Hank Norton was originally from Huntington WV, and received his undergraduate degree at Lynchburg College and later his master’s in education at the University of Virginia. While serving his country, he coached and played football for the US Army post team, “The Black Knights” in Frankfurt, Germany. But it was as a coach that Hank Norton found his calling.
Norton’s coaching career spanned five decades, beginning at Powhatan High School in 1954. In 1960, Norton signed on to coach the Panthers at Ferrum College, and over the next 34 years led the team to 29 winning and five undefeated seasons. His 244-77-11 overall career record is one of the best in collegiate football. He has taken teams to four NCAA playoff berths, two South Region Titles (1988 and ’89), four Junior College national titles (1965, ‘67, ‘74 and ‘77) and 15 JUCO Region X titles.
His contributions to the game are many, including articles such as “Defensive Football” and “The Kicking Game” in American Football Coaches Journal, and other contributions on Ferrum’s unique strategies in Junior College Review. And over the years, Norton has had the privilege to see 42 of his players sign professional contracts.
Hank Norton was honored with many achievements. Some of those awards include the National Junior College Coach of the Year in 1965, ‘68, and ’74, and the title of the Coastal Conference Coach of the Year six times.