Linfield Wildcats

Dave Nygaard

Athlete 1971 - 1974

Dave Nygaard Dave Nygaard, Class of 1976, was an All-America defensive tackle at Linfield from 1971-74.

As a senior in 1974, Nygaard was an all-conference performer and anchored a Wildcat defense that allowed more than eight points to just two of its nine opponents in the regular season. Linfield advanced to the NAIA playoffs that season, and Nygaard was named Defensive Player of the Game in a playoff loss to Texas Lutheran.

Nygaard went on to receive first-team NAIA All-America honors and was named third-team All-America by Associated Press. He was the NAIA Defensive Player of the Year and a member of the Little All-Northwest team. Nygaard was a unanimous NAIA District 2 and Northwest Conference all-star on a team that finished the season ranked No. 3 in the final NAIA poll.

Linfield captured Northwest Conference titles not only in Nygaard's senior season, but also his freshman and sophomore seasons. He was a starter during all four of his seasons with the Wildcats.

His performance in his final year earned him a nomination for the Bill Hayward Award, given annually to the State of Oregon's top amateur athlete. He was named the NAIA District 2 Athlete of the Year in 1975.

His proudest achievement as a football player at Linfield was beating arch-rival Pacific Lutheran each of his four years.

Nygaard was born in Astoria, Ore. He graduated from Astoria High School where he competed in football, wrestling, baseball and track and field. After graduating from Linfield, Nygaard went on to become co-owner of Warrenton Fiber and Nygaard Logging.