|Clifford E. “Gene” Wells was born in Ft. Smith, Arkansas, in 1925. He attended high school in Ada and MacAlester, Oklahoma, graduating from the latter in 1943. He was selected as one of McAlester’s first athletes to participate in the Oklahoma High All-Star Game.|
Duane Fisher, longtime Hobbs High coach, was Wells’ football coach in high school. Wells served in the Air Force (1943-1946) during World War II. After the war, Gene attended Oklahoma A&M (now known as Oklahoma State University) on a football scholarship, graduating in 1949.
Over the years, Gene served as a teacher, principal, and coach, coming to Hobbs Municipal Schools 1953. In 1960, Gene became the first Athletic Director in the school system’s history. Under his leadership Watson Stadium was built, completed in 1965 which when completed provided the largest seating for a high school football stadium in New Mexico.
Gene served as Head Track Coach in Hobbs and built the program into one of the best in the state. His Eagles’ track teams won five state track championships and in the top 3 numerous times. , and the Gene Wells Relays have been held annually for many years.
Gene was inducted into the New Mexico High School Coaches Association (NMHSCA) Hall of Honor in 1984. He served as the President of NMHSCA. Other honors came Gene’s way included the 1968 Southwest High School Track Coach of the Year, 1974 New Mexico Athletic Director of the Year, and in 1975 National High School Track Coach of the Year nominee and the distinguished Service Award by the National High School Coaches Association.