inducted October 2, 2008
From 1945-48, Gene Rossides at quarterback presided over a golden era of Columbia Football. As described by legendary New York City sports writer Irving T. Marsh, “Gene Rossides, quarterback; John Nork, left halfback; Charles (Bill) Olson, right halfback, and Lou Kusserow, fullback, the greatest backfield ever produced on Morningside Heights.” Rossides and Kusserow were referred to as the “Goal Dust Twins.”
Rossides was a four-year letterwinner during those glory days for the Lions and still holds the school record for scoring during a single game with
five touchdowns in a 34-26 win over Cornell in 1945.
It was with the Columbia Debate Council that Rossides honed his craft and it was on the football field that Rossides honed his other craft. He is best remembered as the architect of the Lions 21-20 football victory over Army in 1947, a win that snapped the Cadets’ 32-game unbeaten streak.
Following an outstanding football career at Columbia, Rossides was drafted by the New York Giants in 1949. He declined the offer to play professional football in order to attend Columbia Law School, saying, “law presents more of a challenge for me. I hope to get into politics.”
Rossides followed through with that statement, serving as Assistant Attorney General for New York State and was appointed Undersecretary of the Treasury by President Richard Nixon in 1969. Rossides returned to practice law privately in New York in the 1970s and became a leading activist for Greek and Turkish issues on an international scale.
In 2000, Rossides joined his fellow “Goal Dust Twin” on Columbia Football’s Team of the 20th century. Now in 2008, Rossides joins his teammate in the Columbia Athletics Hall of Fame.