|Title:||2001 Inductee (Athletic Director/ Football Coach 1953-1961/Basketball 1954/ Boxing 1959)|
Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi has named former University of Corpus Christi football, basketball and boxing coach Gene Sunderman as its first inductee into the Athletic Hall of Honor. In addition to coaching, Sunderman also served as Athletic Director.
Sunderman grew up in Putnam, Texas. In high school he played football, baseball and was on the track team. He participated in the State Championship in both the high jump and the javelin; winning State in the high jump in 1942. While in high school he competed on a traveling baseball team that was sponsored by Humble Oil Company. He earned "Little All-American" honors his junior year at Howard Payne. Prior to arriving in Corpus Christi, Sunderman tallied a 109-13 coaching record in high school football. From 1939 through 1952, he coached at a number of different small schools in West Texas and the Panhandle. He spent two years representing his country in the Army (1941-42); his foud brothers served in World War II as well.
Sunderman coached the University of Corpus Christi Tarpon football team from 1953 through 1961. He coached the Tarpon basketball team in 1954 and the boxing team in 1959. He served as Athletic Director during his enrire tenure at UCC. The boxing team at the University of Corpus Christi was the most successful program under Sunderman. The team won the Golden Gloves State Championship in 1959 and 1961. Two of his boxers won State titles in their respective weight classes in 1959 and three boxers won individual State titles in 1961. Sunderman took his UCC Tarpon Football teams to play in Mexico on several different occasions during his tenure at UCC. The Tarpons faced five teams from south of the border during his tenure as head coach; mexico University, National University of Mexico, Pentathalon University of Mexico City, Monterrey Tech and University of Nueva Leon. Sunderman's accomplishments in Corpus Christi go beyond his efforts at then University of Corpus Christi. He was one of the Co-Founders of Oso Little League, which is onf of the largest baseball/soccer leagues in South Texas.
After his tenure at the University of Corpus Christi, Sunderman moved his family to Canyon, Texas. Sunderman served as the Regional Golden Gloves Boxing Commissioner from 1961-1965. In 1999. he was awarded the Dictionary of International Biography's 20th Century Award for achievement for "Outstanding achievement in the field of education and sports."
Sunderman, who celebrated his 87th birthday this past year and his wife Hazel reside in Canyon, Texas. They have four children, twelve grandchildren and one great grandchild.