Linfield Wildcats

Vern Marshall Sr.

Athlete 1953 - 1957

Vern Marshall Sr. Vern Marshall Sr., Class of 1957, was perhaps the first Linfield athlete to play on Northwest Conference championship teams in football, basketball and baseball; he was on five Wildcat squads that won conference titles during his collegiate career. Marshall was a four-year starter in football and baseball and a two-year letterman in basketball; he earned all-conference honors in baseball four times.

As a first baseman, Marshall was a member of three Northwest Conference pennant winners under Hall of Fame coach Roy Helser. He batted .350 during the course of his career, striking out only 19 times in 228 at-bats.

Playing the one-platoon football of the day, Marshall was a halfback and linebacker for Hall of Fame coach Paul Durham. As a senior in 1956, Marshall was part of the Northwest Conference championship team that began Linfield's national collegiate record of consecutive winning seasons.

A guard on the Wildcat freshman basketball team, he led the team in scoring in 1954. Shoulder surgery forced him to miss his sophomore season, but he was a part-time starter as a junior and senior for Helser's teams. In 1957, he was a member of Linfield's Northwest Conference champions.

He went on to earn his master's Degree in education from Linfield. In 1957, he began a career in teaching, coaching and counseling at Estacada, Wilson and Grant high schools in Oregon that lasted until his retirement in 1990.

Marshall enjoyed an extensive high school and collegiate officiating career in football, basketball and baseball. His work in that area also extended into the professional level, most notably erving as a National Football League back judge and line judge from 1976-89; he also refereed Portland Trail Blazers rookie games and umpired exhibitions by the Seattle Mariners and Philadelphia Phillies in Portland.

His athletic career continued beyond his Linfield playing days. He won five gold medals at the Softball World Senior Games, earned a spot on the All-World team four times, played for the renowned semi-pro Drain Black Sox, played in the Canadian League and earned a spot on the All-America Semi-Pro team.

Born in Uniontown, Ark., he moved to Vanport, Ore., in 1943. After the flood of 1948 sent his family to Portland, he graduated from Roosevelt High after being voted both student body president and outstanding athlete in his senior year.

Marshall passed away in the December of 2002. In his honor, the athletic department created the Vern Marshall Award, given annually to the Linfield male and female athletes who demonstrate the greatest tenacity.