HANNON, GEORGE (1924 ~ 2017). The following is an obituary for George "Coach" Hannon, former golf coach for the University of Texas. The obituary was published in the October 25, 2017 edition of the Austin American Statesman.
HANNON, George Edward George Edward Hannon, 93, passed to his heavenly home on October 19, 2017, just two days after attending the funeral and celebration of life for his beloved Jo, his wife of 70 years.
Born in Kemp, Texas, to Mary Ann Cotton Hannon and Samuel Finley Hannon on his mother's birthday, June 29, 1924, "Coach" was a model PGA Professional, whose 59-year career included head professional jobs at Lions Municipal and Morris Williams, where he inspired golfers of all ability. He was especially proud of his work with junior golfers as co-founder of the Austin Junior Golf Academy.
Succeeding Harvey Penick as University of Texas Golf Coach, Hannon's 18-year term from 1963 to 1982 with the Longhorns included 12 SWC titles and two NCAA Championships in 1971 and 1972 led by Austinites Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite. Many of Hannon's Horns players achieved success on the PGA Tour including Mark Brooks, Brandel Chamblee, Phil Blackmar and Rik Massengale. Nearly 60 of his players went on to become PGA Professionals. His coaching philosophy, which allowed the players to excel individually, while serving the best interest of the team, resulted in his team's great success. He picked his words carefully but always had a positive thought for his players.
The son of a pharmacist, Hannon fell in love with golf at a young age. His family relocated to Minneola, TX when George and his sister, Lou, were young. Lou shared that George was always on the golf course when not at school. He entered the University of Texas in 1940 before enlisting in the Army Air Corps in 1941.
He became a radio operator on a B 24, flying 43 missions in the Pacific Theatre during WW II. Married in 1947, Coach and Jo were an incredible team. Though they didn't have children of their own, they served as surrogate mom and dad to all that played for them. The friendships with his players, and in fact, most everyone he met through golf, lasted a lifetime.
Though golf was his true passion, Coach loved to hunt deer, dove and quail, and he and his faithful dog Clint were inseparable. George Hannon's induction to the PGA of America Hall of Fame in 2016 culminated an incredible career, a proud moment for him and his wife Jo and all who played for him, knew him and were his pupils. Other honors included induction into the Golf Coaches Hall of Fame in 1982, the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 1989 and the Texas Golf Hall of Fame in 1991.
Coach, when asked how he was doing, always answered, "Even Par--haven't made a bogey today". Coach, who was loved by so many, will be forever be "Even Par." George is survived by his sister, Lou Brown Jarvis of Cedar Hill, nephew David Brown and wife Carol of Cedar Hill, niece Lou Ann Clark and husband Jimmy Clark of Commerce, Texas, and many grand nephews and their families.
Funeral services will be held at the Texas State Cemetery at 909 Navasota St. in Austin on Friday, October 27th at 11:00 a.m. with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Hannon Cup Association, which benefits the growth of the game and secondary education scholarships in Central Texas, 2200 University Club Dr. Austin, 78732.