Ian Hankins, '10
Ian Hankins, a 2010 business major from Washington, D.C., first heard about Muskingum from his grandfather. Although not an alumnus himself, his grandfather was familiar with Muskingum and knew several graduates. Since his grandfather thought highly of MU, Hankins decided to contact Coach Cooper, the Head Cross Country and Track coach at the time.
“My first visit to Muskingum in the summer of 2005 was when I knew Muskingum was the place for me,” Hankins said. “I fell in love with the beauty of the campus and the fact that everybody was on first-name basis after the first meeting. In fact, I visited Muskingum five times before officially beginning in August of 2006. “
“After graduating from Muskingum I put both my business degree and passion for the running industry to good use,” Hankins explains. “I got my foot into the running industry by starting as a Marketing Associate for the Georgetown Running Company; my duties here included organizing group runs and races, running the social media sites and creating the online store, where I helped develop a first-of-a-kind virtual shoe fitter.”
Next, Hankins started as a Marketing Associate for The Track & Cross Country Journal, LLC, where he helped develop a scientific running journal with articles contributed by top sport scientists and coaches around the globe – the first of its kind. Hankins is a minority owner with TCCJ, and he operates and runs the social media sites while covering major events and issues within the sport of track & field. He is also a sports performance consultant for H2K Sports, where he partners with another track & field coach to help create training plans and analyze video to correct running mechanics of athletes of all calibers.
In addition to working within the world of sports marketing, Hankins already has an impressive coaching résumé as well. “My coaching career got started at my alma mater, St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C. as an Associate Head Cross Country and Track & Field Coach. Then I moved onto Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas, where I was an Assistant Cross Country and Track and Field Coach.”
Hankins then worked as the Head Cross Country Coach and Assistant Track Coach at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland, where he helped to establish a cross country program.
Hankins recently accepted the position of head coach of the Men’s and Women’s Cross Country teams at Potomac State College of West Virginia University, where he will be building the program from scratch.
Hankins’s entrepreneurial spirit doesn’t end with his accomplishments thus far. He was recently invited to meet with the CEO and executive team at Under Armour to plan and create an Olympic Development program for elite athletes. He received the invitation after submitting a proposal to start an Olympic Development Track program – something, Hankins says “that most shoe and apparel companies have, but Under Armour lacks.”
Hankins also shared his senior seminar, which was on the corporate responsibility of NIKE, with Alberto Salazar, the coach of NIKE’s Oregon Project Olympic Development team. Salazar was so impressed by Hankins’s paper and coaching accomplishments that he invited him to meet in person to discuss the paper and talk about coaching methods.
Hankins says that at Muskingum, “I was taught how to have an extended family, because being a small school, Muskingum treats you like family. You should always get to know a face and associate it with a name. The thing I brought with me to every school I have been at since Muskingum is to say hi. Make people feel welcomed. This has helped me gain trust of not only my athletes, but the students I recruit.”
Hankins also says, “I credit the professors with making me well-rounded as I experience different situations on a daily basis, whether it is calculating stats, arranging transportation, or even helping a student-athlete with their homework. I can proudly say there is no better education than a small liberal arts school. Coach Cooper and Coach Gleason were really forthcoming with teaching me not only their coaching methods but allowed me insight on what it takes to be a successful recruiter. I was never an All-American, All-Conference or a champion of any kind, but that doesn't mean I couldn't be a great coach. If you have a passion for the sport you love, you will truly be a successful coach.”