George Gager '42
Induction Year: 1996
Sport(s): Swimming
Graduation Year: 1942

George Gager came to Franklin & Marshall College from Niagara Falls, N.Y., as a highly regarded high school athlete. During his scholastics career, he was the Niagara Falls City junior tennis champion in 1937 and 1938. He was the captain of the swimming team and held 14 different pool records. He won the 1938 National Junior AAU 50-yard freestyle at the Penn Athletic Club (25.2 seconds). Gager was selected to the National Interscholastic All-American team for his times in the 50-yard freestyle. Matriculating to F&M in 1938, he earned three letters in both tennis and swimming (freshmen were not eligible), but it was in swimming that he would make his mark.

During his career, F&M was a member of the prestigious Eastern Collegiate Swimming League. In 1940 and 1941, he finished third in the 50-yard freestyle against some of the best collegians in the East. He reached the peak of his collegiate career in 1942 when he won the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 24.4 seconds and was a member of the second place 400-yard freestyle relay team. A team co-captain, Gager also set a Fackenthal Pool record in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 23.7 seconds. During the 0ff-season, Gager and two others represented the Lancaster YMCA and set a national record in the 120-yard medley relay with a time of 1:05.0, smashing the old mark of 1:06.4.

The time also established a Fackenthal Pool record. Following his successful career, Gager graduated with a degree in chemistry. He returned to Niagara Falls, where he became head swimming coach at Niagara University from 1948 to 1961. During that time, his dual-meet record was 104-56-3 against strong competition. He had two undefeated season and two of his swimmers reached the finals of the NCAA Division I championship. Gager moved to Miami-Dade Community College in 1962, where he resumed his teaching career. He retired to Key Largo, FL in 1993 after along and distinguished career in higher education.