Linfield Wildcats

Ted Wilson Gymnasium

 
 
 

Ted Wilson Gym bears the name of the man who coached the Linfield basketball team longer and to more wins than any individual in school history. In 20 seasons, Wilson directed the Wildcats in over 500 games, compiling a 324-213 record. Riley Gym was nicknamed the "House of Hustle" out of respect for Wilson's high-scoring teams, which averaged a school-record 96.5 points a game during the 1977-78 season.

Ted Wilson Gym is decorated with 18 Northwest Conference championship banners, 16 of which were won by Wilson between 1961 and 1981.

Wilson Gym, with 1,924 seats, is contained within Linfield's 112,000-square-foot Health, Physical Education and Recreation Complex which opened in 1989. The new structure was dramatic a departure from cramped Riley Gym.

The state-of-the-art facility contains locker rooms, offices and classrooms, a fully equipped athletic training room along with display areas that house the trophies and recognitions of past Linfield teams and athletes.

In 1920, Riley Gym was built adjacent to historic Pioneer Hall at a cost of just over $25,000. Riley Gym served as the basketball home of the Wildcats for 67 seasons. A granddaddy of small college gyms, Riley played host to its first game in December, 1921, and its last game in February, 1989.

Linfield's first on-campus basketball court was located on the north end of campus in the building now known as Newby Hall. The floor was miniature by today's standards and there were no boundary lines. The surrounding walls prevented players from leaving the playing area. As a game was about to start, someone would check that all the doors were closed tight, the ball would be tipped off at center court, and it was every player for himself.

Up until 1907, Newby Hall, nicknamed the "Chem Shack," was illuminated by candles with tin reflectors. In this era, many of the gyms the Wildcats played in were smaller and even more primitive than the one on the Linfield campus.

Around 1900, Linfield played its home basketball games in the old pavilion in the city park. Following practices and games, players had to heat their own shower water using a wood-burning boiler.