Linfield Wildcats

Mark Wickman

Athlete 1974 - 1978

Mark Wickman As an athlete, as a student, and as a person, few in the long history of Linfield College have risen to the heights of Mark Wickman.

He was a three-time All-American and four-time All-Northwest Conference and all-district basketball player. He was a nearly straight-A student.

Former Linfield president Charles U. Walker said of Wickman, "In my 20 years as a teacher and college administrator . . . Mark Wickman is clearly one of the finest (young men) I have known . . ."

Wickman received the highest honor given by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics -- the Emil S. Liston Award -- in 1977.

In nominating Wickman for the Liston Award, his basketball coach at Linfield, Hall of Fame member Ted Wilson, wrote:

"I have been coaching for over 30 years. . . Never have I coached a young man with a better attitude, better character, better citizenship or one who has as much potential as an outstanding basketball player."

Wickman's four-year basketball statistics underscored Coach Wilson's words. His career total of 2,357 points has never been equaled at Linfield. Nor his career rebound total of 1,109.

He holds three of the top five places in Linfield's single-season field-goal totals, including the record 258 set in 1978 -- nearly a quarter-century ago.

His 639 points in his senior season were second most at Linfield at that time to Hall of Fame member Don Porter. They included a career-high 41-point game.

He led the Northwest Conference in scoring and rebounding several years. His teammates voted him Linfield's Most Valuable Player all four years. He was called "The Wick" and he was The Wick from whom came the flame that ignited the Wildcats to three consecutive conference championships and a trip to the NAIA national tournament.

As it had done with Porter and Hall of Fame member Jack Riley, Linfield retired Wickman's basketball jersey, Number 33, at the end of his collegiate career in 1978. No basketball number has been retired since.

Wickman was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers and played four years of professional basketball in Switzerland and France.

He came from Seaside High, a 6-foot-6, 205-pounder who said prayer led him to his decision to attend Linfield. "I was reluctant at first, but I found out all the advantages once I made decision. The Lord's hand was in it. . ."

Wickman received his bachelor's degree in sociology in 1978 and a master's in education in 1989 from Linfield. Still trim and fit, he remains in McMinnville today with his wife, Lyn, and children Lindsay, 11, and Drew, 9. He is a certified financial planner with Corrigan and Associates.

He was "God driven," as a player and person, said former teammate Larry Doty, the current Linfield men's basketball coach. "He was devoted to Jesus Christ as his No. 1 priority. It drove everything in his life, and still does."

There is only one statistic in which Mark Wickman did not excel at Linfield. His record was 0 wins, 1 loss as a player-coach. One season a referee ejected coach Wilson from a game at Pacific Lutheran and no assistant was present, so Wickman, the captain, took over as coach and Linfield lost the game.


WICKMAN BY THE NUMBERS


Here are some of the memorable numbers of Mark Wickman's Linfield basketball career:
Career field-goal percentage: 54.1 (including 60.1 in 1975-76)
Career free-throw percentage: 72.6 (including 76.3 in 1977-78)
Career rebounds-per game average: 11.0 (including 12.2 in 1976-77)
Career points scored per game average: 21.8 (including 22.7 and 22.8 in his last two seasons)