Kerrie (O'Sullivan) DuFour
|2009 Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame inductees (clockwise from upper left): Bob Ferguson, Roger Baker, Doug Dean, Brad Gilbertson, Kathy Martindale, Joe Salta, Ken Weinberg, Kerrie (O'Sullivan) DuFour|
Personal transformations from the ordinary to extraordinary were a common refrain among eight former student-athletes inducted Saturday, Nov. 14, into the Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame.
About 200 family members and friends gathered to honor the eight graduated Wildcats, who joined 98 individuals, plus seven teams, currently enshrined in the Hall of Fame. The 12th annual induction banquet, sponsored by AT&T, took place inside Ted Wilson Gymnasium following the Linfield-Pacific Lutheran football game.
1968 graduate Roger Baker, a Wildcats basketball star who became a U.S. Olympian in the sport of team handball, said he nearly decided to attend college elsewhere, but realized, after meeting Coach Ted Wilson, that Linfield was the best place for him to grow as a person.
“Playing for Coach Wilson was real gratifying,” he said. “Few people had as big an influence on my life. I owe a lot to Coach Wilson.”
Football and track standout Doug Dean, class of 1989, said by attending Linfield he “couldn’t have asked for a better experience.” As a teacher and coach at Beaverton’s Southridge High School, “I just hope I can give back just a little of what Linfield has given me.”
When he learned he was to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, 1965 graduate Bob Ferguson wondered aloud “Why me, God?” He acknowledged he did not receive the honor based on his individual merit alone, citing the support of fellow players and his coaches that led him to practice and compete to his full potential.
Brad Gilbertson, a former All-America offensive lineman from the class of 1983 recalled being part of “a special group of individuals united with a single purpose.” The indelible bond he formed with his teammates will forever connect him to the college. He called his four years as a student at Linfield “life-changing.”
During a moving acceptance speech, Gilbertson said, “The measure of success is not having the biggest paycheck or the fanciest house, but it’s a life well lived.”
Of his time at Linfield, Gilbertson said, “The people I met and the experiences and education I received has served me well and made a tremendous impact on my life.”
Kathy Martindale accepted the Hall of Fame induction and commemorative plaque on behalf of her late husband, Pat, class of 1977. A two-time All-American in the sport of track and field, Pat Martindale “loved attending Linfield and believed Linfield was a great fit for him” academically, as well as athletically. “Pat was humble about his accomplishments and was a true leader who strived for excellence.”
National champion high jumper Kerrie (O’Sullivan) DuFour recalled her 1996 victory as “one of the top events of my life.” She expressed deep admiration for the college and her coach, Dr. Garry Killgore, remembering how competing in track taught her true self-discipline and the value of hard work.
All-America football player Joe Salta, class of 1978, made the all right decisions, according to his college coach Ad Rutschman. He looked back fondly on the relationships he made and continues to maintain from his days as a Linfield defensive lineman and assistant coach.
Record-setting decathlete Ken Weinberg, class of 1992, held back tears as he recalled his decision to attend Linfield. “If I hadn’t come to Linfield, I wouldn’t have been pushed. I would have wound up being just another ordinary athlete on just another team.”
Weinberg punctuated the evening by saying: “To think that I’m now in the Hall of Fame – it’s really a dream come true.”