Hansa Rostock 1978 standing from left: Cheftrainer Helmut Hergesell, Trainer Rudi Schneider, Jörg Seering, Ronald Adam, Rüdiger Kaschke, Jürgen Utess, Dieter Schneider, Gerd Kische, Karl-Heinz Aul, Peter Sykora, Eckhard Brackenwagen, Uwe Block, Rainer Jarohs, Mannschaftsarzt Dr. Rainer Müller und Mannschaftsleiter Klaus Decker. on their knees from left: Jürgen Decker, Olaf Spandol, Hans-Joachim Wandke, Bernd Köhler, Axel Schulz, Eckhard Märzke, Dietrich Kehl, Michael Mischinger and Günter Blum.
The club was founded on 1 November 1954 multi-sport Sportclub Empor Rostock. Because it was not possible to find enough players for the football team the team of Empor Lauter was transferred to Rostock. This was common in the German Democratic Republic. Rostock took the place of Lauter in the first league. The re-organization of East German sports in 1965 led to the association's football department becoming independent as Fußball Club Hansa Rostock. The new club was named "Hansa" to remember northern Europe's Hanseatic League. Rostock was an important member there.
After the reunification of Germany Hansa played together with Dynamo Dresden in the German Bundesliga. They were relegated but came back. Their best result in the Bundesliga was 2 times a 6th place.