Gene Dziadura (1936 – 2010)

Sport: Football, Basketball, Minor Baseball
Position: Coach, Official
Year of Induction: 2011

About

Gene was a much loved teacher, coach, official, and friend to all who came in contact with him during and beyond his 35-year teaching career at Chatham Collegiate Institute. He is best known as the scout who helped develop Fergie Jenkins and then signed him to a Philadelphia Phillies contract in 1962. However, there is more to Gene Dziadura than that. He was an all round athlete as he grew up in Windsor and played baseball in the Chicago Cubs minor league system until he was sidelined by back problems. He became a teacher, started at CCI in 1959, and took his love of sports to coaching and officiating.

Career Highlights

At Chatham Collegiate

  • Coached football for 28 years and is credited with resurrecting the sport at the school after it was disbanded in the early ‘60s because of a fatality
  • Won one SWOSSA championship
  • Coached basketball for 10 years ‒ coached track and field for 3 years coached tennis for 5 years
  • Organized academic and sports awards program which were adopted by other schools

In the Community

  • For several years refereed high school basketball and high school football
  • For 3 years coached in Chatham Minor Hockey
  • For 5 years coached in Chatham Minor Baseball
  • 1959-1976 ‒ was area scout for Philadelphia Phillies ‒ gave baseball clinics to Western Counties Baseball League Coaches ‒ organized tryout camps for local players, bringing in other scouts to watch and evaluate
  • In 1990s was a baseball instructor for Louisville Slugger out of Wallaceburg

Throughout his life, Gene continued to compete and excel at various sports. From 1970 to 1985, he played Slo-Pitch at the local and provincial level winning an Ontario Championships with the Sports Mart team. He played old-timer hockey. He won a mixed doubles tennis title at the Wheels Racquet Club and a golf championship at Maple City Country Club.

Gene died in November of 2010 at the age of 74 after a long battle with cancer.

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