Linfield Wildcats

Joan Rutschman

Staff 1968 - 1995

Joan Rutschman If Ad Rutschman is in the Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame, could Joan Rutschman of McMinnville be far behind? You need only walk down Linfield Avenue to the field house, opened in 1995, to appreciate why she has been described as the No. 1 assistant for Ad during his Linfield tenure as baseball coach, football coach and athletic director. It's named the "Ad and Joan Rutschman Field House" to honor bothof their contributions to Linfield.

Officially, she served 27 years as Linfield athletic secretary �initially part-time while the five Rutschman children were young -- and athletic booster club coordinator and later, also as athletic ticket manager. She is an honorary member Linfield Class of 1954 presented to her by the Linfield Alumni Association. Unofficially, but affectionately, she was called "Mama Cat" by many of theLinfield student-athletes.

Her offices, both in the old Riley StudentCenter and in the Linfield Athletic Complex, were decorated with Linfield cardinal and purple memorabilia and hundreds of photos of graduated players and their families. Joan had a reserved seat in Memorial Stadium. But, she never saw a homefootball game with Ad coaching because she was either working in the ticket office or taking money from ticket sales to the bank.

Joan Mason and Ad Rutschman began dating at Hillsboro High School in 1948. He went on to Linfield and was a student-athlete in football, basketball and baseball. During the summer he played for the Roy Helser-coached Drain Black Sox in southern Oregon. They married June 7, 1952, after Ad's sophomore year at Linfield, in St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Beaverton. The timing was right. After the wedding, they drove to Coos Bay so he could play in a Black Sox game. And, he played again on the next day. Then, they went on their honeymoon. Such is the life of "Team Rutschman."

As comfortable in the shadows as Ad has been in the spotlight, Joan was honored in 1992 at The Oregonian annual Banquet of Champions with a meritorious service award. Paul Durham says, "When President Dillin asked Roy Helser, Ted Wilson and me to recommend someone to replace me as head football coach, we didn't talk to Ad, we talked to Joan. She was a prize, she knew everything and knew everybody and kept Ad on the straight and narrow. The reason he was such agood coach is that she coached him."