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Cortez Hankton to join Brian Kelly's LSU staff

January 16, 2022
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Fresh off of a national championship, Georgia Bulldog's wide receivers coach and New Orleans native Cortez Hankton will be joining Brian Kelly's LSU staff.

Hankton prepped at St. Augustine in New Orleans.

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From Hankton’s bio on official UGA site:

Former NFL wide receiver Cortez Hankton was named Pass Game Coordinator and Wide Receivers Coach in February of 2019 after serving the 2018 season as an assistant coach in charge of the receivers. 

During his tenure at UGA, Hankton has been part of teams that became the first in school history to win 11 or more games three straight seasons (2017-19), won two SEC Eastern Division titles (2018-19), and earned three consecutive appearances in a New Year’s Six Bowl game (2019 Allstate Sugar, 2020 Allstate Sugar, 2021 Chick-fil-A Peach).  The Bulldogs also finished in the top 10 in the final CFP rankings four straight years (2017-2020).  The 2019 and 2020 senior classes won 44 games—tied for most in school history.  

At UGA, Hankton has coached SEC All-Freshman wide receiver George Pickens, the MVP of the 2020 Allstate Sugar Bowl victory over Baylor.  Additionally, he coached several big-play receivers in 2018 in senior Terry Godwin and juniors Mecole Hardman and Riley Ridley who combined for 1,475 receiving yards.  All three were drafted in the 2019 NFL draft: Hardman, 2nd round, Kansas City; Ridley, 4th round, Chicago; and Godwin, 7th round, Carolina.

Hankton joined the Georgia staff in February, 2018, after coaching wide receivers for three seasons at Vanderbilt, where he coached veteran receivers C.J. Duncan and Trent Sherfield along with Caleb Scott and Kalija Lipscomb.   Sherfield ended his career among the program’s best in receptions (136) and 1,869 yards. 

Prior to his tenure at Vanderbilt, Hankton coached receivers for three seasons at Dartmouth in the Ivy League (2012-14).  During that time, he helped the Big Green to a 20-10 overall record, including an 8-2 mark in 2014.

Hankton’s produced an All-Ivy caliber receiver all three years at Dartmouth. In 2012, senior Michael Reilly earned first-team recognition with Ryan McManus receiving honorable mention. 

Hankton was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent in April, 2003, by Jacksonville.  In his four years with the Jaguars, he caught 34 passes for 310 yards and a pair of touchdowns, both of which came in 2004. Hankton signed with Minnesota in 2007 and spent the entire 2008 season on injured reserve with Tampa Bay.

After his NFL career, he played three seasons with New York, Florida and Virginia of the United Football League.

Prior to joining the Dartmouth staff in 2012, Hankton spent three months working as a volunteer assistant with Central Florida. In that role, he assisted in all aspects of the recruiting process. From 2008-10, Hankton spent time training draft-eligible athletes for the NFL combines with Tom Shaw Performance Training Camps. In early 2010, he also served as non-paid receiver coach at Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando.

Hankton received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Texas Southern in 2002, where he set season and career records for receiving yards. A four-year starter and two-year captain, he was Texas Southern’s MVP and an All-SWAC honoree as a junior and senior. Hankton culminated his career by being named as a Division I-AA third-team All-America by AP.

Hankton in 2011 created Black Ice Concept, an organization that strives to increase minority presence in winter sports by obtaining sponsorships and funding to subsidize expenses for the athletes. He has demonstrated his commitment to academics many times over as well, including the creation of the Cortez Hankton Scholarship Fund for exemplary student-athletes in 2003 and his work with Read Across America through the NFL and the National Education Association.  From 2016-17, Hankton volunteered with “Walk for Wishes,” a fund raising program for Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee.

Since September of 2020, Hankton has mentored Bulldog football players in their “Dawgs for Pups” campaign to assist Athens-area children with a number of vital goods and services.  Thus far the program has provided Internet access for in-home learning, coats during the winter season and a “Food2Kids” snack drive.

A native of New Orleans, Hankton is the son of Cortez Sr. and Sherome Hankton, both officers in the New Orleans Police Department. Hankton was a standout athlete and multi-year starter at St. Augustine High School.

Hankton and his wife, the former Shon Holder, were married in July, 2014. They are the parents of sons Cortez “Trip” III and Cruz.


Hankton Thumbnail
Birthdate: January 20, 1981
Birthplace: New Orleans, La.
Family: Wife Shon, sons Cortez “Trip” III and Cruz
High School: St. Augustine HS, New Orleans
College:  Texas Southern ‘02 (Business Administration)

Coaching Experience:
2012-14................................................ Dartmouth (Wide Receivers)
2015-17................................................. Vanderbilt (Wide Receivers)
2018-Present............................................. Georgia (Wide Receivers)

Playing Experience:
1998-2002.................... Texas Southern -- Wide receiver, four-year
........................................ letterman, two-time All-SWAC, team MVP
2003-08.................................. NFL -- Jacksonville Jaguars, 2003-06;
.............................. Minnesota Vikings, 2007; Tampa Bay Bucs, 2008
2009-11........................................ UFL -- New York Sentinels, 2009;
Florida Tuskers, 2010; Virginia Destroyers, 2011

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