Washington Elected to Hall of Fame

Former Spartan and two-time All-American Gene Washington named one of 14 players and two coaches elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.

Former Michigan State two-time All-American Gene Washington will become the sixth former Spartan selected for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame on Tuesday.

Washington joins fellow Spartans John Pingel, Don Coleman, George Webster, Bubba Smith and Brad Van Pelt as the latest Spartan to earn induction.

Washington was ahead of his time as a 6-foot-3, 218-pound end who was used by head coach Duffy Daugherty as a blocker for a 9-0-1 Spartans team that averaged 230.5 yards rushing in 1966.

At the end of his career Gene Washington was MSU's all-time leader in receptions (102), receiving yards (1,857) and touchdown receptions (16). His 18.2 yards per catch still ranks ninth on the Spartans all-time list.

Washington spoke about his surprise of receiving the news and his gratitude for Michigan State and head coach Duffy Daugherty.

"I was pleasantly surprised when I received the news," Washington said. "This is a tremendous honor and I want to thank all of the voters who decided to mark my name on the ballot.

"I came from a completely segregated high school system, so I'm most grateful for Michigan State providing me with opportunities to receive a great education while competing in a totally integrated environment. Beyond my athletic achievements, I'm most proud of my education because I knew It would be important to have a second career after football.

"I appreciate the tremendous leadership skills of Duffy Daugherty," Washington continued. "He created a comfortable environment for the players and coaches alike. Duffy had a calm, business-like approach to things, so players understood and accepted their roles for the good of the team.

"I was fortunate to be a member of some great Michigan State teams. I was surrounded by great teammates, like George Webster, Bubba Smith and Clinton Jones, and Duffy knew how to pull it all together."

Washington will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame at the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame's 54th Annual Awards Dinner on December 6 at the Waldorf=Astoria in New York City.

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