Max Hawk, of Yankton, South Dakota, was residing in Sun City West, Arizona, at the time of his death on January 22, 2021.
A celebration of his life will take place in Yankton at a later date.
Max was born March 19, 1933, to Chlora (Bourne) and Frank Hawk of Wessington Springs, South Dakota. After graduating high school in 1951, he attended Northern State University, Aberdeen, playing center on the Wolves football team. He served in the US Army during the Korean Conflict, then he returned to NSU, earning both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Max was united in marriage with Jane Sheldon on August 12, 1956, at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Aberdeen. He was a member of Christ Episcopal Church, Yankton and Advent Episcopal Church, Sun City West.
His first teaching/coaching position was at Scotland, SD. During their eight years in Scotland, Max and Jane were blessed with the birth of their three children. In 1965, he began teaching/coaching at Yankton High School, where he led the Bucks football program for 30 years. At the time of his retirement, he held the record as the winningest South Dakota high school football coach, with 284 wins, 78 losses, and 2 ties.
For forty years, Max served as the Executive Director of the SD High School Coaches Association. He was a lifetime member of the National High School Athletic Coaches Association’s Board of Directors, serving as the association’s fifteenth President in 1980, and attended 50 consecutive annual conventions. Coach Hawk was selected as South Dakota Football Coach of the Year several times, and National Football Coach of the Year in 1986. Hall of Fame inductions include Yankton High School, Northern State University, South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame, SDHSCA, and the NHSACA.
Preceding him in death were his son, Monte; siblings Bruce, Lila, Jim, Ruth, Jean, George, Zola, Claude and Audree.
Survivors include his wife, Jane; daughter Lynne Schraw and husband Steve of Fargo; daughter Jennifer Hawk-Heirigs and husband Rick of Aberdeen; and grandchildren Colter, Stetson, Hunter and McCaya Heirigs. As a family, we encourage you to support opportunities and programs for young people in your community. Memorials may be directed to the South Dakota High School Coaches Association, 801 W. Eagle Ridge Street, Sioux Falls, SD 57108.
Yankton Press & Dakotan
January 23, 2021