Dick Hanson, who coached Burnsville High School’s football teams for 34 seasons and won five state titles, died Tuesday at the age of 80 after battling Parkinson’s disease.
Hanson joined the Burnsville coaching staff in 1960 as an advance scout his first season. After eight seasons as an assistant, he was named head coach in 1969 and coached through the 1993 season. His teams (nicknamed the Braves until becoming the Blaze in his final season) compiled a record of 205-59-2 and won nine section and 10 conference titles. They captured their first state championship in Class A in 1972, then won Class AA championships (the largest schools then) in 1980, 1985, 1989 and 1991.
A former math teacher, Hanson was honored as Minnesota Teacher of the Year in 1968.
Burnsville named its football field for Hanson in 2006. Last May, he was honored as the 2015 John Gagliardi Legacy Award winner by Minnesota Chapter of The National Football Foundation.