Hock takes the reins: Part 1
Northfield native and son of former men’s hoops coach taking over as Cadet AD
BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Ed Hockenbury Junior is every bit a coaches’ son. His father Ed senior was a hall of fame basketball player at Boston College, and in the late 1970′s, he left Rollie Massimino’s staff at Villanova for his own head coaching opportunity at Norwich University.
“I think for him, he perhaps went into it seeing it as a stepping stone to a different job in basketball,” Hockenbury Junior said of his father. “But then they fell in love with the Northfield community, they loved Norwich.”
Hockenbury senior would end up holding the post in Northfield for 17 years, taking the Cadets to unprecedented heights. So that’s where Hockenbury Junior would spend his formative years.
“When you grow up in Northfield as a kid, there isn’t that much to do,” Hock said. “So I spent a lot of my childhood at Norwich. I started out in Plumlee Armory and then Andrews Hall was built, and I spent a lot of time shooting hoops at Andrews and hitting baseballs at Shapiro Fieldhouse.”
Hock would grow up to become a two-sport star at Northfield High and stuck with baseball as far as he could.
“I had a pretty good playing career at Princeton and I really wanted to play beyond college,” he said. “I did not get drafted, but I pursued through tryouts and such and ended up signing with the Angels. It didn’t last very long, but it was fun while it lasted.”
With his playing days behind him, Hock returned to his adopted home state, earning a Masters Degree at UVM while working in the Athletic Department. But just like his Dad, his passion was in coaching.
“It was fantastic coming here,” Hock said of UVM. “I loved coaching baseball. Bill Currier did an incredible job. We had some very good teams, we had some exciting seasons, so I loved the baseball part.”
Unfortunately, being an assistant coach for a midmajor baseball program doesn’t pay the bills, so Ed Junior turned his attention to the administrative side of things. But around the same time Hock was figuring out what he wanted to do with the rest of his life, his family was dealing with a bigger issue...Ed Senior was dying of cancer.
“Obviously it was difficult when my Dad was going through that,” Hock said. “He made it a lot better because of his attitude through that whole thing was remarkable. He was strong, he was positive throughout, so it was very hard, but he himself, how he handled it helped us all through it.”
Shortly after his father’s passing, Hock would take a job that would set him down his current course, and we’ll get into that tomorrow in part 2.
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