Athletic Hall of Fame

The Gustavus Adolphus College Hall of Fame was established in 1978 at which time 19 "Charter Members" were inducted either as coaches or as athletes. As of the fall of 2022, 348 individuals (321 athletes, 16 coaches and 11 benefactors) have been elected to the Hall of Fame.

The former Hall of Fame room on the second floor of the Lund Center was originally partially endowed by the families of both Dwight Holcombe's (the only father/son combination holding membership in the Hall). The hardwood plaque upon which the individual plates are permanently displayed, now in the Hall of Champions, was donated by the family of former football coach and Hall of Fame member Jocko Nelson, who passed away in 1978.

Eugene Nei

Baseball and Football

Inducted: 1987

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.