Linfield Wildcats

Ray Simonsen

Athlete 1957 - 1960

Ray Simonsen Ray Simonsen, of the Class of 1960, didn't really know how good a football player he could be until late in his playing career.

That's because Simonsen, a Williamson System and NAIA All-America offensive and defensive lineman as a senior in 1959, spent two years playing in the shadow of Hall of Fame standouts Vic Fox and Howard Morris.

Simonsen was a three-year starter at defensive end and earned all-conference and honorable mention Little All-America honors as a junior. As a sophomore in 1957, he was a member of Linfield's conference championship team, spelling Fox and Morris at offensive guard.

His most memorable moment on the field came against Whitman in 1959. Hall of Fame end Tom Younker blocked a punt that Simonsen recovered in the end zone for a touchdown, sparking the Wildcats to a 28-7 win.

After receiving his bachelor's degree in 1960, Simonsen remained at Linfield to help coach football and baseball while he worked toward a master's degree. His experience and education led him to work as an assistant football, wrestling and baseball coach at Newberg High School, where he rose to the position of vice principal. He later served as principal at Newberg and Sheridan high schools. In all, Simonsen spent 34 years in education administration, including two years as the director of student teaching at Linfield. He helped found Upward Bound, a college preparatory program sponsored by Linfield that aids disadvantaged youth.

In 1993, Simonsen was inducted into the NAIA District 2 Hall of Fame.

A native of Cottage Grove, Ore., he was one of the first Cottage Grove-area players ever to play football at Linfield.

He is a retired Oregon National Guard lieutenant colonel having spent 28 years in active reserve.

Ray and his wife, Roberta '70, have two grown daughters and four grandchildren.