Linfield Wildcats

Howard Morris

Athlete 1954 - 1957

Howard Morris Many student-athletes came to Linfield because their coach was an alum. A case is point is Howard Morris (Linfield 1958) of Klamath Falls. Howard's coach (head baseball and assistant football) at Crater High School in Central Point was Clarence Mellbye, Linfield 1948. Also helping assure he was Linfield-bound was family friend Russ Brown, Linfield 1938, and recruiting by coaches Paul Durham and Roy Helser. Linfield benefited greatly from Howard on the football field.

Hisjersey, No. 43, is only one of three football uniform numbers -- the others were worn by Ad Rutschman and Vic Fox -- retired by the College. He lettered four years (1954 through 1957) as a football guard and two as a baseball catcher and outfielder. His Wildcat football playing honors include 1957 All-American first team guard by NAIA, Associated Press, and Williamson System, and United Press Little All-Coast. In 1958 he was a finalist as one of Oregon's outstandingsports figures, determined by a Hayward (now The Oregonian) Banquet of Champions judges' votes. Not to be forgotten, the 1956 (6-1-2) and 1957 (8-1) Linfield football teams were Northwest Conference Champions. They started "The Streak."

Linfield's most inspirational football player award winner three of his four seasons, Morris was chosen 1956 co-team captain and 1957 team captain. Someone, it might have been Paul Durham, remembered reviewing Wildcat football game film. The camera caught three blocks made by Howard on one play. He made a block, disappeared off the edge of the screen, only to reappear making another block, disappear again and reappear to make a third block. No wonder he was voted the team's best downfield blocker in 1957.

After graduation he taught biology and history and coached football,wrestling, and baseball four years at Tigard High School. In 1962, he moved to Klamath Falls and began his association with Oregon Institute ofTechnology. The OIT Owls gained from Morris' hard work and leadership. He served as head wrestling coach for 15 years and also served as head baseball and football coach. For 10 years, he taught health and was athletic director and chair of thephysical education department for 18 years. Morris retired in 1992 as OIT athletic director and became a professor emeritus.

Since 1994 he has served as commissioner of the NAIA Cascade Collegiate Conference, of which Oregon Tech is a member. In 1996, Howard was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in Tulsa,Okla., with Paul Durham presenting him. Other honors include NAIA District 2 coaches and players halls of fame, administrator of the year, and wrestling coach of the year.