Gene Masters

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High School Football Coach

The dean of active Western New York high school coaches, Gene began coaching varsity football at Brocton Central High in 1957. Six years later, he moved to Grand Island as coach of a new Vikings team at a brand new high school. After 32 years, Masters is still coaching.

Gene’s early athletic achievements provided a solid foundation of his exemplary coaching career. He was athlete of the year his senior year at Tonawanda High and played semi-pro football with the North Tonawanda Loggers and Fredonia Orioles. He also played varsity football for the University at Buffalo.

A total of 218 career wins places Gene second all-time in the wins among area high school football coaches. His teams have made nine trips to the Sectional VI Playoffs at Rich Stadium and have emerged with four overall championships. Masters’ Grand Island football dynasty has included 18 championship seasons, and it is still going strong. In a September 1994 interview, Masters indicated that “as long as the good Lord wants me, I will continue his work; that is teaching young men what is right and then doing right through football.” His lifelong dedication to athletics and students is unsurpassed and was recognized last year with the presentation of the Dick Offenhamer Award during the 16th annual UB Civic Day.