Oregon Sports Hall of Fame
Four Linfield College football teams will be inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame this fall.
The 1982, 1984 and 1986 teams, led by Hall of Fame coach Ad Rutschman, plus the 2004 Wildcats team piloted by Jay Locey, will be among the 2011 inductees to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame on Wednesday, Sept. 28, at the Multnomah Athletic Club.
All four Linfield teams went undefeated on the way to winning national small-college championships. Together, they rolled up a combined 49-0 win-loss record.
Linfield’s 1966 baseball team was previously inducted in the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 2000. In addition to Rutschman, other individuals already inducted with Linfield connections include Paul Durham, Roy Helser, Ted Wilson, Scott Brosius and Jack Riley.
Joining the four Linfield clubs on the list of 2011 enshrinees are former Oregon football coach Rich Brooks; former major league baseball manager Tom Trebelhorn; Clive Davies, a Masters marathon runner; Kelly Blair-LaBounty, former UO track star and Olympic heptathlete; Les Gutches, a national champion and Olympic wrestler from Oregon State; and Bucky Buckwalter, longtime Trail Blazers executive and coach.
An informal reception starts at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and a program at 7. Legendary broadcaster Bill Schonely will emcee the ceremony. Tickets are $90 per person, with tables of 10 priced at $850. Call Donna Smoot at the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame at 227-7466 for additional information.
The induction ceremony will be videotaped and broadcast later on Comcast SportsNetNW.
LINFIELD TEAM SUMMARIES
1982 NAIA Division II National Champions
In its eighth NAIA championship tournament, and its third title game, Linfield hit the jackpot in 1982. The Wildcats dominated William Jewell (Mo.) 33-15 at McMinnville High School’s Wortman Stadium.
It didn’t start out like that. William Jewell scored on an 86-yard pass-and-run 19 seconds into the game. But Linfield was undaunted – it was the eighth time in 12 games the ‘Cats had fallen behind that season. Linfield tied the score in four plays, including a 38-yard kickoff return.
The Wildcats recovered five William Jewell fumbles and intercepted five passes, controlling the rest of the game before a paid crowd of 4,598 and a Northwest television audience estimated at 100,000.
Quarterback Randy Mueller threw three touchdown passes, completing 18 of 33 attempts with no interceptions. The Wildcats set a season record with 39 pass interceptions that still stands.
1984 NAIA Division II National Champions
Given the importance of the game – the winner would be the NAIA Division II champion – the second-half rally against Northwestern (Iowa) on Dec. 8, 1984 probably was the greatest comeback in Linfield football history. The Wildcats trailed defending NAIA-II champion Northwestern 22-0 with just over three minutes left in the third quarter.
Junior John Gray finally put Linfield on the scoreboard with a 27-yard field goal with 3:02 left in the third quarter. Then it was curtain time for sophomore David Lindley, who had won Linfield’s starting quarterback assignment five games earlier. Lindley threw touchdown passes of 1 and 37 yards and fired two 2-point conversion passes as Linfield rallied. His totals for the game were 25 completions in 37 attempts – including 15 of his last 17 – for 305 yards as the ‘Cats won going away, 33-22.
Linfield’s 12-0 record included four victories by six or fewer points, including a 2-0 win against Pacific that Rutschman considered the best defensive game by any of his teams.
Tackle Steve Boyea, free safety Floyd Halvorsen, center Jim Goveia, and tight end Keith Machida were chosen on NAIA All-America teams.
1986 NAIA Division II National Champions
The quarterback who blossomed in the 1984 NAIA Division II championship game came full flower in 1986. Lindley, whose teammates came to call him Zeus – after the mythic lightning-bolt thrower – broke or tied 12 Linfield passing and total offense records in leading the ‘Cats to a dominating 12-0 record and their third NAIA-II title in five years.
Linfield defeated Baker of Kansas 17-0 in the championship game – the score, on a very cold day in the mud at McMinnville High School, was the Wildcats’ lowest of the season. In 11 previous games they topped 40 points 7 times, including a 53-7 destruction of Carroll College of Montana in the NAIA semifinal. The Wildcats set six school team season offensive records, including most points scored and most yards gained. Their only close call was a 27-21 victory over Pacific Lutheran in overtime in the NAIA quarterfinal.
Guard Doug Hire, kicker Greg Gullilford, Lindley, linebackers Mark Seigner and Jody Tyrell, and tight end Dave Carlson were chosen NAIA All-Americans and a record 16 players won all-conference recognition. For the third time, Rutschman was named NAIA coach of the year.
2004 NCAA Division III National Champions
Unbelievable! … is the best word to describe Linfield’s record-smashing 2004 season that culminated with the Wildcats capturing the NCAA Division III championship.
Linfield rolled to a 13-0 record, winning its first national championship in 18 years and fourth overall. The Wildcats captured NAIA Division II crowns in 1982, ’84 and ‘86
With an offense that led the nation in passing, total yards and scoring, and a defense that improved with every game, the 2004 Wildcats established themselves as one of the best teams in program history.
Locey, in his ninth season, was named national coach of the year by the American Football Coaches Association and Football Gazette.
The season began with high expectations, but few could have predicted the levels to which the Wildcats would rise.
In the championship game at Salem, Va., Riley Jenkins caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Brett Elliott with 5:51 left to lift Linfield past Mary-Hardin Baylor 28-21. In the final minute, the Crusaders drove 61 yards before Linfield’s Kelley Bertrand and Brandon Tom sacked quarterback Josh Welch on a fourth-and-four at Linfield’s 19-yard line. Linfield’s Zach Fleming, who had 11 tackles in the game, set up the winning score by jarring punter Hunter Hamrick and forcing him to fall on the loose ball at the Crusaders’ 10-yard line. Chosen as the game’s most outstanding player, Jenkins scored two touchdowns and rushed for a game-high 81 yards on 18 carries. Linfield limited UMHB’s vaunted option attack to a season-low 155 rushing yards. Eric Hillison added 10 solo stops, three behind the line of scrimmage, and made an interception.
Director of Sports Information
McMinnville, OR 97128