But Gene had an amazing run as a high-school and college singles player, and with his brother, Tom, as a doubles champ as well.
Local pro highlights.
As a local pro, he and Tom racked up doubles championships throughout the 70s:
- The Westwood Invitational in 1973.
- The St. Louis District doubles title in 1974.
- The Martin Kennedy doubles title in 1975.
- Also in 1975: Remember the old Tennis Press? It ranked Gene and Tom #1 in doubles that year.
A big year: 1976.
That year Gene and Tom won:
- The McDonald’s Money tournament doubles, beating Jack Gorsuch and Rick Flach in final.
- The KTVI Invitational doubles tournament.
- With other partners, Gene also won:
- The St. Louis District Doubles.
- The KTVI mixed doubles.
1977 and beyond.
Gene and Tom made the finals of the Martin Kennedy doubles tournament, and Gene won seven or eight mixed-doubles titles in the St. Louis District, Martin Kennedy and Dwight Davis tournaments – most with Barb Berger and then later with Vicki Mueller.
In the 80s, Gene and Tom won the All-Racquet Tournament all four years it was held. That means they won at tennis, table tennis, racquetball, squash, badminton and platform tennis.
As recently as 2008, Gene was still winning platform tennis matches.
As a freshman, Gene played #1 Singles at Mizzou and that year amassed a 17-7 record. Playing #1 singles as a sophomore, he finished with a 23-7 record. Playing #2 singles as a junior and senior, he would go on to break the University record for career singles wins, with 69.
He played #1 doubles his whole career at Mizzou, winning the Big Eight doubles championship in 1971 with Tom and making the finals in 1972.
Gene also won the St. Louis District and Muny doubles titles as a college player.
McCluer High School.
Back in the Sixties, freshmen weren’t elegible for varsity sports, so Gene’s career started in his sophomore year. Then and as a junior, he payed #1 singles for McCluer.
As a senior, and partnering with Tom, Gene won the Missouri state doubles championship and helped their team win the overall state championship.