Santa Clara Sports Hall of Famer Robert Gern Nagler ’53 died April 9, 2020, following a brief illness. Raised on a ranch near Marysville, Calif., Gern was a standout on the football field and brought his prowess to SCU (then the University of Santa Clara), where he majored in history. Drafted out of school, Gern first played for the Chicago Cardinals and broke the team record for receptions with 43 his first season. He spent the 1954 season in Fort Sill, OK, coaching the assortment of Heisman Trophy winners and All-NFL players that the Army had assembled there to keep them out of the Korean War, and won the all-services championship at the Poinsettia Bowl. The next year, he returned to the Cardinals, then played for Pittsburgh before retiring from football in 1961. He returned to California with his family and became a successful farmer, growing almonds and, later, tomatoes. In addition to hiking, crabbing, and fishing near his home on the Oregon coast, Gern enjoyed traveling, particularly to Africa, New Zealand, and Montana.

29 Sep 2020