Perhaps no one has seen more and spoken more about the Wildcats than the college’s football public address announcer Craig Singletary. That’s counting the many years he broadcast Linfield games on the radio as well as some years announcing at Linfield men’s basketball games.
A Linfield professor emeritus, Craig originally joined the college faculty part time in 1958. He began full-time in 1960. He taught both mass communication and speech communication at Linfield until retiring in 1993. And, he served as forensics director, department chair and KSLC-FM student radio and Video Club faculty adviser.
A graduate of Portland’s Grant High School and Lewis and Clark College (speech communications), he earned master and doctoral degrees (rhetoric and public address) from the University of Oregon.
Before he came to Linfield, Craig was already in McMinnville. In the summer of 1954, he joined KMCM (now KLYC) radio as an account executive and sports announcer. He broadcast play-by-play for McMinnville High football and basketball games.
Several years later, Linfield games were added to his broadcast duties. Occasionally, he had weekends during which he broadcast three games in two days, a small high school game on Friday afternoon, a McMinnville game Friday night and a Linfield game on Saturday.
Craig’s memories of broadcasting Wildcat sports include:
- 1957, the NCAA men’s basketball second round game against Los Angeles State in California.
- 1961, in Sacramento, versus Pittsburg State of Kansas in the Camelia Bowl football game.
- 1964, in Fargo, N.D., for the NAIA playoff (also known as the "Concordia Ice Bowl") playoff game with Concordia of Moorehead, Minn.
- 1965, the most exciting Wildcat football game he ever attended, in Midland, Texas. Against Sul Ross State, a final minute field goal by Tim Kubli won the NAIA playoff game for Linfield, 30-27.
Speaking of memories … In his role as football public address announcer, his most disappointing Linfield game was the 2000 NCAA Division III football playoff contest on Maxwell Field, a 20-17, bizarre overtime Linfield loss to Central Iowa "I was so devastated by the strange turn of events that I couldn't recap on the public address system what had just happened on the field," he said.
The last Linfield football game of 1965 was his final as a Wildcat broadcaster. It was the NAIA Championship Bowl, played in Augusta, Ga., a loss to St. John’s of Minnesota. "It needed to be my final. For one reason, my first obligation was to Linfield forensics and speech tournament activity that occasionally came at the same time as Linfield home football games," Craig says.
While his days broadcasting Wildcat sports on the radio were over, he helped put Linfield students behind the microphone doing the same.
In 1972, he put KSLC on the air and immediately got students doing play-by-play coverage of Linfield athletic events. Some years, when there were enough two-person crews, football, women’s volleyball, men's and women’s basketball, and baseball were broadcast. During several years KSLC was the only station carrying Linfield games, because KMCM/KLYC was not. An "alumus" of the broadcasting program is Steve Arena, former longtime sports director at KATU-TV in Portland.
In the early 1980s, Craig initiated a television production program at Linfield. With the assistance of McMinnville’s cable television system, students taped home football and men’s basketball games for delayed broadcast in McMinnville and, for a while, on a Salem TV station.
This brings us to his years as home game public address announcer for the Wildcats. He has been football game public address announcer for more than 25 years. Then there’s basketball. His recollection of dates is hazy, but he remembers doing men’s basketball game public address announcing in old Riley Gym, when Paul Durham and Roy Helser were co-coaches and some games when Ted Wilson took over as coach.
In retirement Craig Singletary, a McMinnville resident, is an active Rotarian and a former member of the City of McMinnville Cable Commission, of which he is founding chair. But, he will always be known as the football "Voice" of the Wildcats at Maxwell Field.