High Praise for Hanson’s 50th Year

High Praise for Hanson’s 50th Year
Arlington Public Schools

Every year, Arlington Public Schools (APS) hosts an event honoring long-serving staff members within the county. This year, the event was electric. Former high school football players and numerous APS Staff members huddled around one Yorktown High School legend.

On April 27, Head Coach of the Football Team and P.E. Teacher Bruce Hanson was recognized as part of an extensive ceremony, standing out as the longest-serving teacher in APS.

“[Because] Mr. Hanson had reached 50 years, he was the focus of the event. That’s rather unique and rare within Arlington Public Schools,” Director of Student Activities Michael Krulfeld said.

While the vast majority of his career has been spent at Yorktown, Hanson got his start at Wakefield.

“I started working at Wakefield in 1972. I was [an] assistant football coach, …. [The previous coach] resigned, so I became the head coach at 24,” Hanson said.

In 1985, Hanson moved to Yorktown. He immediately knew he had work to do. At the end of a rocky first season, Hanson and his team did the unthinkable.

“We were 1-8 going into the Washington-Lee (W-L) game, and they were 4-5. We only scored 56 points that year. We beat W-L. It was like we had won the Super Bowl …. [During] my first year here, we hadn’t had a lot of success. That was a big win,” Hanson said

Just three years later, he won the region.

“That was huge, because I had just started out,” Hanson said.

Hanson has a long history of success in the football program, largely due to his strong leadership skills and ability to adapt. When he first started playing in the 70s under Hall of Fame coach Lou Holtz at William and Mary, football was unrecognizable.

“It’s super impressive for somebody [to evolve, even when he] has every chance in the world not to change because he’s been so successful for so long. However, the key reason for his success is that he has been able to change and adapt over time,” Assistant Football Coach Joseph McBride said.

More than anything else, Hanson is a staple of the Yorktown community. His humility and leadership serve to lift up students and football fans alike. Our school would be unrecognizable without Hanson’s constant presence in gym class and on the field at football games.

“[Hanson] brings a sense of pride to the school. He’s a really nice person, and it’s cool that we as a school have somebody that’s such a figurehead …. He wins a lot of games with players that like playing for him. There’s a reason why you’ve got players on his staff [like me] coming back and wanting to coach for him,” McBride said.

Over his 50 years of service, Coach Hanson has proven to be more than a coach, fostering a strong football community that extends into Arlington as a whole. Despite his long tenure within APS, Hanson has no plans to go anywhere just yet.

“People ask me [if I will retire] all the time. I’m not gonna really answer that. But, I’m not gonna go forever. As of right now, I’m coming back next year,” Hanson said.

Story continues below advertisement
Leave a comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Matthew Wagner, Sports Editor
Matthew Wagner is a senior and Sports Editor for The Yorktown Sentry. This is Wagner's third year on staff and first year as an editor. Outside the classroom, Wagner can typically be found lifting, golfing or doing homework. He is an avid sports fan and is looking forward to a fantastic final year on staff.

Comments (0)

All Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *