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Don Hansen's Short Bio

Don Hansen is recognized as the expert on small college football. Don Hansen has been the publisher of Don Hansen's National Weekly Football Gazette since 1987. 
  • Don is also recognized as an Authority on Small College Football.
  • He is a member of Melberger Award Selection Committee.
  • A member of the Committee for NCAA Division III player of the year.
  • A member of the John Gagliardi Award selection committee and Sports Information Directors of America. 
  • A member of the NCAA Division II Hall of Fame Committee.
  • A member of the "The Farm Team All-American Selection Committee.
  • Celebrity Certificate of Appreciation from the American Red Cross.
  • Listed in the following Marques Who's Who, America, The World, The Media, The Midwest and Finance and Industry.
  • Leadership Trophy from Chase Park, Chicago
  • Statistician of the Year, Oak Park-River Forest High School, Oak Park, Ill
  • Originator of Oak Park annual wrestling tournament
  • He also contributes articles to professional Journals. 
  • His polls have been published all over the Nation.


Several individuals have shown an interest in knowing how I got started in small college football. Since I thought that there might be a general interest overall, I decided to give a very short autobiography on myself and what led up to my interest in small college football.

My uncle Tom Bourgart was already attending small college football games back in the mid-1950's when one day he asked me to go with him to a football game, and I've become hooked ever since. At that time we would travel by car over quite a wide area each weekend, and try to catch a day game and a night game. Some years we would see as many as 20 games.

Back then we could catch a Friday night game, maybe in River Falls, Wisconsin, catch a day and night game on Saturday in Minnesota and finally catch a game on Sunday also in Minnesota. I continued to feed my enjoyment of college football throughout the years. In 1980, I would make predictions on all the college football games and send them out to newspapers across the nation. Football News asked me to rank the smaller college divisions (NCAA 1-AA, II, III and NAIA) along with my predictions for them. I also did All-Americans for them that year. It is hard to believe, but I have been covering football since 1980. But the real motivation to create my own niche in this world started many years earlier.

I had spent many years in children's homes, foster homes, and orphanages since I was six. When I was 13 years old in 1949, while living with my dad, I took off hitchhiking from Williams Park, Illinois to Ajo, Arizona, which I've always considered as my adopted city, to find my mother.

I was only in Ajo a short time, but my experience there has stuck with me and been an inspiration to me for the rest of my life.

While in Ajo, I met a girl who was able to restore a belief in myself and help me in developing my confidence. We enjoyed roller-skating in the outdoor roller rink, swimming in a "cow watering hole" and taking long walks in the desert.

It's funny, but a few years ago I wrote a "letter to the editor" in the Ajo Copper News trying to locate her after all these years. One problem was that the only name I new her by was "Toughie", and after running the "letter to the editor" in the Ajo Copper News for several weeks, it seemed as though no one recalled a girl with the nickname "Toughie". I remember Ajo with a special place in my heart and always will. The people in Ajo were some of the nicest that I have ever met and retain a special place in my memory.

Skipping a few eventful years, I received my discharge from the U.S. Navy and proceeded to live in Mexico for a while and in 1955 I moved to Kansas City, Missouri. In Kansas City I started out by setting pins in a bowling alley, worked in a Mexican bakery, worked as a busboy in the Muhlenbach Hotel, vended Coca-Cola at the Kansas City Athletics games and finally laid rail for the Santa Fe railroad in Kansas.

I was getting no where and I didn't have a high school education. I went back to Mexico and soon decided to return to my place of origin in Chicago. I yearned to have a high school education. But I finally decided that the best I could do at 21 was to get my GED. While working in an old peoples home in Kenilworth, Illinois, in their laundry, I studied for my GED.

I finally received an Associate Degree in Accounting, and worked 21 years at a meat packing company in Chicago.

People have been asking me for years how I got started in covering small college football and I thought that there might be more people out there wanting to know what gives me the drive to persist in doing the Football Gazette. It is still a struggle, to keep the Gazette going, as I am unable to attract advertisers, but somehow I keep managing to keep it going.

Don't forget I love college football.

My ex-wife Rose, is a success in her own right, and brought four wonderful kids into this life that both of us can enjoy. Both my boys, David (Bachelors' degree in computer science [Football Gazette's WebMaster and Assistant Editor]), Daniel (Bachelors' degree in Physical Therapy) are married and own their own home. My girls, Teresa (insurance underwriter) and Donna (housewife) have great husbands and own their own homes.



Copyright 2003 by Don Hansen's National Weekly Football Gazette. All rights reserved

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