1994 Greater Flint Afro-American Hall of Fame Inductee
Parents: Jessie and Ora Lee McFadden
Sons: Thorgoud and John Paul McFadden
In 1950 the McFadden family came to Flint, from Hope, Arkansas. As a youngster growing up he was inspired to pursue sports by his brothers, Monroe and Rev. Aaron McFadden who were great athletes and role models. Gene attended the Flint school system and at Emerson Junior High played in the junior high Mott football program. Despite his diminutive size (145 lbs), he was determined to be the best at whatever position he was asked to play. While in junior high, Gene began to make conditioning top priority. With his natural athletic ability, he worked hard blocking and tackling. Gene continued to draw raves and praises from all his coaches. When he arrived at Northern the coaches were amazed at his ability to out maneuver larger and more experienced players at practice. In 1956, he played linebacker on defense and offensive guard on one of Flint Northern’s greatest football teams, undefeated City, Valley and State Football Champions of 1956. Gene was awarded All City guard and honorable mention All Valley.
In 1957, Gene was Tri-Captain of the Northern City Champions, All City, All Saginaw Valley, All State guard and the recipient of the Flint Downtown Optimist Football Award. Detroit Free Press called Gene one of the finest stars in the State. After graduating, he enrolled at Hillsdale College. As a freshman he was a starter at guard on offense, a position not often accomplished in the M.I.A.A.Conference. Despite his 160 pounds, his coaches were astonished. Gene played on three M.I.A.A. Championship Teams. He was named Most Outstanding Freshman Player – 1958. He was All Conference three years and a 1959 Honorable Mention, All College State Football. In 1960 Gene played in the Mineral Water Bowl game, won by Hillsdale vs Iowa State Teachers, 17 to 6. Gene set a Hillsdale single game record of tackles made – 25, in 1961. All State College second team. He earned four letters in football at Hillsdale. After graduating with a B.S. from Hillsdale College, Gene received other degrees of higher education and many awards.
Presently, Gene is founder and owner of several small businesses in Indianapolis, Indiana, including Freight Masters, Indiana, B.F. Restaurant and Catering, Inc., L and M Leasing, Inc., Executive Travel Service, Inc.
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