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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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Potts, Gene. (Bankston, IA-- ). Athlete, educator, historian. Potts began his athletic career at the age of nine in organized sports at the DUBUQUE BOYS' CLUB and in the city youth recreation league. A participant in four sports until his sophomore year at Loras Academy, Potts turned down professional baseball contract offers to attend LORAS COLLEGE on an athletic scholarship and participated four years. An versatile athlete for the Duhawks baseball team, Potts started both in the infield and the outfield, earning the team most valuable player award in 1959. A three-year starter, Potts led the Duhawks to a 35-8 record during his three year career and hit .273 (44-for-161). A two-year year starter on the basketball team, Potts averaged 8.4 points per game (460 points) in 55 games played. Along with his brother, Cy, the Potts are the only pair of siblings in the Loras Athletic Hall of Fame.

He continued his active involvement in sports as a coach and player for forty years after college. In 1998, Potts was a member of such prestigious halls of fame as the Loras College Athletic Hall of Fame, Amateur Athletic Union of Iowa (AAU), Dubuque County Baseball Hall of Fame and the Dubuque Independent Baseball Hall of Fame.

Continuing his interest in athletics, Potts was instrumental in the design and construction of the baseball dugouts at STEPHEN HEMPSTEAD HIGH SCHOOL and DUBUQUE SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL. He served on the committee to persuade city officials to incorporate a baseball diamond in the McAleece Complex and was a volunteer coach at the little league, high school and semi-pro levels for many years.

In "Field of Dreams," one of many MOTION PICTURES developed in Dubuque, Potts was a baseball consultant and coach. His contract duties included selection of the players' training, the actions in hitting and fielding, coaching the players and answering baseball questions for the producers and director while on the set. As an expert on local athletics, Potts played a significant role in the preparation of Faith and Fortunes: An Encyclopedia of Dubuque County and was the contributing writer on articles dealing with sports and many sports figures.

A member of the administrative staff of the DUBUQUE COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT for many years, Potts held a doctorate from the University of Iowa. On January 1, 1980 Dr. Gene Potts opened the morning newspaper to find that he had been named the First Citizen of LINCOLN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL through the combined efforts of students, staff and parents.



McCormick, John. "Lincoln School's Very Own First Citizen," Telegraph Herald, January 1, 1980, p. 1