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 Payne

Football and Track & Field

Inducted: 1988

Gene Payne began his athletic career at Gustavus as a freshman quarter miler on the 1948 track team. He decided quickly, however, that his speed could be put to better use on the gridiron than on the cinder track. Gene entered the Gustie backfield as a halfback on Coach Lloyd Hollingsworth's 1948 team, becoming an integral part of a successful 7-1-1 campaign and a second-place finish (4-1) in the MIAC. Over the next two seasons, the Gusties amassed a total record of 17-2, with Gene as one of the pistons driving the offensive engine. The 1950 Gusties captured the MIAC championship, and Gene was voted to the all-conference team.
Not content with excelling only in athletics, Gene received the 1951 Myrum Key, the award for the senior letter recipient with the highest grade point average. Since his graduation in 1951, Gene has gone on to an outstanding career in law enforcement, serving for 28 years in the FBI and then as corporate security director for John Morrell.
Then, Gene was a field representative for Mid States Organized Crime Information Center. He lives in Sioux Falls, SD, with his wife Beatrice. They have three children: Harlan; Martha; and Sarah.