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Gil Steinke began his football career as a player at Texas A&I, where he won all-conference honors on offense and defense. Steinke played with the Philadelphia Eagles from 1945-1948 and led the NFL in punt returns with a 14.8 average in 1947. As a starting safety, he helped the Eagles win a world title in 1948. He continued his career in football as a coach at Texas A&I from 1954-1976. He directed the Javelinas to 39 consecutive triumphs and six NAIA football titles, including three in a row from 1974-1976. By the end of his 23-year coaching career at A&I, he had achieved 10 Lone Star Conference championship trophies and 186 wins against only 62 losses and 4 ties. Steinke was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1977.

Gil Steinke