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September 14, 2012


BCS Executive Director shares story of overcoming tragedy

HancockSharing stories about his life in sports as well as his cross-country bicycle adventures, Bill Hancock, Executive Director of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), spoke to a large audience Thursday night in the Robert Brown Theatre as part of Cowley College’s 90th anniversary special event series.

Hancock has achieved a unique double-double at the upper echelon of intercollegiate athletics. He was the first full-time director of the NCAA Final Four and is now the first executive director of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS).

Hancock served 13 years as director of the NCAA's Division I Men's Basketball Championship -- the three-week "March Madness" event that culminates at the Final Four.

After his son was killed in a plane crash in January of 2001, he retired in 2002 and for three years was the tournament's media coordinator on a consulting basis before being named BCS administrator in October 2005. He became executive director in November 2009.

Hancock was a marathon runner and cyclist and had dreamed of a cross-country adventure for many years. Following the death of his son, he undertook the cross-country ride in an attempt to get back to normal, fitness-wise, and also because he realized that dreams are meant to be fulfilled.

In 2001, he spent 35 days riding from Huntington Beach, Calif., to Tybee Island, Ga. In 2003, he traveled in 17 days from U.S.-Mexico border in Texas to the International Peace Garden at the U.S.-Canada border in North Dakota. He has run 15 marathons and has ridden a bicycle across the United States, twice.

His memoir about the transcontinental bicycle journey, "Riding With the Blue Moth," has been among the top-selling sports books since it was released in October 2005.

Sue Saia, Cowley College’s vice president of student affairs, organized Hancock’s visit to Cowley and was positively impacted by the book.

“I have shared the book with others and everyone who has read it seemed to really be impacted by it as well,” Saia said.

Hancock considers himself to be a lucky person, having had the opportunity to spend his career working in sports.

“I almost hesitate to use the term “work,” Hancock said. 

Hancock said visiting Cowley was a great honor for him and those who work in sports in the Midwest know all about the school’s athletic success.

Saia appreciated Hancock taking time out of his busy schedule to visit the college and share his story.

“It was a real treat for the community as well as our students to come and hear him speak,” Saia said.

Hancock hopes his message will resonate with those who attended Thursday night’s presentation
“It is my hope that people will learn the importance of cherishing every single day, and every single person,” Hancock said.