Not Without Hendricks

Sam Chambers
Fresh out of high school in Cuba CityWisconsin, David Hendricks, an all state football and basketball player, was ready to join the Marines when he was awarded a Vanneck scholarship to any college in the country.   He chose nearby Beloit College where he went on to star for the Buccaneers Basketball program, earning multiple team MVP and All-Midwest Conference honors.  David ranks 16th in all time scoring (1,103 pts) for Beloit.  He was inducted in the Beloit College Athletic Hall of Honor on Saturday, September 27th.
Fresh out of high school in Cuba City, Wisconsin, David Hendricks, an all state football and basketball player, was ready to join the Marines when he was awarded a Vanneck scholarship to any college in the country.   He chose nearby Beloit College where he went on to star for the Buccaneers Basketball program, earning multiple team MVP and All-Midwest Conference honors.  David ranks 16th in all time scoring (1,103 pts) for Beloit.  He was inducted in the Beloit College Athletic Hall of Honor on Saturday, September 27th.
 
Hendricks graduated from Beloit in 1964 and became the youngest high school head basketball coach in Wisconsin at New London High School.   Two years later, in search of warmer surroundings, Hendricks traveled to Houston to visit a friend at Baylor Medical School.  He met David Steward ‘59, a graduate of St. John’s, who put in a good word for the coach with then Headmaster E.K. Salls. Hendricks dismissed the proposal, but before he landed back in Chicago, Salls had an offer on the table.  In the fall of 1966 Hendricks was on board at St. John’s, beginning his legacy of love, laughs, and Latin that still echoes in the storied cloisters.

“I spent five of the happiest and most satisfying years of my life there,” said Hendricks. “I came to SJS as a German teacher (the main reason Mr. Salls, who was a German scholar, hired me, I suspect) and was an assistant to two of the greatest coaches and finest men I have ever met - Skip Lee and Garin Brockman.  I later answered Mr. Salls' desperate plea, ‘Can anyone here teach Latin?’ in the affirmative (although I had never had a Latin class in my life, but was a big proponent of ‘carpeing the diem,’” quipped Hendricks.   “I stayed one step ahead of my students (and one step behind Allen Elster - who was the Dwight Raulston ’71 of his time) and loved every minute of Latin Class over the next five years.” 

Hendricks brought the same vigor that made him a star at Beliot to his faculty responsibilities.  In his five year tenure, he coached JV Football, JV and Varsity Boys’ Basketball, and Varsity Boys’ and Girls’ Tennis.   He left with the Thomas Evans service award, then voted on by the student body.

“Anyone who played a down of football for Dave Hendricks is a better man from the effort and their association with him,” said Tom Lykos ’74.

“David Hendricks taught me to have confidence in myself and to exploit my full potential to be a man,” said Chad Dodd ’74.  “I remember many profound wisdoms from Coach Hendricks including: ‘No excuses are acceptable or needed if you give100% effort.’”

“Every halftime we were winning he said: ‘They don’t pay a plug nickel for the first half,’” said Steve Owsley ’75.

Hendricks went on to work in the business world, but ultimately, he could not get away from education. He returned for a swan song at St. John’s as Interim Athletic Director in 2010-11. 

“On the face of it, the proposal was ludicrous -- after all, I had not been in the education business for 40 years (other than teaching Latin as a volunteer at St. Andrews' Episcopal School in Potomac for three years) and I knew nothing about being an athletic director -- but then, I recalled knowing nothing about being a Latin teacher 45 years ago either,” said Hendricks.  “And, when I went to Houston to visit, I was reminded of what a big part of my life SJS had been and how bright, kind, and ambitious the students/athletes were.  My proudest moments came as a Rebel and a Maverick and a small part of the St. John's School Community.  Hail, St. John's, indeed.” 
 
“While I only had the privilege of working with David for a very short period of time during my transition, it was clear just how much St. John’s School and Maverick Athletics meant to him,” said Athletic Director Vince Arduini.  “David’s heartfelt affection towards the students and entire school community made a lasting impression on me as I began my tenure as Director of Athletics.”

Sam Chambers- Athletic News


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