Longtime Sandite Coach/Athletic Director Cecil Hankins to be inducted into OBCA Hall of Fame

Cecil Hankins, 1953 Sand Springs High School yearbook.

Former Sand Springs Coach and Athletic Director Cecil Hankins will be inducted into the Oklahoma Basketball Coaches Association (OBCA) Hall of Fame Saturday, June 3rd. Hankins was previously inducted into the Oklahoma Coaches Association (OCA) Hall of Fame in 1975 and the Oklahoma State University Hall of Honor in 1996.

Hankins coached in Sand Springs for sixteen years, including basketball, football, track and field, baseball, and golf. He retired as Athletic Director in 1988 and passed away in 2002 at the age of 80. 

A Division I collegiate athlete, Hankins played for Oklahoma A&M University (now Oklahoma State University) in both football and basketball, under Jim Lookabaugh and Henry Iba respectively.

In football he played halfback and defensive back on the undefeated 1945 team that was recently declared the National Champions by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA). The AFCA has been working to declare national champions for the period between 1922 and 1949 before they began a rankings system.

1945 Oklahoma A&M National Champion team. Hankins can be seen in the second row from the top, four positions to the right of Head Coach Jim Lookabaugh. 

In the 1945 Sugar Bowl, Hankins received the go-ahead touchdown pass from Bob Fennimore and the Aggies went on to prevail 33-13 over St. Mary's. 

Hankins didn't live long enough to see his football team recognized as National Champions, but the 1945 Basketball team also won a National Title and he contributed 13 points per game that season. The 1945 season was the school's first NCAA Tournament appearance and first National Championship as the Aggies defeated New York 49-45 in front of 18,000 fans at Madison Square Garden to finish the season with a 27-4 record. Hankins scored 15 points in the Championship game.

After his collegiate career, Hankins played 25 games with the Boston Celtics and averaged 2.8 points per game for 70 career points. 

At Sand Springs he coached football from 1952-1954 and amassed a 15-10-4 record with a 1952 District Championship and playoff appearance. He coached future three-time MLB World Series Champion Jerry Adair as quarterback, who went on to play basketball at OSU under Iba. He coached basketball from 1948 through 1957. Sandite Pride is missing the 1948-1949 season record, but his final eight years Hankins went 144-59-1 and led his team to four-straight Verdigris Valley Conference Championships.

Hankins will be inducted along with Jack Begley, Ron Murphey, Robert Sprague, and Bailey Van Zant. Begley coached at Texhoma High, Clinton High, and Panhandle State. He won two State Championships at Clinton. Murphey coached at Felt and Texhoma and won one State Championship at Texhoma. Sprague coached at Daniel Webster, Nathan Hale, and Tulsa Memorial. Van Zant coached at Pond Creek and Pryor, started the basketball program at Seminole Junior College, then coached fourteen years in Texas.