Raymond G. Hanken, 68, professor emeritus of physical education at George Washington University who gave up a professional football career with the New York Giants to join the university's coaching staff in 1939, died of a heart attack Saturday at his home in Vienna, Va.
Considered one of the greatest linesmen in GW's history, Prof., Hanken was the school's star end of 1934, 1935 and 1936. He then began a promising pro career with the New York Giants, with whom he played for two seasons. After playing first string offensive and defensive end on the 1938 championship team and being regarded as the Giants' outstanding defensive end, he decided to seek a coaching career.
"I'm interested in coaching as a lifetime profession and I couldn't afford to pass up this fine opportunity . . . I think the Giants will win the pro championship again, but this position has a far greater future for me," he said in a 1939 newspapaer interview.
Born in Oelwein, Iowa, Prof. Hanken worked for the Caterpillar Tractor Co. in Peoria, Ill., as a toolmaker and played semipro football for the company for two years before receiving an athletic scholarship to George Washington University in 1934. He was the captain, leading scorer and most valuable player for the 1936 season and was All-Metropolitan and All-Eastern with GW in 1935 and 1936.
He was a physical education instructor and coach at GW before joining the Navy as a chief athletic specialist in World WAR II. He was commissioned a lieutenant (j.g.) before his discharge in 1945, after which he rejoined GW as an assistant professor of education and assistant professor of education and assistant football coach. He was varsity assistant football coach for 25 years before retiring and being named professor emeritus in 1977.
Prof. Hanken was a member of the Society of the Emeriti and formerly served on the Faculty Senate of George Washington University. In 1975, he received GW's Alumni Service Award and, in 1976, was elected to the GW Letterman's Hall of Fame.
Survivors include his wife, Sallie, of Vienna; two daughters, Mary Berryman of Lakeland, Fla., and Betty Murray of Castleton, Va.; three sisters, Vic Groetzinger of Peoria, Laura Morrissey of St. Petersburg, Fla., and Celia White, and a brother, A. J. Hanken, both of Oelwein.