ProStar Coaching - Cortez Hankton
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Cortez Hankton completed his second year as the wide receivers coach with the Commodores in 2016.

Hankton, a former National Football League wide receiver who has enjoyed success mentoring receivers in the Ivy League, joined Head Coach Derek Mason's staff in January 2015 and was part of a turnaround which saw the Commodores earn a spot in the Camping World Independence Bowl game vs North Carolina State in 2016.

In 2015, a pair of sophomores, Trent Sherfield and Caleb Scott, stepped forward as solid receiving threats in Hankton's first year on campus. Sherfield finished the year with 51 catches, good for 659 yards and three touchdowns. Sherfield's reception total ranks third all-time by a Commodore sophomore. Scott finished the year with new career highs of 24 catches and 339 receiving yards.

Hankton, a former six-year NFL veteran out of Texas Southern University, spent the three years prior to coming to Vanderbilt at Dartmouth University mentoring wide receivers. In that time, he helped the Big Green to a 20-10 overall record, including a 8-2 mark in 2014.

In 2014, Hankton's receivers helped the Dartmouth offense average 31.3 points and 248.1 passing yards. His top receiver, Ryan McManus, earned All-Ivy League honors after catching 68 passes for 879 yards and eight touchdowns.

Hankton's produced an All-Ivy caliber receiver all three years at Dartmouth. In 2012, senior Michael Reilly earned first-team recognition with McManus receiving honorable mention. In 2013, Big Green receiver Bo Patterson was an Ivy League honorable mention recipient.

Hankton joined Dartmouth in 2012 by way of University of Central Florida, where he spent three months working as a volunteer assistant of player personnel. In that role, he helped formulate recruiting priorities and travel plans, plus evaluated prospective student-athletes and broke down film of recruits. From 2008-10, Hankton also has 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 University in 2002.


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 in New Orleans.

Hankton and his wife, the former Shon Holder, were married July 2014. They are the parents of an infant son, Cortez Hankton III.

Off the field in 2011, Hankton 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.

Vanderbilt Adds Cortez Hankton To Complete Staff, The Tennessean, (1/19/2015)

After NFL, Hankton Catches the Coaching Bug,, (10/16/2012)

Click here for feature on Cortez, "Risk Rewarded"

Year Team Title Head Coach
2015-Present Vanderbilt Wide Receivers Derek Mason
2012-2014 Dartmouth Wide Receivers
Passing Game Coordinator
Special Teams Return Game Assistant
Pro Liaison
Buddy Teevens


Hankton set school season and career records for receiving yards at Texas Southern University. A four-year starter for the Tigers, he was a team captain in each of his final two seasons on the squad, earning team MVP and All-Southwestern Athletic Conference accolades in both years. Hankton culminated his collegiate career by being named to the Division I-AA All-America Third Team by the Associated Press.

The Jacksonville Jaguars then signed the undrafted Hankton in April of 2003, and he proceeded to play in all 16 games as a rookie, catching 17 passes for 166 yards. In his four years with the Jaguars, he caught 34 passes for 310 yards and a pair of touchdowns, both of which came in his sophomore campaign in 2004. Hankton signed with the Minnesota Vikings in 2007 and spent the entire 2008 season on the injured reserve with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

After being released at the conclusion of training camp in 2009, Hankton signed with the New York Sentinels of the UFL. The following year he played for the Florida Tuskers and head coach Jay Gruden, earning a nomination for the league's Offensive Player of the Year. The Tuskers then moved to Virginia as the Destroyers for the 2011 season, and Hankton was a part of head coach Marty Schottenheimer's squad that won the league championship.