2016 Alumni of the Year: Thomas Hansen

Thomas Hansen named LCC's 2016 Alumni of the Year.

Over the course of an illustrious career spanning more than four decades, Hansen left an indelible mark on the world of collegiate athletics. Most significantly, he served as Pac-10 (now Pac-12) Commissioner for 26 years until his retirement in 2009.

Hansen is perhaps best known for overseeing an era of incredible growth for college football. He served as administrator for the National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA's) Football Television Program for 11 years when it held the rights to all college games. He subsequently developed the Pac-10's football television program while serving as Commissioner, and even played a small role in the development of a television sports network called ESPN.

While serving as a national leader in collegiate athletics administration, Hansen oversaw the development of women's programming at both the NCAA and Pac-10 levels.

Hansen began his community college education at LCC in 1955, and attended for two years before transferring to the University of Washington (UW) to pursue a degree in journalism. He was the editor of the college newspaper at LCC, and, perhaps not surprisingly, fondly remembers attending football games (LCC eliminated its football program in 1962 due to budget concerns). 

Even in retirement, Hansen continues to promote collegiate athletics and student success. To that end, he offers the following advice to incoming college students:

“Work hard, harder than the others who are seeking the same goals. Volunteer for positions in which you can gain experience and establish contacts, so when a professional opportunity arrives, you will be prepared to succeed in it. Many of the friendships and acquaintances you make in college will impact your future.”

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Thomas Hansen

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