LSU’s Kelly completes coaching staff with confirmation of Hankton’s hire

Cortez Hankton, a native of New Orleans who was part of the coaching staff that helped Georgia to the 2022 national championship, has been named LSU’s wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator, head coach Brian Kelly announced on Monday.

Hankton spent the past four years at Georgia where he was part of three SEC Eastern Division titles, three New Year’s Six Bowl games and the 2022 College Football Playoff.

“Cortez is a tremendous coach who has developed outstanding receivers everywhere he’s been,” Kelly said. “He understands what it takes to win at the highest level having spent the past seven years in the SEC. Our players will benefit from Cortez and all that he has to offer – on the field and off the field. The experience he brings to our program will help create a championship culture at LSU.”

Hankton served as the pass game coordinator and wide receivers coach at Georgia since 2019. He joined the Bulldog staff in 2018 as wide receivers coach. In 2021, Georgia led the SEC in yards per play (6.98) and pass efficiency.

At Georgia, Hankton 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 Terry Godwin, 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 of 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 seasons at Dartmouth. In 2012, Michael Reilly earned first-team recognition.

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 was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent in April of 2003 by the Jacksonville Jaguars. 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 Vikings in 2007 and spent the entire 2008 season on injured reserve with Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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

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 the 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.

Off the field at Georgia, Hankton mentored Bulldog football players in their “Dawgs for Pups” campaign which assisted Athens-area children with a number of vital goods and services such as providing internet access for in-home learning, coats during the winter season and a “Food2Kids” snack drive.

The New Orleans native 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.

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Tiger Rag News Services

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