Roar, Lion, Roar: A Celebration of Columbia Football

People > Players 1940s-1950s > Gene Rossides

Coach Lou Little with Lou Kusserow and Gene Rossides

Lou Kusserow (#33, left), Coach Lou Little (center) and Gene Rossides (#21, right)

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Gene Rossides, CC 1949

From 1945 to 1948, Gene Rossides presided over the most successful four consecutive squads in Lions history. He still holds the school record for scoring during a single game – with five touchdowns in a 34-26 win over Cornell in 1945 – and he did so as a freshman on the way to an 8-1 record for the season. (Freshmen were permitted to compete on the varsity team during the war years.)

Rossides was the starting quarterback for the Lions’ 21-20 football victory over Army in 1947, a win that snapped the Cadets' four-year, 32-game unbeaten streak. In an interview with the Spectator, Rossides recalled "I'll never forget that Monday morning. I had a class, it was with Dr. Lawrence Chamberlain, who later became Dean of the College, and it was either public administration or political science. He says, 'well, maybe we should just turn the class over to Mr. Rossides today.' I was just embarrassed. Everyone else clapped." (October 28, 1982, page 9).

Following an outstanding football career at Columbia, Rossides was drafted by the New York Giants in 1949 but he declined the offer to play professional football in order to attend Columbia Law School.

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