Linfield Wildcats


Wes Suan
Scott Hilgenberg
Mark Siegner
Marci (Warnecke) Cammann
Gary McGarvie
Dr. Garry Killgore
Dawn Cartwright
David Russell

As they moved on with their lives following athletic careers defined by achievement and championships, it’s safe to say the 2013 Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame class left the college a better place than when they arrived.

It’s also accurate to note Linfield placed its own indelible marks on the eight newest inductees, all of whom were enshrined Nov. 9 into the college’s distinguished Athletics Hall of Fame before family and friends.

Three-time track and field All-American Marci (Warnecke) Cammann ’99, described Linfield as “a perfect fit for me, athletically, academically and socially. It’s a place that challenged me to grow.” She praised her coach, Dr. Garry Killgore, as “a great role model who showed genuine care for every student-athlete.”

Killgore, who oversaw the Linfield track and field and cross country programs for 20 seasons, forged his own Hall of Fame career. When he took over as head coach in 1989, he inherited a men’s program with a decent history and a dozen student-athletes, but only four women in either track & field or cross country. He retired having coached nine individual national champions and spurred more than half of the Wildcats’ Top 10 performances in track & field.

“I knew I had a lot of work to do, but it was all worth it,” he said.

Dawn Cartwright ’90, a four-time all-conference honoree in volleyball, became the first member of her family to attend college. At Linfield, she savored the “true student-athlete experience,” which balances textbooks with afternoon workouts and encourages friendships to blossom. Linfield, and in particular coach Shane Kimura, taught Cartwright that “practice, persistence and patience” were precursors to success.

Scott Hilgenberg ’84, a baseball standout, relished the opportunity Linfield presented, leading him toward careers in minor-league baseball and ultimately, education administration. Many of the sound habits he learned under Hall of Fame coach Ad Rutschman ’54 remain with him today.

The miniscule towns of Joyce, Wash., Eddyville, Ore., and Fields, Ore., produced three Hall of Famers. Linfield’s small-school environment provided the perfect setting for football All-Americans Gary McGarvie ’93, David Russell ’02 and Mark Siegner ’86 to flourish.

At Linfield, McGarvie learned “if I do my best, try my hardest and never give up, then I’ll always have a Hall of Fame life.”

Russell, an elementary school principal in Alaska, called his induction “a special day. It’s surreal. ” He said he appreciated the opportunity to be a student first and an athlete second, a set of priorities he imparts today with his own students and children.

The son of an eastern Oregon cattle rancher, Siegner learned common sense and independence during his career at Linfield. “The life skills I learned worked great for football but they also translated very well to everyday life.”

Longtime assistant football coach and head tennis coach Wes Suan ’78 was unable to attend the induction ceremony due to his assistant coaching obligation with Southern Methodist University. In a taped acceptance speech, Suan cited Linfield’s small-school setting and relationships with faculty as influencing his athletic and professional success.

“The small campus really enhanced my chance to succeed,” he said. “A lot of my professors became lifelong friends.”

From them, Suan learned attention to detail, mental toughness, the importance of attitude, accountability and sportsmanship.

Suan offered a familiar refrain to close the night’s program.

“Winning is important,” he said. “but is winning or losing with class and respecting your opponent is more important.”