Linfield College inducted its 10th Athletics Hall of Fame class Saturday night at Ted Wilson Gymnasium, honoring former greats in football, baseball, basketball, track and volleyball.
The annual Hall of Fame banquet, sponsored by AT&T, followed the Wildcat football team’s 66-0 season-ending victory over Lewis & Clark at nearby Maxwell Field.
Ten individuals were inducted - including four All-Americans and the third member of the Rutschman family - bringing the total membership of the Hall of Fame to 90 individuals and seven teams.
More than 200 people attended.
Inductees, and some comments from their acceptance speeches:
Bret Bailey class of 1982, earned all-conference honors three times in baseball (outfielder) and once in football (linebacker) and helped Linfield win Northwest Conference championships in both sports. Bailey was chosen the Wildcats’ Most Valuable Player twice in baseball and Defensive Player of the Year in football.
In his acceptance speech, Bailey said the award was really “about some great people who were involved in my life and gave me great opportunities athletically and academically.” He named numerous teammates in both sports “who surrounded me with talent and support.”
Jay Buse ‘75, a second team NAIA football All-American defensive end and second-team Associated Press Little All-American in 1974. Buse started every game of his three seasons at Linfield and was All-Northwest Conference and Little All-Coast all three seasons and selected by his teammates as best defensive player all three seasons.
Buse made an eloquent acceptance in which he credited the sum of all the people involved, all their interest and support bound together into “strands” to create the “rope” of his teams’ successes.
Dave Craven ‘88, the fourth-leading men’s basketball scorer in Linfield history. He was chosen all-conference three times and was conference Player of the Year in 1988.
Athletic director Scott Carnahan said Craven had one of “the most impact basketball careers” ever at Linfield. “As Dave went, the Wildcats went,” Carnahan said.
Among those thanked by Craven was current Linfield men’s basketball coach Larry Doty, “who taught me that no matter what you have accomplished, you can always get better.”
Dave Freundschuh ‘82, whose school and Northwest Conference records in track’s 100-meter dash have stood for 27 years. He won five conference sprint championships and was chosen NAIA District track and field Athlete of the Year in 1980.
Freundschuh said his induction in the Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame “means more than any other awards could say.”
Doug Hire ‘87, a starter on two national championship football teams and a first-team NAIA All-American offensive guard in 1986. Hire is now associate athletic director and associate head football coach and offensive line coach at Linfield.
Ad Rutschman, Hire’s coach and presenter, said he “came to us a rough nugget and left a polished gem, as a player and a person.”
Hire said the opportunity to play for a national championship and coach Rurtschman’s interest in him brought him to Linfield. “Coach Rutschman has had an impact on so many lives and I am lucky to be one of those,” Hire said.
Susan (Holm) Allsop ‘84, who helped the Wildcats earn second place in the 1981 national small-college women’s volleyball tournament, earning All-America honors in the process. She played on two conference and one regional championship team, and led the 1981 national tournament in aces.
Allsop recounted her “fabulous experience with the great group of ladies” on her team. She named a number of coaches and teachers who “all made a difference and showed me what kind of a person and teacher I wanted to be.”
Jim Massey ‘72, a football halfback who is on Linfield’s career top-10 rushing lists in four categories. He helped the Wildcats win or share three conference championships in his three seasons, was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams and played parts of three seasons in the NFL with the Rams and Patriots and one in Canada with the BC Lions.
Massey thanked his parents for instilling in him discipline and determination “never to give up.” He also thanked his teammates and coach Rutschman. “Without him, I would not be up here tonight,” Massey said.
Jack Ostlund ‘69 started every Linfield football game for four years at defensive tackle and became legendary for starting for the Alumni in 24 games against the varsity – the last one in 1995 at age 51. He was chosen all-conference twice, second-team NAIA All-American in 1966 and was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 1967.
Ostlund says he is winning a fight with colon cancer and is also battling epilepsy. He said Ad Rutschman, who was his high school coach, “made me a fighter and taught me to win.” He said the late Paul Durham, his coach at Linfield, “made me grow up.”
“Players are bigger, faster and stronger now,” Ostlund said, “but we were meaner.”
Steve Reimann ’88, started at defensive end on the 1986 NAIA football national championship team and was first-team NAIA All-American in 1988.
Reimann said he was “just as proud to be on the 1987 team” that won its last four games after a 1-4 start to keep Linfield’s now-national record winning seasons streak alive as he was to be on the 1986 undefeated national championship team.”
He said his “teammates made me a lot better than I really was” and the Linfield coaches “not only taught me the game of football but also the game of life. Football was the best class I ever had,” he said. “It taught us how to handle adversity.”
Don Rutschman ‘76, a three-time all-conference baseball pitcher and an all-conference football pass receiver who was a member of four Northwest Conference championship teams, two in each sport. He is in the top five in four Linfield career pitching categories, including the school record in shutouts.
Rutschman joins his parents, Ad and Joan, in the Hall of Fame. Linfield’s field house is named after them. Ad Rutschman coached three NAIA national championship football teams and Joan was known as “Mama ‘Cat” during 27 years as athletic department secretary.
Don Rutschman related anecdotes about playing for his father in two sports and said he enjoyed practices even more than games.