- MEN'S SPORTS
- WOMEN'S SPORTS
- ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT
- SPORTS INFORMATION
- PROSPECTIVE ATHLETES
DR. THOMAS HELLIE
Dr. Thomas L. Hellie, the 19th president of Linfield College, has a broad background in higher education, having served as a faculty member, an academic administrator and a foundation executive.
Dr. Hellie has spent his entire professional career in higher education. He was a tenured faculty member in theatre and English at Hiram College in Ohio from 1980 to 1989. He served first as program officer and then as vice president for the Associated Colleges of the Midwest from 1989 to 1999.
Prior to taking over as president of Linfield College in 2006, he spent six years as president and executive director of the James S. Kemper Foundation in Chicago, Ill.
Dr. Hellie has had extensive international experience as a student, faculty member and administrator. He studied and taught abroad, and also administered off-campus study programs at a dozen sites on four continents while at the ACM.
Dr. Hellie has a bachelor's degree (magna cum laude) in theatre from Luther College and a master's degree and Ph.D. in theatre history from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He previously served as a trustee of Lenoir-Rhyne College in North Carolina and as a trustee of the U.S. Business School in Prague, Czech Republic.
In 1996, Palacky University (Czech Republic) awarded him its highest honor, the Pametni Medal, for his contributions to Czech higher education.
Scott Carnahan begins his 18th year as the college's director of athletics. Under his guidance, Linfield has been the recipient of the Northwest Conference All-Sports Trophy three of the past 12 years. In 2005, he was the NCAA Division III West Region recipient of the GeneralSports TURF Systems Athletic Director of the Year Award.
He served seven years as assistant athletic director in charge of facilities. As head baseball coach from 1984 to 2007, Carnahan's teams won 11 Northwest Conference championships, including five straight titles from 1992 to 1996. His Linfield coaching record is 562-375-2, including a remarkable 359-127 mark against NWC competition.
Carnahan was the head baseball coach for six years at Lower Columbia Community College. His 30-year career record stands at 727-445-2.
He served as team leader for the USA Baseball delegation at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and previously was an assistant coach and team leader/business manager with USA Baseball.
A native of Randle, Wash., Carnahan received his bachelor's degree from Linfield in 1973 and his master's degree from Lewis & Clark College in 1980. He played football and baseball at Linfield, earning all-conference, all-district and all-region honors as a senior.
He and his wife, Cathy, live in McMinnville. They have three grown children.
Assistant Athletic Director - Facilities
Doug Hire is Linfield’s Assistant Athletic Director in charge of operation, maintenance and development of athletic facilities.
He also serves as assistant head football coach and has been a member of the coaching staff since 2000. The former standout offensive guard at Linfield directs the offensive line.
Prior to joining the Linfield staff, Hire spent two seasons as defensive line coach at Willamette University. He also spent 10 years as an assistant at Sprague High School where he served as offensive coordinator, offensive and defensive line coach, and special teams coordinator.
A four-year football letterman from 1983-86, Hire capped his senior season by helping Linfield to a 12-0 season and the NAIA national championship. He was an NAIA honorable mention All-American as a junior in 1985 and earned first team All-America acclaim as a senior. Hire, who earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education, received NAIA Academic All-America honors in 1986. Hire began his coaching career at Linfield as an assistant offensive line coach in 1987 before moving over to Sprague in 1988.
Hire signed professional contracts with Phoenix, Seattle and the New York Jets of the National Football League and with the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League. He played briefly in the NFL for Seattle during the strike-shortened season of 1987.
He was inducted into the Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007.
A native of Pearl City, Hawaii, Hire resides in West Salem with his wife Teresa, a 1988 Linfield graduate. The Hires have two children, Aaron and Miranda.
AMY DAMES SMITH
Senior Woman Administrator
Amy Dames Smith is in her third year as senior woman administrator and 10th season as Linfield women's tennis coach. She handles all matters relating to student-athlete eligibility and monitors and guides the athletic department in issues of NCAA compliance.
During her first season in 2004, Dames Smith guided Linfield to the best record in program history and its third-straight Northwest Conference championship.
The Wildcats have finished no worse than second in the NWC in each of the last nine seasons, including a school record 18-0 record in the Northwest Conference in 2006. Her dual match record stands at 151-43.
A 1999 graduate of the University of Portland, Dames Smith was a three-year letterwinner in tennis for Coach Susie Campbell-Gross. She was the Pilots' most inspirational player as a senior and received the most improved player award as a sophomore in 1997. While in still in college, she competed independently in USTA tournaments and was ranked as high as seventh in the Open Divison of the Pacific Northwest Region.
Dames Smith began her coaching career as assistant girls tennis coach at Evergreen High School in Vancouver, Wash. She also has worked at Eastmoreland Racquet Club in Portland. Over the summers, she has taught tennis fundamentals at Steve Vaughan's Tennis Camp in her hometown of Bend, Ore.
In addition to her coaching responsibilities, Dames Smith also serves as NCAA Compliance Officer and teaches physical education courses.
Sports Information Director
Kelly Bird is in his 24th year as sports information director at Linfield. He is responsible for all athletics publicity, including production of athletic publications, event programs, and design and maintenance of the athletics Web site. He serves on the Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame executive committee and assists with the development of the Linfield Athletics History Room. A member of the College Sports Information Directors of America, Bird serves as a West Region voter for the CoSIDA All-America Football Team.
Since joining the staff in 1989, Bird has produced 22 nationally award-winning sports brochures, including five that were judged "Best in the Nation."
In 2007, he was honored as Linfield's Administrator of the Year for the McMinnville campus and received the Northwest Conference SID of the Year award for the 2007-08 academic year.
Bird was a sports-statistics editor for 14 years at The Oregonian newspaper in Portland. He also worked as an announcer for five years at KUIK radio in Hillsboro. He earned an associate of applied science degree in radio broadcasting from Portland Community College in 1983.
A graduate of Tigard High School, Bird was a two-year letterwinner at defensive tackle for the Tigers' football team. He served as Tigard's baseball and softball public address announcer for six seasons.
Born in Calgary, Alberta, Bird maintains Canadian citizenship but has lived in the United States for over 30 years. He and his wife, Jolene, reside in McMinnville with their two daughters, Karlee, 12, and Jillian, 9.
Sports Information, Promotions, Marketing and Athletics Administration Assistant
Katherine Brackmann is serving her third year as Linfield's Sports Information, Promotions, Marketing and Athletics Administration Assistant.
Brackmann provides leadership and support toward the day-to-day operations of the sports information office and coordinates annual events, such as the Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet. She plans and guides new outreaches in the areas of athletics promotions and marketing and offers administrative support to the athletics office. She also serves as an adviser to the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
Brackmann earned a bachelor's degree from Gonzaga University, graduating summa cum laude in Sport Management. As a student, Brackmann wrote for her college newspaper, The Gonzaga Bulletin, and held several leadership positions on campus.
Prior to Linfield, Brackmann served as the communications and marketing intern with the Spokane Regional Sports Commission. In that role, she helped publicize various sporting events in the Spokane region, including the 2010 USA Cross Country Championships. Brackmann also worked one season with the Seattle Storm of the WNBA in the public relations department, assisting with writing press releases and coordinating game-day media operations.
A native of Sammamish, Wash., Brackmann attended Skyline High School where she competed in basketball and track and field.
She serves Linfield in a full-time capacity. Her position was initially funded through the NCAA Division III Ethnic Minority and Women's Internship Grant, which seeks to foster the development of women and minorities into positions of leadership within college athletics administration.
Athletics Secretary/Ticket Manager
Polly Sommers is in her 18th year as department secretary and ticket manager. She oversees department purchasing, season-ticket sales and event concessions.
Prior to joining the athletic department, Sommers worked for 13 years in purchasing and human resources. She supervised all purchasing and campus-telephone matters.
Sommers lives in McMinnville and has three grown children.
DR. LEE BAKNER
Faculty Athletics Representative
Psychology professor Dr. Lee Bakner is in his eighth year as faculty athletic representative.
Since coming to Linfield in 1992, Bakner has distinguished himself as an exemplary member of an already strong faculty.
He has been honored with the Samuel I. Graf Faculty Achievement Award and has also been the recipient of the Murdock College Science Research Program Award. Bakner is an adjunct professor in behavioral neuroscience at Oregon Health Sciences University.
Bakner received his bachelor’s degree in psychology at Shippensburg (Pa.) in 1987. He moved on to Kent State (Ohio), earning a master’s degree in 1990 and a doctorate degree in biopsychology in 1992.
He and his wife, Julie, reside in McMinnville with his three daughters, Erika, 18, Camille, 15 and Kaelah, 15.