Each year WSU and the Alumni Society recognize individuals for their outstanding commitment to the university, its mission and to improving our world.
Charles “Charlie” Zane graduated from Winona State with a degree in business education in 1964. Prior to college, Zane served in the U.S. Army and played multiple sports, including baseball for Fort Carson, football and wrestling for the 47th Infantry Division, and football with the Fort Lewis Post team. He also assisted in the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley.
Zane is one of the all-time greatest three-sport athletes and administrators ever produced at Winona State. He lettered nine times: four in baseball, four in football and one in wrestling. Zane was named to the All Tournament baseball team and established a record batting average in the National Tourney. His baseball team was Conference Champions from 1961 to 1963, Region IV Champions, and placed fourth in the National Tournament. He was a starter in WSU football for four years, and led in interceptions for two years. The team went on to win the 1962 NIC Conference Championship.
After graduation, Zane began his coaching career at Bay View High School in Milwaukee, but returned to WSU in 1966 and served in a number of roles, including faculty in the Business Education and Office Administration and Administrative Information Systems Departments and Student Union Director from 1972-1997. He also served on numerous WSU committees and task forces and was president of the Minnesota State University Association of Administrative and Service Faculty. He retired as Student Union Director Emeritus in 1997.
For 20 years he officiated local games and tournaments, including NIC tournaments and NCAA Division II championship games. Since his retirement, Zane has remained active at WSU by serving as a special projects fundraiser on the Retiree Center Steering Committee and collaborating with the Alumni Society in assisting incoming freshmen.
Zane was inducted into the Mayo Civic Region I Wrestling Hall of Fame and the Winona State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009.
Zane and his wife have traveled to 49 states and 25 foreign counties. He enjoys spending time with his two children.