Roger Hanson, a former University of Minnesota Duluth men’s basketball standout and member of the UMD Athletic Hall of Fame, passed away at the age of 78 this week.
Hanson, born and raised in Duluth, graduated from Duluth Central High School in 1961 and was a pivotal member of the undefeated state championship basketball team. That state championship team has been recognized by many as one of the greatest high school basketball teams of all-time in the state. Hanson proceeded to stay home and play for the Bulldogs from 1961-1965.
During his time with the UMD men’s basketball program he earned All-MIAC honors on three occasions (first team in 1963-64 and second team in 1962-63 and 1964-65). Hanson started in the Bulldog backcourt for four seasons and played on one MIAC championship club (1961-62) and one NCAA Division II playoff qualifier (1964-65 — the first, and only to date, UMD team to win an NCAA post season game).
He left the Bulldog program holding down the No. 4 spot on the school’s all-time scoring list (1,408 points in 106 games for a 13.3 points per outing average). He would then serve as an assistant coach with the 1965-66 basketball Bulldogs as well as playing one season with the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company team which won both the United States AAU Championship and World Championship titles in 1966-67. He also lettered twice in track at UMD.
Hanson was a huge UMD basketball supporter right to the end of his life. His son Darin, was a four-year basketball letterman (guard) at UMD from 1989-93.
A celebration of life will be held on Tuesday, June 15 from 4:00 to 6:00 at Williams Lobermeier Boettcher Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to the UMD Athletic Men’s Basketball Legacy Fund. The proceeds will go to benefit a UMD student-athlete in the basketball program. — UMD Athletics