The one player's name that is most widely associated with Linfield's amazing string of national football championships in the 1980s is David Lindley.
David Lindley quarterbacked two of the three NAIA championship teams (1984 and '86), had a 24-2 record as a starter, and set 11 school records that no one has challenged in the 14 seasons since he graduated.
He was twice honored as an NAIA All-American and twice honored as Mt. Hood League Offensive Player of the Year. He was signed by the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL's 1987 strike year.
Maybe we all should have known what was coming after Lindley's first starting call, the ninth game of his sophomore year in 1984. He completed 19 of 22 passes for five touchdowns . . . IN THE FIRST HALF. We all did know after the NAIA playoffs, and the most memorable come-from-behind victory in Linfield history.
In the third quarter of the 1984 championship game, Northwestern of Iowa led Linfield 22-0. "We had never been dominated that much, but Ad Rutschman instills in all his coaches and players the attitude that we never give up . . . "In the second half, one break went our way, and then another. We capitalized and everybody started thinking, we have a chance . . . "
Linfield scored 33 unanswered points in the final 17 minutes, including two touchdown passes and two 2-point conversion passes by Lindley, and the Wildcats won 33-22. He finished with 25 completions in 37 pass attempts for 305 yards and was chosen Outstanding Offensive Player of the Game.
"That was definitely the most unbelievable and memorable time of my career," Lindley said.
It was Linfield's 1982 national championship, and the charisma of Ad Rutschman, that brought Lindley to Linfield from West Albany High in the first place. "After being recruited by Ad and talking to coaches at other schools, there was just no comparison," Lindley said.
Lindley also was a baseball pitcher for four years at Linfield. He was all-conference as a sophomore but injuries hindered him after that. "He might have been an even better baseball pitcher than he was a football player had he not injured his elbow," said Linfield baseball coach and athletic director Scott Carnahan.
"I graduated in four years (B.A., business, 1987) playing two sports," Lindley said, "and I'm proud of that."
"He was an All-American in every aspect of his life, athlete, student and person," Carnahan said.
Post-college life took Lindley to Southern California, where he owns a 25-employee company that manufactures silicon rubber sheeting for seals and gaskets in the automotive, aerospace and electrical products industries.
Lindley and his wife, Dana, have a 2 1/2-year-old daughter, Madison, and a son, Matthew, who was born in August.
It is fitting that David Lindley, who earned the nickname Zeus for the lightning bolts he threw on the football field, is the first athlete from the decade of the '80s to be inducted into the Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame.
If you are a connoisseur of numbers, here are the records Lindley set at Linfield (all still standing):
Passes completed -- (season) 217; (career) 505.
Passes attempted -- (season) 397; (career) 890.
Yards gained passing -- (season) 2,806; (career) 6,604).
Touchdown passes thrown -- (season) 27 twice; (career) 65.
Total offensive yards gained -- (season) 2858; (career) 6,807.
And the 11th record. Well, we didn't say they were all good:
Interceptions thrown -- (game) 6. But Linfield won the game.