A leader by example best describes Ted Henry, Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame "Class of 2000" member being inducted as a coach.
He has been called an individual of "competence and character." In 23 years (1969-1991) as a Wildcat assistant football coach and five years as Linfield head wrestling coach, he developed a relationship of trust, based on respect, credibility and integrity with players and fellow coaches.
Henry is a "very honest person with great respect, credibility and integrity. (He) is very loyal, unselfish, dedicated, determined with a strong work ethic," says Linfield Hall of Famer Ad Rutschman, his friend and coaching colleague at both Linfield and Hillsboro, Ore., High School. "His strong relationship with players and coaches is built on trust."
Henry's road to McMinnville started in Prineville, Ore., at Crook County High School where he was a member of two football state championship teams and two teams that lost to the state champions in the quarterfinals. After his senior season, he played in two all-star football games, Shrine in Portland and East West Elks in Ontario.
Then, it was on to Idaho's Boise Junior College on an athletic scholarship, starting on two teams both ranked in the top 10. He first learned of Linfield from Ron Parrish, also a Crook County High grad, who was the Linfield quarterback when the Wildcats began the national college football winning streak in 1956.
So, it was on to Linfield for Henry and his Boise JC teammates Larry Burleson and Dean Castle, to play for Coach Paul Durham, Linfield Hall of Famer. But, first there was a wedding. Ted and Elsie married Saturday, Sept. 6, 1958. Wildcat football practice started the next day.
In his two Linfield football seasons, Henry played middle guard. He was named second team Little All-West Coast and was voted defensive captain by his teammates. While earning his Linfield bachelor's degree in December, 1960, he was a Wildcat student coach. In 1965, he earned a master's degree from Oregon State University.
Henry first met Rutschman, a 1954 Linfield grad, when interviewing for a Hillsboro, Ore., High School freshman football coaching and math teaching job. The next year, he was promoted to varsity line coach. Hillsboro won the 1966 state championship and went to the semi-finals in 1967 with Rutschman as coach and Henry assisting. Rutschman succeeded Durham as Linfield football coach in 1968. The next year, Henry came to Linfield to teach mathematics and be an assistant football coach.
Henry ended his coaching in 1991, the same year Rutschman retired as head coach.
Looking back on his career coaching Linfield football, Henry says, "I am most proud of being a part of a program that emphasized building character and teaching players how to be successful in life."