Football lineman Dave Burdett of the Class of 1988 may not have accumulated many individual statistics during his time at Linfield, but there is no doubt his contributions to Linfield’s1986 national championship run were significant.
A native of Forest Grove, Ore., Burdett lettered two seasons for the Wildcats at offensive tackle.
His junior season, Linfield enjoyed a perfect season at 9-0 in the Columbia Football League, then won three straight postseason games over Pacific Lutheran, Carroll (Mont.) and Baker (Kan.) to claim the program’s third NAIA crown in six seasons.
One of the biggest players in the program, and certainly the tallest, at 6 feet 7 inches and 240 pounds, Burdett was not easily pushed aside. With him on the line creating holes for the running game and protecting the quarterback, the Wildcats set several offensive records en route to a national title, including passing yards, total offense and scoring. Most of those records stood until the early 2000s.
Burdett made the switch from right to left tackle for his senior year. That season, the Wildcats opened the year 1-4 but then rattled off four straight victories to finish 5-4 and preserve Linfield’s streak of consecutive winning seasons, stretching it to 32 years. At the end of the season, Burdett was selected as the co-Best Blocker, an honor bestowed upon him by the Linfield coaching staff.
Over his career, Burdett was a two-time conference performer, receiving second-team accolades at the conclusion of the 1986 season and first-team honors at the end of the 1987 campaign. He was also named an NAIA All-American in 1987, one of only two Wildcats to be selected to the team that season, and the only first-team honoree.
After graduation, Burdett signed a free agent contract with the Seattle Seahawks, remaining a member of the team until the final roster cut.
Burdett holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Linfield, graduating in the spring of 1988. He has worked for the past 22 years in the sales department at Cascade Controls Northwest, a high-tech distribution company.
He currently lives in Portland and is the proud father of three daughters: Alexa (18), Andie (14) and Makenna (12).