Linfield Wildcats

Henry Lever

Coach 1930-1945; Athletic Director 1930-1949

Henry Lever Henry Lever wore many hats during his time at Linfield, often coaching four sports ( football, basketball, track & field and baseball) during the course of a school year. That was on top of being athletic director and having other college duties. He was extraordinarily dedicated to the Linfield. His hard work paid off.

The person called the "Grand Old Man" of Linfield athletics came to the college in 1930 after coaching at Oregon's Myrtle Point High School. He was hired by Linfield President Leonard W. Riley.

His coaching successes included leading the Wildcats to their first Northwest Conference titles in football (1935) and baseball (1947). As athletic director, he used his engineering skill to make Maxwell Field first in the NWC football venue with grass.

Lever was the Linfield Wildcats' football coach from 1930-1938 and 1940-1942. His career record is 30-54-7 (.368). As men's basketball coach for 15 seasons, Lever was 173-109 overall in 1930-1941 and 1942-1947. His winning percentage of .613 is the best in school history for basketball coaches with at least two seasons on the job. He coached men's track and field from 1931-1935 and in 1941 and 1943.

During the Lever Era, he was "mainly responsible for lifting the performance of Linfield athletic teams to a respected position in the Northwest Conference and on the Pacific Coast," said Paul Durham, a former Lever Linfield athlete who succeeded him as football coach and athletic director.

Lever's ability to get consistently strong effort from players with abilities in many cases not comparable to that of opponents, gained him the utmost respect of his players, the people of McMinnville, and the opposing coaches, players, and fans, Durham said.

Lever Street, bordering the college's athletic complex, football field and baseball diamond, is named for him.