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After 23 Years, Hanson Announces Retirement

After 23 years serving the Wichita sports community, Bob Hanson announced that he will retire at the end of 2020 as the President/CEO of the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission (GWASC).

WICHITA, KANSAS – After 23 years serving the Wichita sports community, Bob Hanson announced that he will retire at the end of 2020 as the President/CEO of the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission (GWASC).

“Bob has been instrumental in shaping the sports event industry in Wichita over the last two decades,” said Doug Lampton, GWASC Board Chair. “His leadership and vision for the community has been extraordinary. From leading the campaign for a downtown arena to bringing in unique events like NBA exhibition games, Buster Posey National Collegiate Catcher of the Year Award and the USATF Junior Olympics. He has worked tirelessly to promote Wichita’s assets and make our community a better place to live.”

“I am announcing my plans for retirement effective December 31, 2020”, Hanson stated. “My tenure at the Sports Commission has been a very rewarding and fulfilling experience. Linda and I have established great friendships and met many wonderful people during our time in Wichita. I want to express my appreciation for the great support we have received from our Board Chairmen, our Board of Directors, our staff, local companies, our many sponsors and all of the people who have contributed to the success of our organization. It is time for the Sports Commission to move forward with new and progressive leadership. I know there is a very good foundation to build on and I wish them well and continued success.”

The administrative committee of the GWASC board of directors will oversee the process to choose Hanson’s successor. Resumes will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 and should be emailed to: tonya@wichitasports.com or mailed to: GWASC Attn: Tonya Atta 300 N. Mead, Ste. 109 Wichita, KS 67202. A complete job description is available on our website. 

Hanson was named executive director of the newly formed Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission in October 1997 and promoted to President/CEO in May 2001.

Since his arrival, Hanson has successfully developed the GWASC into the premiere sports organization in the community.

Since his arrival, Hanson has successfully developed the GWASC into the premiere sports organization in the community. His imagination and leadership were evident when he and Mike Gehrer created the National Collegiate Catcher of the Year Award in 2000. Hanson has led the GWASC to bring many high profile events to Wichita including: Wichita Corporate Challenge, World League Volleyball, American Junior Golf, Intercollegiate Bowling Championships, multiple junior college events, WNBA and NBA Exhibition games and the USATF National Junior Olympics Track & Field Championships. The most recent success story has been the implementation of the Prairie Fire Marathon Race Series, which has developed into a great event for the Wichita community. The economic impact of events the GWASC has facilitated since 1997 is over $544 million.

Hanson recently led the consolidation between the GWASC and the NBC Baseball Foundation, allowing both organizations to better utilize resources.

Hanson served as the campaign lead for the “Vote Yea” Downtown Arena campaign that was passed by Sedgwick County citizens in November 2004. INTRUST Bank Arena opened in January 2010.

Prior to coming to Wichita, Hanson was active in college basketball. He was on the staff at Kansas State for three years, and prior to that, was the head coach at the University of Nebraska-Omaha for 25 years. He also served as the president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches in 1995-1996 and received the Dalton S. Hilliard Award for service to basketball in 1997. Hanson played collegiate basketball at the University of Wyoming.

Hanson and his wife Linda, both formerly from LaGrange, Wyoming, reside in east Wichita and have two daughters, two granddaughters and a grandson.

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