Former Herald sports editor, columnist Hec Hancock dies

Herald sports editorMarch 18, 2013 

Hec Hancock, a longtime sports editor and columnist at the Tri-City Herald, died Sunday at Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland.

The Kennewick man was 91.

Hancock was born July 1, 1921, in Williamson, W.Va.

He served in the Marines and was a major in the Air Force Reserve.

His son, Terry Hancock of Kennewick, said that his dad “always said he was one hot chick away from going to college at Washington State University.”

Hec Hancock had a scholarship to go to Pullman, but the girl talked him into going to the University of the Pacific, where he would eventually graduate.

The irony of not going to school at WSU was that he would eventually cover the Cougars for the Tri-City Herald.

Oh, the girl? She was just a friend, said his son.

In the 1970s, Hec Hancock had been the sports information director at St. Mary’s College in California.

But his contract was on a year-to-year basis.

So in August 1973, he took a job offered by the Herald and moved his family to Kennewick, where he became the sports editor.

During the next 13 years, he would write numerous columns covering Mid-Columbia and Northwest sports.

He was at the first Seattle Seahawks game, knew everyone in the Pac-10, was good friends with former Miss Budweiser hydroplane owner Bernie Little and was a fan of horse racing.

He always had a front row seat in the press box during Cougar football Saturdays, where he would sit with his good friend Harry Missildine, sports editor at the Spokane Chronicle.

In 1986, Hancock decided to semi-retire from full-time work at the Herald.

But during the next 20 years, he would still write the occasional column for the Herald.

He is survived by seven children and, as Terry said, “a gaggle of grandchildren.”

He also leaves behind a family of friends at the Herald.

Mueller’s Tri-Cities Funeral Home, Kennewick, is in charge of arrangements. Services are pending.

-- Jeff Morrow: 582-1507; jmorrow@tricityherald.com

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