Norton Outdoor Adventures Endowment Established in Coach Hank Norton’s Honor

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Norton Outdoor Adventures Endowment Established in Coach Hank Norton’s Honor

Legendary Coach Hank Norton

Through gifts from family, friends, and former football players of Coach Wilbert Henry “Hank” Norton, an endowment honoring Coach Norton’s 34 years of service to Ferrum College has been established.

The endowment will support The Norton Outdoor Adventures, formerly known as Ferrum Outdoors, and will pay tribute to his love of the environment. Norton was an avid fly-fisherman and enjoyed the great outdoors in addition to coaching and mentoring student-athletes. 

The program encompasses activities such as disc golf, hiking, camping, caving, skiing, biking, and paddle sports that focus on getting outside and enjoying nature, with an emphasis on safety and learning.

“Throughout our lives, Dad had a reputation as a highly respected football coach. What excites us about the establishment of this [program]…is that it honors his actions as a leading citizen-advocate for clean water and a clean environment,” wrote Norton’s children, Pattie Norton Gunter, Will Norton, and Jack Norton, in a statement of support.

“I am incredibly grateful for Coach Norton’s family as well as his former players and friends who came together to make this happen,” said Vice President for Institutional Advancement and External Relations Wilson Paine. “The Norton Outdoor Adventures is a fitting tribute to Coach Norton’s contributions to Ferrum College outside of football, and this endowment solidifies Ferrum’s commitment to providing our students the opportunity to explore the natural environment and develop a deeper appreciation for the outdoors.”

Norton, who passed away on January 16, 2019 at the age of 91, has been described as tough but caring, leading Ferrum College into post-season playoff runs, winning titles, and coaching 46 All-Americans during his career at the College.

Learn more about Norton Outdoor Adventures here.

Learn more about Coach Norton here.  

If you would like to donate to the Norton Outdoor Adventures program, please visit, or contact the Office of Institutional Advancement by calling 540-365-4211 or emailing 

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