Previously published in the Sentinel April 6, 2005
The man with the big hands and a smile just as wide, is now a member of the Wisconsin Football Coaches Hall of Fame.
Gene (Geno) Golden, who went into retirement in the Webster area and loved the game of football so much he lent his experience to the Tigers as both an assistant and head coach, was admitted to the hall on Saturday.
“The 42 years of coaching and dedicated service to young people has been a very rewarding part of his life,” said the biography on Gene Golden.
Before coming to Webster, he distinguished himself in the football community first at Regis High School in Eau Claire, then at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul and as a wide receiver for the Bluegolds at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 1963.
He made the all-conference team that year and the next and gained all-conference and al-district first team honors on the No. 1-ranked, undefeated 1963 and ’64 teams.
Golden spent 42 years of coaching and dedicated service to young people. He coached grade school, YMCA youth football, was varsity assistant at Regis for 15 years and varsity assistant for defensive ends, defensive line, linebackers and special teams for 18 years at UWEC.
He also coached track, basketball and fast pitch softball. In 1998 he came to Webster and for several years was a volunteer, before taking the head coaching job.
After one year, he went back to assisting the Tigers before retiring once again.
Golden’s career included being a WIAA football official for 18 years, a WIAA basketball official for four years and six years as a girls’ fast pitch umpire. He dedicated 15 years to being a WIAA and college baseball umpire.
Golden played YMCA Senior League Basketball, retiring as the second all-time leading scorer in history. His talents included being a state champion in YMCA volleyball, fast pitch softball and semi-pro baseball.
Honors for his efforts include Man of the Year for the YMCA Board in 1975, UWEC Athletic Hall of Fame and Regis-St. Pat’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
He has served as president of the Sacred Heart PTA, Regis booster club, Chippewa and St. Croix Funeral Directors’ Association, was a member of the Knights of Columbus, Optimist Club, YMCA Board, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Eau Claire Jaycees, UWEC Football Advisory Committee and Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce.
He has six children, four boys, Mike, Mark, Andy and Jordan and two girls, Anne and Jenna. He also has nine grandchildren.
Because the Wisconsin Football Coaches Hall of Fame is located at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Golden’s plaque is now at Lambeau.
Many other awards were also handed out during the event held last Saturday night.