Eugene Nei ’55 Inducted 1987
Baseball and Football
While the offensive and defensive lines are perhaps the least noteworthy part of a football team from the public's point of view, they are perhaps the most important from the perspective of the team itself. Gene Nei joined the Gustavus defensive' line in 1951 and during his four years at guard made that line an integral part of four MIAC championships. The team's MIAC record during his time on the line was 23-1-0, the best four-year total in school history. Gene was hardly an unknown soldier in the Gustie cause, however. He was voted an all-MIAC selection in 1952 and 1954, and in the latter year, he was a first-team choice in the Associated Press small college all-America poll.
Gene, who served as team co-captain, also received the Paulson Trophy as the Gusties' most valuable player in 1954. Like teammate Don Hausken, Gene did not restrict his athletic ability to football. He played catcher for the 1953 baseball Gusties, and he boxed in the Minnesota Golden Gloves competition.
A business major and member of the Tau Psi Omega fraternity, Gene has gone on to obtain a masters' degree from Mankato State University. He works now as a teacher and administrator in the Prior Lake, Minnesota, school system. Gene and his wife Janice have raised five children: Patrick, Lauri, Barbara, Paul and Julie.