Linfield Wildcats

Don Hakala, Sr.

Athlete 1963 - 1966

Don Hakala, Sr. Don Hakala Sr.'s legacy at Linfield includes not only great memories of scoring feats, passing wizardry, championships and trips to national tournaments, but also a son, Don. Jr., who a quarter-century later eclipsed some of his father's scoring records.

When Don Sr. graduated in 1966, he held the school record for field goals scored in one season (247), was third in career points scored (1,520) and probably also set the record for "oohs" and "ahs" from the fans in Riley gym.

Sportswriter Dick Fishback of The Oregonian articulated Don's court magic with descriptions like: "Hakala used an unstoppable series of dipsy-doodle layups and long and short jump shots" in scoring a career-high 33 points on New Year's Eve 1965. . . . "Sleight of hand feeding by Hakala . . . added to the show" as Linfield broke the school scoring record with 119 points against Pacific . . . . "Hakala, Linfield's do-everything guard" . . . " pinpoint feeds" and ". . . dipsy-doodle layups (again) that had the fans quaking. . . " and in his final game, "Hakala's shooting bordered on the phenomenal. . ."

Hakala played on two Northwest Conference and NAIA District 2 championship teams and in two NAIA national tournaments. He twice was selected second-team All-America and twice was a unanimous first-team All-Northwest Conference all-star. His teammates selected him as their Most Valuable Player. He stood very tall for a 6-foot, 180-pound guard.

In Hakala's junior and senior seasons, Linfield's combined record was 44 wins, 13 losses. And he was a model of consistency, averaging 20.7 and 20.8 points per game those years.

Hakala also was an All-American at Beaverton High School, class of 1961, and transferred to Linfield after playing his freshman season at University of Oregon because he wanted to re-unite with his former high school coach, Ted Wilson, who had since become Linfield's coach. Their sometimes tearful, heart-to-heart talks in Wilson's office are still remembered by Linfield staffers.

After Linfield, Hakala attended Northwest College of Law, where he was editor of the law review and earned his J.D. in 1972.

He authored continuing education books on retirement plans and tax laws and founded Capstone Financial Training Service in 1989. But Don's real love was his family and basketball. Don and his sons, Don Jr. and Andy, started the Hakala Hoop Camp in 1993. He was also an avid tennis player and golfer, and he taught fifth-grade Sunday School at Westside Church in Bend.

Don was inducted into the NAIA District 2 Hall of Fame in 1989.

He died on April 3, 2000 of kidney disease at the age of 56, leaving his wife, Gingir, his two sons, daughter Heidi and four grandchildren.

Gingir Hakala, Don's wife of nearly 35 years, will accept his induction into the Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame.