Honoring George Hannon
George Hannon, affectionately called “Coach” by nearly everyone, coached the University of Texas golf team for 18 seasons where he won two national championships tutoring such successful professional players like Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite. He spent most days at the Spanish Oaks golf club in Bee Caves giving lessons and greeting members and friends.
In 18 seasons as a coach of the University of Texas men’s golf team, George Hannon saw his Longhorns win 12 SWC titles. He had National Championship teams in 1971 and 1972, and he coached Ben Crenshaw to two individual championships in 1971 and 1973, and a co-championship, with teammate Tom Kite, in 1972.
Hannon’s Horns included Tour players Mark Brooks, Phil Blackmar, Brandel Chamblee, Rik Massengale, and Paul Thomas. Former Longhorn lettermen of the Hannon era include “50 or 60 men” who are currently club professionals. Hannon’s choice of degree programs (Pharmacy) left no time for him to play golf at U.T., although his college experience influenced his decision to make golf a career.
While coaching, Hannon evolved a philosophy, which allowed his players to excel as individuals, while serving the best interest of the team. “When things go bad as they always will,” says Hannon, “youngsters need to know that throwing away a round is detrimental to the team. A 75 never hurts anyone in team golf and I wanted them to know they were helping one another succeed even when things went poorly for them as individuals.”
1924: Born in Kemp, TX
1942: Enrolled in UT, education was cut short when he joined the Army Air Corp serving in the Pacific Theatre.
1945: Re-enrolled in UT and began working as a starter at Lions G.C.
1950-1960: Head Professional in Breckenridge, TX; Head Professional at Marshall C.C.; Assistant Professional at Dallas Athletic Club where he also had an opportunity to work with the SMU Men’s Golf Team.
1961: Head Professional at Lions G.C., where he helped start the City of Austin Junior Golf Academy with Joe Balendar.
1963: Named Men’s Golf Coach at the University of Texas
1964: First Head Professional at Morris Williams G.C.
Teams won nine Southwest Conference Championships
1971: Team won the NCAA National Championship and Ben Crenshaw won the Individual Championship
1972: Team defended its title winning the NCAA Championship, Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite were co-medalist.
Past President of the Southern Texas PGA
Certified Rules Official
1982: Inducted into the Golf Coaches Hall of Fame Member of the Texas Golf Hall of Fame
1987: named Honorary Member of the University of Texas’ “T Association.”
1989: selected for the Longhorn Hall of Honor
Member of the Chancellor’s Council at UT
1995: received the Digger Smith Award from the American Junior Golf Association
2001: Golf Coaches Association in conjunction with the College Golf Foundation presented “Coach” with the Lifetime Achievement Award, their highest honor.
Honored in the Texas House of Representatives with a special resolution by Representative Edmund Kuempel.
2017: Passed away at the age of 93