Linfield Wildcats


Randy Mueller
Paul Asher
Ken Cutcher
Julie Morgan
Jim Winston
Jay Locey
Gene Peterson
1965 Football Team

Reaching new limits they never imagined possible was a common refrain among the seven newest inductees enshrined in the Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame on Nov. 6 inside Ted Wilson Gymnasium.

The individual inductees joined the 1965 Champion Bowl Football Team in taking a special place among Linfield’s greatest athletes, coaches and teams.

Football and baseball standout Paul Asher ’90 called his induction “An absolute dream come true.” Asher noted that anyone can achieve personal success “if you have the patience to practice things perfectly.”

The late Ken Cutcher ‘76, a two-sport start in football and track and field, was remembered as a tough-as-nails competitor whose on-field demeanor commanded respect from his teammates. His Hall of Fame citation was accepted by his college classmate Lester Wallace ’73.

Former head and assistant football coach Jay Locey thanked the audience of 300 via videotape (he was coaching a game with Oregon State that evening). Locey recalled, “I thought I knew a lot about coaching when I came to Linfield. What I realized, working with Ad Rutschman, was how little I really did know.” Locey noted the many similarities that he and former Linfielders and current OSU coaches Mike Riley and Danny Langsdorf use in guiding the Beavers football program. “It’s all about relationships and making people better people,” he said.

Women’s basketball great Julie Morgan ’84, who averaged 20 points a game during her first season at Linfield, described her induction as “a once in a lifetime” thrill. She reflected on how far the Linfield athletic venues have come, comparing cramped Riley Gym with the newer, more spacious Wilson Gym.

Remembering how a fork in the road nearly took him to Pacific but ultimately brought him to Linfield, former All-America quarterback Randy Mueller ‘83 called his days at Maxwell Field “the best time I’ve had in football in 25 years.” That includes time as a general manager with three National Football League teams. “We learned not only the fundamentals of football, but also the fundamentals of life,” he said.

The late Gene Peterson ’48, a three-sport athlete from the 1940s, was a lifelong Linfield man. His devotion was so strong that his family’s social calendar revolved around Linfield athletic events. Peterson is one of the few people to witness each of Linfield seven national championship football game appearances.

“Coming to Linfield was the best decision I ever made,” said one-time football All-American Jim Winston ’83 upon accepting his Hall of Fame honor. “Linfield has had a profound effect on my life.” A key member of the Wildcats’ 1982 national championship club, Winston has gone on to an accomplished career in the video production business.

Gene Foreman ‘67 spoke on behalf of the 1965 football team, which pulled off an amazing come-from-behind victory in the NAIA semifinals to reach the national championship game.

“What other school in the country can claim the kind of success that Linfield has enjoyed?” he asked, rhetorically. “I’m often asked ‘what makes Linfield so good?’

“It’s the Linfield attitude. Coaches recruit players who are willing to stick their egos in their pocket and put their personal goals behind those of the team. Linfield’s campus has changed a lot since 1965 but that winning attitude really has not.”

Members of the 1965 team traveled from as far away as Canada and Hawaii to attend the Hall of Fame banquet.

A total of 106 individuals and seven teams have now been enshrined in the Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame. Candidates are selected by an 18-member committee, which considers submitted nominations at its annual selection conference in June. The deadline to submit nominations each year is April 15.