Eugene J. Shea ’57
Wrestling Captain Nine Varsity Letters The 1957 Bluebook says of Eugene John Shea, “Gene has compiled a commendable record in both the classroom and on the athletic field. Scholastically speaking he always ranked high in the class, but his most heralded achievements have taken place on the gridiron, the wrestling mat and the baseball diamond.” The Pingry Record adds, “In all his sports his ability and determination to do his best have been an inspiration to his teammates.” This sums up well the Pingry athletic career of Shea, who garnered a total of nine Varsity letters. As a wrestler, Shea was captain his senior year and was runner up in the state championship in 1956 and ‘57. As noted in The Pingry Record in 1957, Gene’s qualities of leadership and abilities on the mat were largely responsible for the team’s successful season. He was equally accomplished as a quarterback for the football team and shortstop for the baseball team. He made the All-County team in all three sports and this athletic prowess helped propel Shea onto the football, wrestling and baseball teams at Cornell. In 1960, he was named the 150 lb. football team’s MVP and made Second Team All-Eastern League. A decorated Marine Corps veteran, Captain Shea flew 150 combat missions in Vietnam and was awarded ten air medals, in addition to Presidential and Navy Unit citations. He became a Captain for American Airlines, logging more than 20,000 accident free hours before retiring in 1997.