Terry Hanson - 2.0 - 2000
Class: 2.0 Player
Jersey Number: 00
Home: Crystal, Minnesota
Hall Of Fame Induction: April, 2000
Team: Twin Cities (Minnesota) Rolling Gophers, St. Paul Saints and Minnesota Ice
Terrell Hanson was one of the pioneers of Quad Rugby in the United States. He first participated in rugby in a Murderball exhibition game at the Wheelchair Games in Marshall, Minnesota in 1978. In the early days players were using their every day chairs with very little camber or protection. They were not allowed to strap in for safety or stability, because that was considered an unfair advantage. He recalls playing in Marshall and a player crossed in front of him causing a "t-bone" collision. The unstrapped player slid straight out of his chair and ended up under Terry's chair. A paraplegic spectator named Lloyd Zeise started chanting, "Murder, murder, murder". Everyone on the court was cracking up and Terry knew this sport was for him!
Hanson went home to the Twin Cities and at the tender age of 43 and helped form The Rolling Gophers. They sported an all post-polio starting line-up; perhaps the only team to ever do so. In Murderball's infancy, Terry's Gophers frequently played fellow Hall of Famer Brad Mikkelsen's team, The North Dakota Wallbangers, as well as several of the established Canadian teams. They were so committed to playing rugby that they frequently drove through snowstorms just for pick-up games on weekends.
Hanson was also a successful basketball player and USA Women's Basketball Coach. He was a natural leader who conveyed his court knowledge and skills well to his fellow players. He was Minnesota's key organizer, team captain and coach on the floor, but most of all he was a sincere gentleman who everybody respected.
By 1987, when the USQRA formed and league play began, Terry's Rolling Gophers teams were a force. They won the first National Championship in Grand Rapids in 1988 against Texas, and would win Nationals again in 1991 in Tampa, dethroning Quadzilla. In those early years tournament play was very competitive at the top between Minnesota, Dallas, Boston, Saskatchewan, Quadzilla and Tampa. Terry's Minnesota teams were loaded with talent and were noted for their cohesiveness and remarkable passing. Terry's hook passes were extremely accurate.
Hanson served as USQRA President when he succeeded Abu Yilla in the early 90's. He worked with Commissioner Brad Mikkelsen to guide Quad Rugby into its largest growth years, which included a new, more equitable classification system, Sectional, National and International Rugby and much more.
Hanson made many All-Tournament teams along the way, but the award he was most proud of was his numerous selections for Sportsmanship. He was not only a great competitor, but also a level-headed player on and off the court. Terry Hanson was a true gentleman and received many such awards honoring his sincere congeniality. He retired at age 57 after playing fifteen seasons.