The man who put more points on the scoreboard for Linfield football and basketball teams than any other person is being inducted into the college's Year 2000 Athletics Hall of Fame. In fact, this remarkable gentleman has scored nearly every point of every home football and basketball game - for both the Wildcats and the visiting teams - for more than 40 years.
He is Dr. Norman G. Goss, a fixture at the scorer's table for home men's and women's basketball and football games almost since he returned to McMinnville from southern California in 1957. Dr. Goss, a modest sort, hasn't keep track of his scoring exploits, but school officials figure, conservatively, that he has scored 99,409 points during his tenure.
He actually started as a student scorekeeper when Coach Henry Lever revived the Linfield basketball program that had been interrupted by World War II. Dr. Goss earned his BA in 1946 and his masters in education in 1954, both from Linfield. After teaching (and keeping score, of course) at Oregon's Newport High for six years, the profession of optometry caught his eye.
He earned a Doctor of Optometry degree in southern California in 1956 and had worked in the field in Los Angeles for a year when the opportunity arose to purchase Dr. A.R. Miller's practice in McMinnville. He bought it, and luckily for Linfield and McMinnville High School, Norm Goss has been keeping track of the score for football and basketball almost ever since, first as an understudy to the immortal Billy Maxwell and as the first-team scorer since Mr. Maxwell retired.
Dr. Goss took charge of operating the 25-second play
clock when it was added to Linfield football a few years ago, and
turned over operation of the scoreboard, with score, down-and-distance,
and scrimmage line, to his capable wife, retired Linfield professor
Dr. Phyllis Martin.
The most thrilling game he ever scored? Linfield's football comeback from a 22-0 deficit with two minutes left in the third quarter to defeat Northwestern College 33-22 in the 1984 NAIA championship game.
The most thrilling player? Quarterback Terry Durham, another of tonight's inductees, because of his heroics in leading Wildcat rallies in 1965-66.
The toughest call: denying Linfield a buzzer-beating basket against PLU that threw a basketball game into overtime. "Ted Wilson never said a word to me about it," Norm recalls.
The most memorable sight: President Harry Dillin standing on his head at midfield, as promised, after Linfield ended its 17-game football winless streak against Willamette in 1949. In addition to his important game duties, Dr. Goss has contributed to Linfield and McMinnville in many other ways. He was president of the Alumni Association in 1961-62 and received a Linfield Alumni Service Award in 1988. He used to fly coaches to distant games in his private plane. He has served on professional boards and been active in churches and clubs, especially since his retirement from his optometry practice in 1987.
"I hope to keep doing the football and basketball clock and scoreboard duties as long as I am able and am wanted," Dr. Goss says.
Doctor, Linfield will want you on its scorer's table as long as you are able.