A sense of family and the feeling of being at home while at Linfield were thoughts shared by many of the 11 inductees at the third annual Linfield athletics Hall of Fame banquet Nov. 11 at Ted Wilson Gymnasium.
Nearly 300 gathered to honor the nine athletes and two coaches who were among the Hall of Fame's Class of 2000. The inductees shared many common threads.
Most of the inductees, recalled the long-lasting influence of coaches Ad Rutschman, Paul Durham, Roy Helser, Ted Wilson, Hal Smith and Henry Lever, all members of the Hall of Fame's inaugural class of 1998. Their work ethic, competitiveness, honesty and ability to build trust in their athletes and colleagues were values carried forward by the present inductees into each of their personal and professional lives.
Ted Henry coached football for 20 years under Rutschman and worked side-by-side with Ted Wilson. Henry reminisced about the great times he enjoyed working with college-age student-athletes.
Vic Fox, an All-America linebacker, noted the significant impact that attending Linfield and participating in athletics had on him. Those values trickled down to his children, two of whom went on to graduate from Linfield.
Terry Durham, a successful referee in the National Basketball Association, recalled how Linfield and the city of McMinnville became one as he was growing up in the shadow of his father, Paul.
Like Terry Durham, Bob Martyn followed his father into the Hall of Fame. Martyn noted that individual success was dependent on teamwork, a trait stressed to him by his father, Bernard, as well as by coaches Lever and Helser.
Women's athletics pioneer Jane McIlroy, who paved the way for many women to explore opportunities in the realm of sport and athletics, recalled her fond association with Rutschman, Helser and Durham during her 32 years as coach and women's athletics director.
The lessons learned at Linfield from athletics by Don Porter served him well during his many years as a successful high school and college basketball coach.
Milt Robins, whose association with Linfield athletics spans eight decades, graciously accepted his induction into the Hall of Fame. The former teammate of Paul Durham was a standout in three sports and helped found the Quarterback Club over 40 years ago.
Sam Stewart accepted the Hall of Fame award on behalf of his late father, Les Stewart, who shares the school record with 14 athletic letters.
Another multi-sport athlete, the late John Voll, was also recognized for his contributions to Linfield athletics. Voll's two daughters, Sharon Jackson and Corinne Rice, accepted the award on the family's behalf.
Dr. Norman G. Goss, who has served for over 40 years as timer and scorekeeper at football and basketball games, made doubly sure his acceptance speech did not exceed to predetermined five-mintue time limit.
Pete Dengenis, who came to Linfield from a low-income, single-parent family in Hartford, Conn., stressed the importance of protecting the Linfield experience. He said that the college should remain an available option for students of all income and academic levels.