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.
Garry Killgore leads the Linfield College athletic department into a new era in 2017-18.
Killgore is just the fifth athletic director at Linfield since 1949. He succeeds recently retired director Scott Carnahan (1996-2016) in the athletic director’s chair and joins a proud legacy of Hall of Fame athletic administrators that includes Ad Rutschman (1973-96), Roy Helser (1968-73), and Paul Durham (1949-68).
Killgore is no stranger to Linfield having served as a longtime faculty member and Health, Human Performance and Athletics department chairperson. First arriving at Linfield in 1989, he coached track & field and cross country for 17 years before stepping aside to focus on exercise science instruction and leading fellow faculty within HHPA. Though he no longer is active on the academic side of HHPA, Killgore remains a full professor.
As track and field coach, Killgore was a six-time NCAA West Region Coach of the Year, a seven-time NWC Coach of the Year and was honored as the conference’s men’s cross country coach of the Year after leading Linfield to the team title in 1994.
He headed Linfield’s track and cross country programs during the three-year transition from NAIA to NCAA Division III in the mid-1990s. In 2000, Killgore coached Linfield’s first individual NCAA Division III national champion, mentoring Amber Larsen to an individual title in the 400-meter hurdles. Under Killgore’s tutelage, eight men and 18 women set track and field school records and 96 athletes were accorded All-America acclaim.
Inducted into the Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame in 2013, Killgore founded AQx Sports, Inc., a land and water-based training and rehabilitation system that has benefited athletes worldwide.
He and his wife, Lisa, have two grown children, Mike and Fen.
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 associate 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, also former Wildcats: Aaron and Miranda.
Sports Information Director
Kelly Bird is in his 29th 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 website. He serves on the Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame executive committee, is a member of the College Sports Information Directors of America, is a West Region voter for the CoSIDA Academic All-America 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 and 2014-15 academic years.
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 more than 40 years. He and his wife, Jolene, reside in McMinnville with their two daughters, Karlee and Jillian.
NCAA Compliance Officer
Lisa Macy-Baker enters her fifth year on the Linfield Athletics staff as head women's tennis coach and NCAA Compliance Officer. In addition to her coaching duties, she handles all matters relating to student-athlete eligibility and monitors and guides the athletic department in issues of NCAA compliance.
Macy-Baker coached girls tennis for four seasons at McMinnville High School, leading the Grizzlies to a 51-20 dual match record, a district and league tournament title, and a fifth-place finish at the Oregon Class 6A state championship tournament in 2010. She taught special education in the McMinnville School District from 2006 to her 2013 hire at Linfield, first at McMinnville High School and more recently as special education case manager at Duniway Middle School.
A star athlete at McMinnville High in the mid-1990s, Macy-Baker lettered four seasons in both basketball and tennis. A point guard on the basketball court, she was a four-time all-conference and three-time conference most valuable player for the Grizzlies, concluding her career as the school’s career leader in points, steals and assists. In tennis, she competed at the Oregon state tournament all four seasons, and was a two-time district doubles champion.
After receiving her diploma from MHS in 1994, Macy-Baker earned a full-ride scholarship to play basketball at Oregon State University. Though she competed with the Beavers for just one season, Macy-Baker went on to graduate with honors from OSU in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in general science. She later completed a master’s degree in special education at Portland State University in 2002.
Lisa and her husband, Ron, live in McMinnville with their two daughters, Cameron and Eleanor.
Athletics Secretary/Ticket Manager
Polly Sommers is in her 23rd 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 13th 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. Dr. Bakner was a Visiting Scientist in Behavioral Neuroscience at Oregon Health & Sciences University (1999-2000, 2008-2009).
Dr. 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 resides in McMinnville.