Linfield Wildcats

Jim Massey

Athlete 1969 - 1971

Jim Massey Jim Massey, from the class of 1972, was a workhorse halfback who carried much of the offensive load for Linfield for three straight seasons from 1969 to 1971. All three years, Linfield won or shared the Northwest Conference title.

Massey, who came from little Neah-Kah-Nie High School on the north Oregon coast, took a one-year detour to the University of Oregon before landing at Linfield. As a sophomore in 1969, he earned recognition on the all-conference team. By the time his career was complete, he had piled up 1,709 rushing yards on 412 carries and scored 21 touchdowns. He averaged 65.7 yards per game rushing and 92.9 all-purpose yards.

At the close of the 1970 season, Linfield lost a 19-17 heartbreaker at the University of Hawaii to barely miss out on advancing to the NAIA playoffs with an 8-1 record.

Massey possessed a rare combination of speed and strength. At 5-foot-11 and 205 pounds, he was regarded as one of the toughest ball carriers in school history, earning the nickname “The Mule.”

He also had terrific speed and reportedly ran a 4.5-second 40-yard dash. That blend of athletic ability made him a 10th round draft pick of the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL. He played in six preseason games as a cornerback for the Rams in 1972, played for the CFL’s B.C. Lions in 1973, and played in two seasons for the New England Patriots (1974-75).

“(The NFL) was a stepping stone to advance my career to other things,” Massey said.

He came back to Linfield and served as an assistant coach for the football team as he pursued his master’s degree.

Massey, who makes his home in McMinnville, works as a data processing manager for Yamhill Log Scaling in Forest Grove. He has been married for 38 years to his wife, Diane, a Linfield grad. They have a daughter, Shamra (another Linfield alum), a son, Justin, and five grandchildren.