Brad Gilbertson, of the Class of 1983, was a mainstay on Linfield’s 1982 NAIA national championship football team.
As a center, he anchored an offensive line that led the Wildcats to an undefeated 12-0 season and the program’s first national gridiron championship. With Gilbertson leading a solid offensive unit, the 1982 season culminated with a 33-15 victory over William Jewell (Mo.) in the title game.
Gilbertson twice earned first team all-conference honors. As a senior, he also garnered all-district and All-America distinction, helping the Linfield offense average 398 yards and 34 points a game.
During the time he was a starting offensive lineman, his Wildcat football teams won 29 of 32 games from 1980 to 1982.
“Brad was probably one of the best centers I ever coached at Linfield,” said former Wildcats offensive coordinator Ted Henry, himself a Hall of Famer. “He had great physical size to go with agility and speed. He was a very capable center.”
A four-year letterwinner, Gilbertson was a member of three Northwest Conference championship clubs.
“Brad was the type of athlete who could have played major-college ball if he wanted to,” said Henry. “He was a very consistent player who got the job done every time.”
Gilbertson grew up in Milwaukie, Ore., and attended Milwaukie High School. He was an all-league and all-state center before graduating in 1979.
Today, Gilbertson is an area sales manager for NewPage Corporation, the largest coated paper manufacturer in North America.
He and his wife, Jill (a 1984 Linfield graduate) have been married for 22 years. The Gilbertsons live in Clackamas with their two children, Jake and Meg, both 18.