Wide Receivers Coach
Cortez Hankton enters his third year as an offensive assistant coach with the Commodores. He mentors the Vanderbilt wide receiving corps.
Hankton, a former National Football League wide receiver who has enjoyed recent success mentoring receivers in the Ivy League, joined the Head Coach Derek Mason’s staff in January 2015.
In 2016, Vanderbilt’s youthful receiving corps blossomed under Hankton. Junior wideouts C.J. Duncan, Trent Sherfield and Caleb Scott and freshman receiver Kalija Lipscomb combined combined for 129 catches and 1,751 yards. Duncan paced the corps with 44 catches and 494 yards. Sherfield and Scott came on strong at the end of the season, finishing with 34 and 24 receptions, respectively. Lipscomb’s 27 catches ranked No. 8 all-time among Commodore freshmen receivers.
Sherfield also was a standout in 2015, posting 51 receptions in Hankton’s first season on campus.
Hankton, a former six-year NFL veteran out of Texas Southern University, spent the last 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.
Signed as an undrafted rookie free agent in April of 2003 by the Jacksonville Jaguars, Hankton 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.
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 in 2002, where he set school season and career records for receiving yards. A four-year starter and two-year starter, he was Texas Southern’s team MVP and an All-Southwestern Athletic Conference recipient as a junior and season. Hankton culminated his collegiate career by being named as a Division I-AA third-team All-America by the Associated Press.
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.
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 a young son, Cortez Hankton III.
Hankton’s Coaching Career
?2015-17 – Vanderbilt University – wide receivers
?2012-14 – Dartmouth University – wide receivers