Boston College lost one of its most legendary Eagles on Tuesday, as former All-America football player Gene Goodreault died at the age of 92 after a long battle with cancer.
A consensus All-America selection at defensive end after the 1940 season, Goodreault was inducted into the Boston College Varsity Club Hall of Fame in 1970 and was also enshrined in the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame in 1982. His Eagles jersey was also retired in 2001, honoring the 60th anniversary of BC’s Sugar Bowl win.
Goodreault was an influential member of head coach Frank Leahy’s historic 1941 Sugar Bowl championship team, and also helped BC reach the 1940 Cotton Bowl, the university’s first bowl. To add to his long list of accolades, he received the George "Bulger" Lowe Award as the best football player in New England following his senior season.
Despite all of his accomplishments, there was more to Goodreault than football.
"He just appreciated everything about his life and never complained," his son, E. Joseph Goodreault, Jr., said in a statement. "He was very humble. No one ever knew that he was an All-American football player. He never tried to promote his accomplishments to his family or others."
The Detroit Lions drafted him out of BC, but he turned down a career in the NFL to fight in the Navy during World War II. After his service, Goodreault returned to Haverhill, Mass., and established a wool brokerage company, representing a number of international firms to clothing manufacturers in the Boston area.
He lived in the Bradford section of Haverhill until 2004, when he moved to California for his final six years. His family has also requested that donations be made to the American Cancer Society in his honor in lieu of flowers for the funeral services.
"He was a fine representative of his generation, Boston College and his hometown of Haverhill," his son said. "Gene loved the phrase 'Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful,' and he lived by those words."
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