Former NFL Pro John Hannah Returns To Baylor

  • Friday, February 18, 2005

Former NFL pro John Hannah will bring his extensive experience on the gridiron to Baylor School as the Director of Football Development beginning March 1.

A new position, Hannah's responsibilities will include both a program aspect and specific varsity coaching responsibilities. According to Dr. Bill Stacy, Baylor's headmaster, Hannah will be engaged in football development in grades 6-12, coordinating the program, ensuring that players are developing the necessary skills, and working with coaches to implement seamless instruction.

Dr. Stacy said, "He will assist coaches in preparing students for the next level of successive play in the Baylor program and will also be responsible for assisting in the development and coordination of football camp opportunities for students of various ages. He will also be involved in occasional promotions and development opportunities for Baylor."

At the varsity level, Stacy said Hannah will share his expertise in offense, both for line play as in the development of the total offensive scheme of the Red Raiders.

"I look forward to returning to Baylor and working with Head Coach David Bibee, the other coaches, and the great Baylor students," said Hannah.

The position was created as part of Stacy's strategy of enhancing the
assets of Baylor. Dr. Stacy said, "Having the opportunity to bring one of our greatest football players back to Baylor as a coach is an added asset to an already strong football tradition at Baylor. Like every other professional at Baylor, John will be involved in the total life of the school. He will be engaged in the dorms, alumni activities, parent meetings, student advising, the new Leadership Baylor initiative, and various other programs."

A member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Hannah made nine Pro Bowl
appearances with the New England Patriots in 13 seasons and was
instrumental in leading New England to Super Bowl XX.

Hannah is also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, having played for legendary coach Paul "Bear" Bryant at Alabama before being selected fourth overall in the 1973 draft by the Patriots. He served as an assistant coach with New England football power Governor Dummer Academy. Most recently he has
served as the head football coach at Somerville High School in Massachusetts.

"All during my playing career I had the opportunity to be around a lot of
great coaches and they taught me important lessons. Everything I learned in football allowed me to achieve success in other areas," he said.

Hannah also pointed out that academics is fundamental to his philosophy in building a strong athletic program. "Academics is absolutely critical. I go back to the Greek philosophy of mind, body, and spirit. If one part is missing the others don't work. You've got to have all three to be a winner."

During his tenure at Somerville, the school obtained a grant to hire an
academic coach who worked with players. "We implemented study hall after practice, sent progress reports home, and were able to get tutors if
needed," said Hannah.

Hannah attended Baylor in the late sixties and during those years he was a national prep wrestling champion, a mid-South champion football player,
and mid-South record-holder in the discuss and the shot. In December, he
served as the keynote speaker for the school's dedication of the Worsham
Memorial Wrestling Arena.

Hannah said, "When people discuss accomplishments, I tell
them I trace all of mine to (former Baylor wrestling coach) Major Luke
Worsham. He decided to turn me into something.

"Coach Worsham and other teachers at Baylor were role models for me in my
life - I appreciate the opportunity to return."

Baylor's Athletic Director Austin Clark said, "When a man of John's stature in the sports world realizes life-long lessons are learned at an early age and wants to follow the legacy of his mentor, it is a wonderful testament to the school and to Major Worsham.

"Like Major Worsham, John Hannah wants to have the same positive effect on the students at Baylor
School. We want to take what he brings to the table and make what is
already a great program even better."

He and his wife, Elise, will relocate to Chattanooga and plan to reside on
campus as opportunities arise.

His face on the 1981 cover of Sports Illustrated was accompanied with the headline, "The Best Offensive Lineman of All Time."

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