2011 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award - Education
Ronald “Butch” Hansen has positively impacted the lives of thousands of students over his 31 years at West Chicago Community High School. He taught 3 levels of algebra, coached baseball and football, and was the second longest serving Athletic Director in WCCHS history. Butch has always led by example, adhering to the values of hard work, commitment, dedication and integrity; expecting his coaches to do the same.
In Coach Hansen’s words, “Fortunately, I was able to suit up every player who came out for a team.. Athletics are part of the educational process. Sport should be available to everyone who wants to play.”
And, in the words of Principal John W. Highland, “Mr. Hansen is one of the most energetic, enthusiastic, and positive individuals ever to walk the hallways of Community High School.”
Butch’s family moved to West Chicago when he was 10, shortly after WWII. In 7th and 8th grade at St. Mary’s School he immediately found a spot on the football and basketball teams, and played on the District 33 teams at the same time.
At WCCHS Butch participated in a variety of sports, including football, basketball, baseball, and track & field. He never missed a day in attendance from his first day as a freshman till his last as a senior. This dedication and his straight “A” class performance would be noticed at Northern Illinois University. Coach MacKenzie at NIU helped Hansen apply for a baseball and football scholarship that covered full tuition, books, and gave him a $40 per month stipend the entire four years. Butch received his B.S.E. in Physical Education and Mathematics in 1960 and landed his first job at Turner School, fulfilling his dream of teaching physical education and coaching football, basketball and track for District 33.
On vacations and summers during high school, right through college, and Hansen worked at the Maintenance Department at St. Andrew’s Golf Club and in the sorting facility at the West Chicago Post Office.
In1962 he joined the West Chicago Community High School faculty where he taught mathematics, physical education and coached five sports. Hansen was named Athletic Director in 1973, succeeding longtime AD, Bob Price. As AD Hansen made a point of attending most every girls’ and boys’ home games. Even in retirement, since 1993, Coach Hansen can be spotted in the stands at Friday night football games and in Bishop gym at basketball games.
In 1974, only his second year as Athletic Director, Butch served as defensive coordinator when the Wildcats captured the Illinois State Football Championship. When Community High School moved from the Little Seven Conference to the DuPage Valley Conference, Butch quickly gained the respect of a succession of fellow ADs. Butch was so admired that in 2004, more than a decade after ending his service as AD, he was inducted into the Illinois Athletic Director’s Hall of Fame.
Butch served as Director of Physical Education, Health and Athletics for 16 years, served a term as President of the Teachers’ Association, served on the curriculum committee, and received the “Wildcat Booster of the Year” award for 1987-88. Finally retiring in 1993, he became an original Hall of Honor inductee in 1994. In 2006 Butch received further commendation as an Outstanding Teacher from the District 94 Education Foundation in a vote open to alumni, staff, and the community at large. In 2010 Hansen was inducted into the American Semi-Pro Football hall of Fame.
A longtime resident of Winfield and an avid golfer, Butch Hansen remains active in many community groups including the Knights of Columbus and St. John the Baptist Parish. His former students, athletes and colleagues can often find Butch at the first tee of St Andrews Golf Club where he still serves as a Starter.
The CHS Education Foundation is honored to present to Ronald “Butch” Hansen, class of 1955, the 2011 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award for Education.