The Colonel

Colonel Tom Hanzel started coaching at Trinity in 1970 and had a 15-year stint at the top of the trap and skeet world with his students as well as his own shooting career. Through his 15 years there he captured 4 team national championships, 19 individual titles, 40 All-American ratings, and six NSSA Hall of Famers. Hanzel himself competed in the senior category and captured a few world titles as well. When asked the question of what made the Trinity trap and skeet team special, there is only one answer and it is the Colonel. Bender related this viewpoint numerous times during our interview in how The Colonel was not just a coach but also a paternal figure as well. Where his office as director of personal was the unofficial clubhouse of the team where the students would spend off-hours when not shooting. Throughout the 15 years of his teach Trinity had a revolving cast of characters who were excellent shooters but the main piece for the consistency of the program was the Colonel. Hanzel was dedicated to the team’s success and the university’s success. An interesting side note of this was where he chartered a tun fishing team to compete against the Ivy League teams where neither he nor the coach of the team he appointed had any experience. The team lasted for two years before the coach left and Trinity never fielded a team again. His love for the university leads to unorthodox ideas to compete.