Mike Hansch was raised in Tacoma, the son of Bill and Betty Hansch. Bill served for many years, on the Board of the East Side Boys Club. Studious and determined as a youth, his son, Mike graduated from Lincoln High School and then went through a series of post-secondary education in pursuit of numerous degrees.
His career in banking started as a messenger for Puget Sound Bank when attending TCC. Later, after graduation, Mike was with Peoples Bank in Othello and then Washington Trust in Spokane for a combined total of 14 years. He served as Branch Manager and Corporate Marketing Director. Following his father's second heart attack, his mother convinced Mike to return to Tacoma.
Securing a job with Seafirst Bank in Tacoma, he remained there for 25 years. All the while, he handled his father's real estate investments.
During his time in Tacoma, his father asked him to help out at the East Side Branch. The boys, ages 7-10, were in need of an Assistant Coach for the football team. Mike was neither a football player, nor particularly, an athlete…but he agreed to help. Subsequently, the Head Coach left….and Mike was forced to assume his position. He loved working with the kids and had them drawing up the plays. He remembers one rainy game on McKinley Hill. Some of the parents were upset at the referee and chased him off the field armed with umbrellas. Mike chuckles at the memory. It was entirely a memorable year and the team finished with a 4 and 3 winning record.
To celebrate, Mike planned a party in an upstairs room at the East Side Club. He arranged for cake and ice cream for the boys. The team presented him with a gift that they had chipped in to buy. One by one, he called the boys forward and told a story about each one. He became more and more moved by realizing how much it all meant to him. This came to a peak as he called the last member of the team, number 77. Although the name of the young boy is lost in time, Mike remembers him coming forward with a paper bag and tears in his eyes. In a quiet shaky voice, he told Coach Mike that he hadn't had the money to chip in for the gift, so he made this for him. Shoving the bag in Mike's hand, he ran from the room. In the bag was a crude carving of a football player with the number 77 on his jersey. 46 years later, "Coach Mike" still has the carved figure. He chokes up when he talks about it.
In addition to the Boys & Girls Clubs, Mike also served on many boards and committees to improve Tacoma and Pierce County. He was President of the Tacoma 8 Rotary Club, chaired Zoobilee, was Board Chairman of the Goodwill Foundation, Chairman of the Emergency Food Network, on the Medical Board for Franciscan Health Systems and the Chairman of the Geneva Foundation. Not a lot has gone on in Tacoma-Pierce County in the past 30 years that Mike has not been involved with in a leadership role.
Many things have changed at the Clubs over the years. Michael Hansch is still involved with generous financial support and children are still being changed as a result of relationships with caring adult mentors. Thank you Mike…it's caring people like you that make our community a better place!