Hock takes the reins: Part 2

Northfield native utilizing a wealth of experience at Norwich
Published: Dec. 22, 2021 at 6:24 PM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - On Tuesday, we introduced you to Ed Hockenbury Junior, the son of a Norwich legend and soon to be athletic director at his home town school. It hasn’t been an easy road through the tragedy of losing his father and the uncertainty of young adulthood working as an assistant baseball coach at UVM, but the path Hock took since then has allowed him to persevere.

In 1997, Hock took the job as athletic director at Essex high school. He would end up spending 17 years with the Hornets before moving over to the same role at south Burlington, where he spent two years. He says people don’t really understand just how much into those jobs.

“An Athletic director at the high school level really does a lot,” Hock said. “Community expectations in South Burlington and Essex are high. And so I think that prepared me. The other thing I think the high school jobs prepare you for is delegating. You can’t do everything yourself.”

But after nearly 20 years at the high school level, Hock felt the urge to return to the college ranks.

“When I initially got the job at Essex, I thought, ‘Oh, I’ll do this for a few years and then I’ll get back to college athletics,’” he said. “And that opportunity didn’t come up for a while because people stayed here at UVM. And so when the opportunity came up, I just felt I had to seize the opportunity.”

It has been nearly six years since Hock arrived back at UVM as Associate Athletic Director, serving under old friend Jeff Schulman. He says his family decided shortly after Ed Senior died that they weren’t going anywhere. Vermont is their home. But in spite of how much he has enjoyed his time at UVM, Hock says he’s always kept his eye on the one job that could get him to leave Burlington.

“I’ve known (current Norwich AD) Tony (Mariano) for years,” Hock said. “And you know, I had thought during my time here at UVM, I really enjoy it here, but I had thought I’ll keep an eye on that situation. And and we’ll see. I hadn’t heard of anything with Tony until that was announced. So immediately upon hearing of the announcement, I gave it some thought and talked it over with my wife and just was kind of excited about the opportunity.”

And with his experience as a high school athletic director, a division one associate athletic director, and that name recognition, Norwich was excited about the idea too. They offered Hockenbury the job as their new athletic director.

“Thankfully I think it means a lot to Norwich and to Norwich’s history,” Hock said of the familial tie. “My dad’s legacy I think is pretty powerful at Norwich. And I think there’s positive association between the name and the university and Norwich Athletics.”

Hock will start at Norwich in January, learning the ropes from Mariano before taking over on his own at the end of the school year. It’s a dream come true for the kid from Northfield, and he can’t help but smile thinking about what it would mean to his father.

“I think he’d be happy,” Hock said of Ed Senior. “I think my dad would be happy. I think he’d be proud. I think he loved Norwich. He had a lot of great years. He built the basketball program into a national level program for a number of years. So I think he would be proud of what he accomplished there. And I think he would also recognize that it was difficult. You know, that that military component is just, it’s just different for a coach. And it’s great. It’s great in many ways and what the young people who graduate from Norwich learn from going through the challenges of athletics and academics and military. It’s just remarkable. So I think that meant a lot to him at Norwich. I think he’d be proud to see that I’m gonna be the athletic director.”

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