coaching and administrative career at Nanuet. After graduating from

Ithaca College, Dave joined the Nanuet athletic staff in the fall of 1962 and proceeded to build a track

and field dynasty during his 20-year coaching reign (1963-1982) in that sport.

Treating the school’s modest enrollment—and consequently its smaller pool of athletes—as an opportunity

rather than an obstacle, Dave laid a foundation of organization, structure and well-rounded balance that

underpinned all of his teams’ later prosperity.

In Dave’s third season as varsity spring track coach—1965—Nanuet captured the Rockland County

Public School Athletic League championship. It would be the first of eight such titles under his watch:

four Rockland County meet crowns (1973, 1975, 1976, 1978) and four Rockland PSAL dual-meet titles

(1965, 1968, 1969, 1970). The County meet became an officially scored meet in 1972.

Along the way Dave guided the Golden Knights to eight Section 9 Class B banners (1969 though 1975,

1978) as well as a 29-meet unbeaten streak from 1967 to 1969.

Buoyed by the same exacting degree of organization and structure that was Dave’s trademark, the winter

track and cross country programs enjoyed a similar level of success. Dave served as the program’s first

winter track coach, from 1967 to 1982. During that period, he steered Nanuet to eight Rockland County

championships—four County meet titles (1974 through 1976, 1978) and four Rockland PSAL flags

(1968-69, 1972-73). The County meet in winter track was begun in 1974. He also piloted the Golden

Knights to seven Section 9 Class B championships: 1965, 1970 through 1973, 1975 and 1978.

In cross country, for which he was head coach from1974 to 1982 and again in 1993-94, his 1974 teamwon the

inauguralNew York State Federation championship and also finished third in the Eastern States championships.

His 1993 girls’ and 1994 boys’ teams each won League III-ATitles.

Aside from winning the state Federation championship in cross country, two accomplishments stand out

in Dave’s bulging portfolio of success:

In the 1974-75 school year, his cross country, winter track and spring track teams earned a collective

No. 1 ranking in New York State for combined three-season achievement. The cross country team was ranked No. 3 statewide, the winter track team was rated No. 2, and the spring

track team was ranked No. 5. That spring track squad, incidentally, was chosen as one of the top

five Rockland scholastic teams from 1960 to 1985 in a vote of Journal-News readers.

He coached 13 New York State champions in spring track, winter track and cross country: Paul

Nowicki, 880-yard run, 1970; two-mile relay, 1973 (Mike Borghard, John Hammeran, Jim

O’Rourke, Mike Nowicki); Federation cross country team, 1974; Don Berich, 55-meter hurdles,

1975; BretWatzka, Class B cross country, 1975; Tony Harlin, shot put, 1976; Rick Carey, high

jump, winter 1977, winter 1978 and spring 1978; Stan Thomas, pole vault, 1979; Greg Mooney,

Intersectional medley relay, 1979; 3,200-meter relay, 1980 (Bill Possidento, Brad Klock, Gene

Sostre, Mike Unterkofler); Erin Haugh, Class C cross country, 1994.

Dave never kept track of his dual-meet wins and losses, but he estimates that his teams won about 75 percent

of their meets, roughly 170 to 180 wins and 70 to 75 losses. His career was not, however, about only

victories and defeats. He played a major role in the development of track and field in Rockland County

and Section 9. Dave was co-founder and longtime meet director of the Nanuet Relays, which was begun

in 1968 and is one of the oldest invitationals in the New York metropolitan area.

As Nanuet athletic director from 1983 to 1986, Dave oversaw an athletic program that collectively won

eight league titles, two Sectional crowns, one County title and one state Regional championship. He also

launched the girls’ lacrosse program in 1986; served as varsity golf coach for several years in the late

1980s/early 1990s; and was assistant cross country coach from 1990 to 1992. The 1990 girls’ cross country

team (head-coached by Larry Beckerle and assisted by Dave) won the New York State Class C title and

finished second in the state Federation championship.

Dave has been a certified track official since 1965, and a USA Track & Field (USATF) certified official

since 1978. He has worked many local, regional, national and international events, including the 1996

Olympics in Atlanta; threeWorld Association of Veteran Athletes championships—1993 in Buffalo,

1999 in Gateshead, England, and 2001 in Brisbane, Australia; the 1999 Goodwill Games in Uniondale,

Long Island; the New York City Marathon three times in the mid-1970s; and many NCAA and USATF

championship events.

Dave, a 64-year-old native of Norwich, N.Y., currently resides in Murrells Inlet, S.C., with his wife of 39

years, Sandy. The Hansons have two married daughters. Kim Hanson Smith, 33, is a 1986 Nanuet graduate.

She was a standout goalie for the Nanuet field hockey team and played varsity field hockey at

Hartwick College. She and her husband, Jeff, run an insurance business in Tampa. Erika Hanson, 30, is a

1990 Nanuet alumna. She followed in her sister’s footsteps as a field hockey goalie and also played

lacrosse. Erika is a free-lance jewelry designer and metalsmith in Seekonk, Mass., where she lives with

her husband, John Frank.