Class of 2004
Gene Drendel attended Naperville Community High School, graduating in 1954. At that time, Naperville did not have wrestling. He attended Iowa State University and earned a Bachelor’s degree in 1958 and his Master’s degree in 1960.
In 1960, he began his coaching and teaching career as a math teacher and the freshman wrestling coach at DeKalb High School. He coached at DeKalb from 1960-1963 and his teams were undefeated at that time. In 1960 Gene went back to Naperville Community High School and coached two years at the freshman level and his teams were undefeated. From 1964 to 1966 he coached at Lincoln Junior High School. He worked in the District 203 in Naperville for 31 years as a teacher, principal, and associate superintendent. He worked for 10 years as a part-time instructor at North Central College in Naperville.
Gene has served as the announcer for the DuPage Valley Conference Wrestling Tournament for every year except one since the inception of the conference. He has worked for over thirty years as an announcer and bench official at the IHSA State Individual Tournament. He has also worked as an announcer for two Big 10 Tournaments and for Naperville North and Naperville Central regional and sectional tournaments.
A past-president of the Naperville Rotary, Gene has also served on the boards of the Naperville River walk Commission, the Little Friends Board, and the City of Naperville 911 Commission. He has been a member of Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity and Phi Delta Kappa Education Fraternity. Gene was selected by the Naperville Jaycees as the Educator of the Year and received the Four Avenues Service Citation by the District Rotary. He was recognized as an Outstanding Alumnus at Naperville Central high School and honored on the Hall of Honors Outstanding Alumnus at Sts. Peter & Paul School.