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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Gene Donley (Inducted 1987)

Gene Donley Biography from the Hall of Fame Sports Banquet, April 27, 1987.
 
      Gene Donley was one of the outstanding Otter athletes of the 1950s, participating in football, basketball, and baseball, as a player for fellow Hall of Famers and coaches Norm Galloway, Duane Baglien, and John Hermes.
      He was a senior quarterback and captain of the 1955 Otter football team that finished with a perfect record of 9-0. That same school year, he was a guard on the Fergus High basketball team that went 20-5 and just missed a trip to the state tournament, losing by three points to Glenwood in the region finals. Donley was also a centerfielder and second baseman for the Otter baseball team.
      His high school awards were numerous. They included Otter MVP honors in both  football and basketball, all-conference in football and basketball (twice), and selection as captain in both football and basketball. The 5-foot 6-inch and 135-pound Donley earned nine letters during his high school athletic career.
      Donley went on to play football and basketball at Concordia College but a shoulder injury ended his college sports. However, he was able to play baseball for the Underwood town team for 15 years and for many years played softball and city league basketball. He later took up bowling and in 1971 bowled a perfect 300 game in Fergus Falls, the last person to do so.
      "Looking back, it was especially pleasing to go 9-0 in football our senior year after having been through a 0-6 season as sophmores," says Donley.
      Donley is currently president of Western Minnesota Federal Savings and Loan in Fergus Falls. He and his wife, Mary, have two sons, Mark and Michael.
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