Northwestern releases tribute video to retiring DC Mike Hankwitz
After 51 years in the game, Northwestern defensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz is retiring.
Serving under four Hall of Fame coaches, Bo Schembechelr, Jim Young, Bill McCartney and R.C. Slocum, Hankwitz has had a hand in 11 conference titles, and coached in 32 bowl games, including every major New Year’s Day bowl.
At 22, in September of 1970, Hankwitz prepared to take the field at Michigan Stadium for his first collegiate football game as a coach preparing to take on Arizona. He was hired as a graduate assistant to Shembechler to coach at his alma mater in the 1970 season, and the Wolverines won that game, 20-7 over the Wildcats.
Hankwitz went on to coach at Arizona, Perdue, Western Michigan, Colorado, Kansas, Texas A&M and Wisconsin, before landing in Evanston to join Pat Fitzergald’s staff.
The now-73-year-old Northwestern defensive coordinator finds himself with a 399-205-7 record and is a 2020 Broyles Award semi-finalist for the top assistant coach in the country. His Wildcats defense ranked second in the nation in efficiency heading into the Big Ten title game with Ohio State, and managed to keep the Wildcats in the game late into the second half before falling to the Buckeyes, 22-10.
Northwestern has produced a tribute video to Hankwitz, and released it over Twitter on Wednesday.
Hank has been around college football for 50-plus years. The game has changed over time.
What hasn't changed…
— Northwestern Football (@NUFBFamily) December 23, 2020