Sunday, April 15, 2018

L&C at Linfield Catball/Softball doubleheader 4/14/2018

Doubleheader: By same 8-5 score, Linfield won both games. Final home game for six Catball players and one assistant coach. All are graduating in May 2018.

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Maybe you didn’t hear this about that 1965 Linfield football game?

Paul Durham-coached Linfield played in the NAIA national football championship in Augusta, Georgia, on Dec. 11, 1965. The Wildcats lost 33-0 to the St. John’s University Johnnies.

Starting center for Linfield was Brian Petersen, a 210-pound sophomore from Medford.

Petersen knows the reputation of John Gagliardi, who was St. John’s highly successful head football, 1953-2012.

Says Brian, “That coach has been heralded as saint, but he didn’t send us (Linfield) film to scout until shortly before the game. Coach Durham sent our film right after we knew who Linfield was going to play. They were a good team that didn’t need that kind of advantage.”

A story in the Oregonian sports section of Wed., Dec. 8, 1965, says, “For Durham, the exposure to the St. John’s tactical makeup is limited to the viewing of one film – last Saturday’s quarterfinal victory over Fairmont State of Virginia. Films of the Jays’ 34-0 shellacking of Gustavus Adolphus played in good weather and 10-0 blanking of Concordia under adverse conditions have apparently been waylaid in the mails somewhere.”

Oregonian article was written Tue., Dec. 7, 1965, and published the next day, Wed., Dec. 8, the same day Linfield traveled to Georgia to prepare for the game.


Footnote: These days, athletic teams of St. John's University of Collegeville, Minn. (near St. Cloud, Minn.) are called the "Johnnies." Oregonian article uses "Jays" as the team's nickname. The article said, "...the Johnnies, or Jays as they're now called..."

Linfielder Paul Durham: Did you know he was a high school ice hockey and soccer coach?

Paul Durham, August 1993, Honolulu. 
During his 80th birthday party.

Story by McMinnville N-R/News Register, August 1989. Minor editing by and additional info from Wildcatville, March 2018.

Friday, Aug. 11, 1989
McMinnville N-R/News-Register
McMinnville, Oregon

Paul Durham’s touch lingers on at Linfield

Editor’s note: Paul H. Durham/Paul Henry Durham, longtime Linfield College football coach and athletic director, will be inducted Saturday evening, March 12, 1989, at the into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in Portland at the Red Lion Inn/Jantzen Beach. In a two-part series, the News-Register will trace the career of Durham, who successes are still being felt today. Part 1 will focus on the early years. On Monday, Part 2 will follow Durham as he brings Linfield to national prominence.

N-R Staff Writer

Paul Durham is speaking of former Linfield College President Harry Dillin and ex-Oregon Journal Sports Editor George Pasero.

So the story goes:

“What both Dr. Dillin and George tell me is that Dillin came into Portland, kind of snooping around and about for prospective coaches.

“The head coach there (at Linfield) had been Wayne Harn … Dillin came into Portland and got to talk to George Pasero and Pasero says, ‘Why the hell don’t you hire Durham?’

“So Dillin noses around a while and finally we talked and I got the job.”

A simple conversation between a college president and a prep sports expert in the early part of 1948, and it completely changed small-college athletics in the Northwest, possibly even in the country.

For Paul Durham took over the Linfield program in 1948, and the following year he assumed the additional duties of athletic director.

--Note: Henry Lever was football coach nine seasons, 1930-1938. Wayne Harn coached 1939, but left for military service. Lever was coach 1941-1942. No football 1943-1945 during World War II. Harn coached 1946-1947.  When Durham became football coach in 1948, Lever remained at Linfield through 1948-1949, serving that school year as athletic director. First year for Durham as athletic director was 1949-1950.

For 20 years Durham coached Linfield had took the school from run-of-the-mill to consistent winner, laying the groundwork for 15 years later when protégé Ad Rutschman’s team captured the national championship.

--Note: Henry Lever coached Durham and Roy Helser (both members of Linfield Class of 1936, although Helser graduated in 1941) in all sports at Linfield. The three season Durham and Helser were co-head men's basketball coach were 1949-1950, 1950-1951, 1951-1952. Ad Rutschman attended Linfield 1950-1954, graduating in 1954. Durham and Helser (a football assistant coach) coached Rutschman in football at Linfield and in basketball. Helser coached Rutschman in baseball.

Linfield goes back further than 1948 for Durham, though. As a graduate of Portland’s Franklin High School, his older brother, Phil, encouraged him to attend, as did football coach Henry Lever. (Philip C. Durham/Philip Calvin Durham graduated from Linfield in 1935, a year before Paul.)

After graduating from Linfield in 1936, Paul Durham went to work.

“I went out to Yamhill (High School), for four years … four great years.”

Yamhill did not field a football team.

“The small towns, when you’re coach – it’s just the greatest experience you could ever have. They treat you like a million bucks,” Durham said.

While at Yamhill High he taught “Glee Club and English and history and social studies and I don’t know what all. Four years at a small school and you’re liable to teach anything.”

After his four years in Yamhill, he returned to his alma mater, Franklin High.

“I assisted in football and coached the ice hockey and soccer teams,” he said, “which I knew nothing about. I was a babysitter. They had to have faculty go to practice and stand around. But there were always some kids on the team who know the sports, seniors, who the other kids replaced, and they would run the operation pretty much … They did the coaching.”

Things were so bad in hockey, Durham said, “I had to learn what a blue line was.”

He crossed back and forth between Franklin and Portland’s High School of Commerce, now Cleveland High School.

He was at Franklin in 1948 when Dillin and Pasero had their little chat.

--Note: Thanks to Dr. Bob Gill’s book “It’s In Their Blood: Oregon Football Coaches and Their Legacies,” we know Durham coached basketball and baseball 1936-1939 at Yamhill. He was at Franklin 1940-1941 coaching JV football. At Commerce 1942-1945 he was a football assistant and head basketball and baseball coach. At Franklin 1946 he was head football, basketball and baseball coach and head football and baseball coach in 1947.

Making the transition from high school to college was easy in the post-World War II days, Durham said. He didn’t need to recruit because hordes of men getting out of the service were swarming the campuses.

He persuaded three or four players from the Shrine team he assisted on that summer to attend Linfield.

“That’s about all the recruiting I was able to do. We didn’t have any recruiting money. I didn’t know anything about recruiting.

“In fact, we never did have any money,” he said with a smile.

Durham’s first year, the football Wildcats were 3-6, with wins over Lower Columbia Junior College, the University of British Columbia and Oregon College of Education (Western Oregon University). None of those wins was by more than a touchdown.

Football remained at the top of Durham’s list the next year, but the list grew longer.

He added athletic director as a title, then became coach of the basketball team with longtime friend Roy Helser.

Helser, who is a member of the Oregon Sports Hall of fame for his prowess with the Portland Beavers, had not coached basketball in years. So Durham agreed to coach with him until he felt confident going it alone.

“We always kind of kidded about it,” said Helser, who still lives in McMinnville, “because whenever we called a timeout, here I’d have some kid pinned, then he could take over, and then another. We’d have about four of us. Even the fans got a kick out of it.”

The job-sharing arrangement lasted for three years.

“I can truly say we never had any disagreement between us,” Helser said. “Paul understood me about as well as anybody could understand me.”

Monday, Aug. 14, 1989
McMinnville N-R/News-Register
McMinnville, Oregon

Durham lives the quiet life

Home base now Hawaii

Editor’s note: This is the second installment of a two-part series examining the career of Linfield’s longtime athletic director and football coach, Paul Durham, who was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday in Portland. Part 1 Friday examined how Durham came to Linfield and what happened in the early years.

N-R Staff Writer

The first eight years of Paul Durham’s tenure as Linfield College football coach were not marked with overwhelming success or failure.

His records ranged from 3-6 – in his first year in 1948 twice more, to 6-3 in 1950. In fact, for the first eight years, he had a losing record of 32-35-4. Over the next 12 years, though things would change.

When sportswriters today write of Linfield College’s astounding streak of winning seasons, which now stands at 33, it is continued by Ad Rutschman’s 21 years.

But for 12 years Paul Durham turned a perennial bridesmaid into one of the brides.

Over those dozen seasons, Durham’s teams ran up a record of 90-16-6 and won seven Northwest Conference championships. It had been 21 years since the Wildcats had won a league title.

Offense changes

Durham changed his offense in the late 1950s after watching the success of Humboldt State University, coached by Phil Sarboe, a former Washington State coach.

While serving on the NAIA/National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Executive Committee, Durham was assigned to escort Humboldt State to an NAIA playoff game.

Sarboe and Durham exited to a kitchen during a party.

“In about three hours I learned the Flying T,” Durham said.

It was known as the Flying T formation and overloaded the strong side with two tackles and an end.

“Nobody ever really defensed it,” Durham claims.

Nobody ever argued the point, however.

Five years after Durham began his winning way, the Wildcats made their first postseason.

In 1961, Whittier (Calif.) College was the visitor and Linfield was the victor in the NAIA Western Playoffs, nabbing an 18-7 win at Maxwell Field.

Then it was on to the national championship game – the Camellia Bowl – the NAIA’s title game for three seasons in Sacramento, Calif.

Against Pittsburg State University of Kansas, the Wildcats were facing the top-ranked team in the nation. Linfield lost, but the game was one the Wildcats felt they should have won.

A touchdown in the opening minute gave the Gorillas a 6-0 lead that kept up to the fourth quarter. Pittsburgh State scored for a 12-0 lead and then Linfield scored.

Linfield got the ball late in the game but couldn’t score.

The loss was Linfield’s only of the season.

‘Dodging with Durham’

While Durham was leading the Wildcats to the heights, he also found time to edit sports for the News-Register, in addition to teaching at Linfield.

His daily column – “Dodging with Durham” – was an N-R staple for years, until Durham left for Hawaii in 1968.

“Paul would come down to the office about 5:30 in the afternoon after practice,” said N-R Publisher and then editor Phil Bladine. “We would shoot the breeze many times a week. He is such a great personality … one of the sharpest wits of anybody’s you’ll ever know.”

The Cats returned to the national playoffs in 1964, despite consecutive eight-win seasons in between.

Durham recalled that 28-6 semifinal loss to Concordia (Minn.) College in Fargo, N. D., on Nov. 26, 1964, because of the extreme cold.

“The wind chill factor took it to 20, 25 below,” Durham said, “and we had some kids from Hawaii on that team who couldn’t even stand up it was so cold. Somebody’s relative had some heaters back there (by the benches), but it didn’t make any difference.”

Linfield returned to the finals by beating Sul Ross State of Texas 30-22 in a semifinal game held in Texas.

In the finals, held in Augusta, Ga., Linfield suffered one of its worst playoff defeats ever, 33-0, at the hands of St. John’s College of Minnesota.

Produces coaches

Rivaling Durham’s football coaching feats were what the Linfield physical education department was turn out: coaches.

Hundreds of coaches.

It helped the recruiting, Durham said.

“Some of them graduated at the end of my first and second year,” Durham said. “Pretty soon they’re out getting coaching jobs. We kept in contact with them. They started helping send back kids.”

“That to be has been the life blood of Linfield’s athletic success --- the fact that alumni, in particular teacher and coaches, have sent back, over the 20 years I was there, several thousand different athletes.”

Two years later, in 1968, another Linfield alumnus took over the program – Ad Rutschman.

Durham resigned the football coach’s position in February 1968, following the 1967 season. In his “Dodging with Durham” column he wrote of spending Thursdays and Fridays walking around like he had a football in his stomach – with the football overinflated.

Health leads to resignation

“I had ulcers,” Durham said, “I just had to quit coaching around 32 years. I was 54 and had to quit coaching.

“In the last two, three years during the season the only day I felt good was Wednesday. I’d get over the previous game by Wednesday and on Thursday my belly would be hurting again.”

Durham found that pressure affected him differently that some coaches.”

“Some guys, Rutschman handles it well,” he said. “He’s a little older than I was when I quite. I loved it, just loved it, but it got so I couldn’t do it anymore.”

He resigned as football coach, then a little later as athletic director, after he was offered the athletic director spot at the University of Hawaii, a NCAA/National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I school.

He worked for eight years in that position, but the bane of many athletic directors – alumni – eventually caused him to step into a supervisory position in the university’s education department.

Hawaii not trouble free

After the University of Hawaii Rainbows began having some success in football, the alumni began pushing for national championship-caliber teams, not always above the table.

Two years after Durham stepped down as athletic director, the NCAA stepped in with probation and the banning of three regents – the university’s directors – for violations of the association rules.

Paul and Kitty Durham, August 1993, Honolulu.

Durham retired in 1981 and still lives in Waikiki in a condominium with his wife, Kitty. They have traveled extensively, and Durham enjoys reading and golfing.

He has season tickets to the Rainbows’ football and basketball teams and watches baseball games.

Durham had three children. Jeff, a former McMinnville School District athletic director who holds the same post at Forest Grove High School; Terry, a National Basketball Association referee and Portland resident, and Cathy, an ex-stewardess, who lives in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, a Chicago suburb. All graduated from McMinnville High School and Linfield. Jeff and Terry were successful athletes at the high school and college.

SIDEBAR: Durham, Linfield highlight banquet

N-R Staff Writer

PORTLAND – Paul Durham delighted the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame banquet’s biggest audience ever with tales of his days as football coach and athletic director at Linfield College.

Durham was one of eight inductees into the Hall of Fame. More than a thousand people crowed the Red Lion Inn/Jantzen Beach for the ceremonies marking the Hall’s 10th anniversary.

And, Linfield played a major role, with an unofficial count seeing the college mentioned more times than any, save the University of Oregon and Oregon State University.

The program opened with the Parade of Champions of 40 Hall of Famers. One who didn’t make the walk – due to minor foot surgery – was longtime Linfield baseball and basketball coach Roy Helser, who was inducted in 1981 for his feats in Pacific Coast League baseball.

Several sportswriters and sportscasters were asked to recall their favorite games to cover, with the games and narration being displayed on two huge video screens placed in the corners.

KOIN-TV’s Rick Metsger waxed nostalgic about Linfield’s three national football titles in the 1980s.

After the dinner, four high school students were presented with $1,500 scholarships. The awards were based on academic achievement, athletic accomplishment and financial need.

Yamhill-Carlton High School graduate Amy Weise was the first honored. She graduated with a 4.0 grade point average and excelled in three sports. She plans to attend Linfield.

Jason Saunders of Cottage Grove High School was another awardee who plans to attend Linfield. He also was a triple sports threat and had a 3.89 GPA.

The Don Kirsch Memorial Award, named for the former UO baseball coach, was given along with a $1,500 scholarship to Linfield graduate David Safford.

Safford was District 2 NAIA/National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Player of the Year with an 11-6 record, setting three Wildcat baseball pitching records in the process.

Safford plans to pursue a career in 

Continued Page 9/Banquet

Banquet: Tales and singing delight audience

Continued from Page 9

business or coaching. He graduated with a 3.4 GPA in business and economics. The scholarship is awarded to a college baseball player who best combines academic achievement, athletic accomplishment and financial need.

Durham was introduced third among the eight inductees and had the audience eating out of his hand with his stories.

The coach, who led Linfield for 20 years and so many wins, was at the head of the class once again.

Stealing a few, earning a few

He told of stealing a few wins and earning a few wins.

One of his teams stole a road win from a school whose officials were all alumni. Later, the same team came to Linfield, whose officials were also alumni.

The only difference? “They weren’t prejudiced,” Durham said, “just loyal.”

He spoke eloquently of the lessons he had been taught.

“Some of the greatest things I’ve learned have been from the teams I’ve played against,” he said.

He listed the many, many people who influenced his life. And then he broke into song.

He promised he would embarrass his family, sitting together at a table, by singing a song he and two friends made up in college.

A friend of Durham’s – Chappie King – was recently staying in a nursing home in the last days of a long life.

Chappie’s song to remember

“He didn’t remember a lot of things,” Durham said. But the song was one of them.

It wasn’t a particularly noteworthy song. It was about a professor at the school. He only sang two stanzas in his singer’s voice – Durham was once in the Glee Club.

But it spoke of a simpler time, when students sat in their frat houses and did things like compose songs about professors.

Embarrassing? No.

The warm applause following his 15 minute appearance was a fitting punctuation to an exclamation point career.

Paul Durham is in the Hall of Fame.

SIDEBAR: Doing Durham
Paul Durham’s Linfield Coaching Record

1948   3-6
1949   4-4
1950   6-3
1951   3-3-3
1952   5-3-1
1953   5-4
1954   3-6
1955   3-6
1956   6-1-2*
1957   8-1
1958   7-1-1
1959   5-3-1
1960   7-2
1961   10-1*
1962   8-0-1*
1963   8-1
1964   8-1-1*
1965   8-1*
1966   7-2
1967   8-1
Career   122-51-10

Photos with this story by Wildcatville August 1993 in Honolulu during Paul Durham’s 80th birthday party. One shows him with his wife, Kitty. In another, he displays birthday celebration t-shirt.

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Linfield Wildcat fans know Augusta not for golf, but for what happened there following a 1965 Linfield football game

First year of famous Augusta, Georgia, pro golf tournament was 1934. Latest iteration will be April 5-8. But, Linfield Wildcat fans know Augusta not for golf, but for what happened there following a 1965 Linfield football game. 
Read story:

Catball 2018

Photo by Catball parent Penny Woodruff game #1 3/31/2018 Spokane.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

You know Michelbook. But, what do you know about its namesakes?

You play in the BWC Golf Tournament in McMinnville at Michelbook Country Club, located on Michelbook Lane.

You have an association with Linfield College in McMinnville. The college’s Admissions Office is located in the historic Michelbook House on campus in McMinnville.

You know Michelbook. But, what do you know about its namesakes?

(CAUTION: This is more than you want to know. It is not required reading. This information will not be on quiz or final exam.)


In the early 1960's, Kelton Peery, Chuck Colvin and Willard Cushing “felt that it was time for (McMinnville) to have a private golf course. Then began their search for property …” They “soon were able to persuade Captain Francis Michelbook that this was a proper use for his land, a dairy farm and was later used for raising turkeys. Captain Michelbook did have some conditions in order to proceed and one was that it would perpetually bear the family name ‘Michelbook’ and with the swipe of a pen was the beginning of Michelbook Country Club.”


“This private course was named after Captain Francis Michelbook, whose dairy and turkey farm was redeveloped into a nine hole course. That layout opened in 1964 with nine holes designed by Sharon Stone, an employee of Western Turf Company. The second nine debuted on July 27, 1984.”


--City of McMinnville Historic Resources Survey says the Michelbook House (two-story Colonial style built about 1930), in which Francis Michelbook and his wife, Christine Michelbook lived, has “Historic Significance.”


--Francis L. Michelbook, whose family farm eventually became the site of Michelbook County Club, once served as commander of McMinnville’s Company A, part of Oregon National Guard’s Third Infantry. During a Veterans Day 2016 exhibit at the Yamhill Valley Heritage Center in McMinnville a 1914 photo of Francis Michelbook posing with his saber were displayed. Also on display was his National Guard backpack. Info from a story in the Nov. 15, 2016, N-R edition by Starla Pointer.

--In a Elaine Rohse "Rohse Colored Glasses” columns : “We start with three late businessmen, Kelton Peery, Chuck Colvin and Willard Cushing, who decided it was time for McMinnville (population, 7,000) to have a private golf course. They spearheaded a mighty effort, backed by community support. On Feb. 2, 1962, they optioned to buy 114 acres in northwest McMinnville owned by Christie and Francis Michelbook, who long had a dairy farm there and later raised turkeys. Approximately $150,000 was realized from sale of stock. Michelbook’s dairy barn was to serve as a clubhouse. (When it later burned, a new clubhouse was built.) And on the momentous day of May 9, 1964, golfers took to the course for the first time. Nowadays, on long summer evenings, family groups, working couples and singles visit those 18 fairways for relaxation, camaraderie, perhaps a birdie or two — and hopefully to memorialize the efforts of those three.”

--Info at the McMinnville N-R website says in early 1990 the Michelbook House was for sale, “but the buyer must move it.” Later in 1990 Linfield decided to buy the house, move it to campus and use it as home of Linfield Admissions. In March 1991 the house was moved, and placed on a new foundation on campus on Linfield Avenue. After the move, the house had a “commercial remodel.”


--Francis Lester Michelbook was born Jan. 24, 1886, and died March 29, 1965. He served as a captain in the Oregon National Guard and for Yamhill County as State Representative in the 28th (Jan. 11-20, 1915) Oregon legislative assembly. He was a graduate of Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State University.)

Obituary: March 30, 1965 Oregon Statesman, Salem, with additional info added by poster on March 27, 2018:

Francis Michelbook

Francis Michelbook, 79, an early legislator from Yamhill County, died Monday at his home, 1200 Michelbook Lane, McMinnville. He was born in Salem, Marion County, Oregon. Michelbook served in the Legislature in 1913. For many years he operated Michelbook Farm, which now is Michelbook Country Club. He sold the farm in 1963 for development of the golf course.

Michelbook, a graduate of Oregon State University in 1909, served as an Army captain in World War I. He also saw action in the Mexican Border clash. He helped to organize Co. A of the Oregon National Guard here.

Surviving are the widow, Christie, McMinnville; brothers Herbert of Portland and Roy of Berkeley, Calif.; sisters Mrs. George Fick, Portland, and Mrs. Emma Martin, Woodland, Wash.

Mass will be 10 a.m. Wednesday at St. James Catholic Church in McMinnville with interment at Evergreen Memorial Park. Rosary will be 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at Macy & Son chapel.


--Christine Cleve Michelbook was born on April 27, 1886, and died on July 31, 1989. Information at the McMinnville N-R website provides a photo cutline dated May 16, 1975: “Christine ‘Christie’ Michelbook in her home on the staircase, & playing the piano. Also, copy of painting of her husband in military uniform.”

Obituary: McMinnville N-R/News-Register Aug. 2, 1989, with additional info added by poster on March 27, 2018:


Services for former longtime McMinnville resident Christine C. “Kit” Michelbook of Portland will be held at 32 p.m. Friday in the Chapel of Macy & Son Funeral Directors, McMinnville.

Officiating will be the Rev. Randy Steele of the United Presbyterian Church.
Entombment will be in Evergreen Memorial Park mausoleum, McMinnville.

Mrs. Michelbook died July 31, 1989, in Crestview Convalescent Center, Portland. She was 103 years old.

She was born April 27, 1886, in Bismarck, N.D., daughter of Helga Berven Cleve. The family moved to Oregon, when she and her two sisters were orphaned. She was taken in and raised by a local doctor and his family.

Mrs. Michelbook was graduated from Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State University.)She taught in a one-room schoolhouse for a time.

She and Francis L. “Cap” Michelbook were married Sept. 12, 1918, in Portland. Mr. Michelbook preceded his wife in death in 1965.

The Michelbooks moved to McMinnville, where they settled on a family farm purchased from the original settlers in the area. The Michelbook property was sold to local developers in 1963, but Mrs. Michelbook retained life rights to the family home.

The farm now is the location of Michelbook Estate and Country Club.

Mrs. Michelbook lived in Carousel Care Center in McMinnville for a short time. In 1983, she moved to Crestview Convalescent Center, Portland, to be closer to one of her trustees, former McMinnville resident Betty Jean McCoorry Yockey.
Friends and Mrs. Michelbook enjoyed discussing various topics, ranging from politics to sports. She liked to sew.

She loved children, friends said. She often gave neighborhood youngsters advice about having good qualities and high moral standards.
Survivors include a nephew, Irvin Rosvold of Edwardsville, Ill.

She also was preceded in death by two sisters, Emma Cleve and Anna Rosvold.

Photos of Michelbook House and Michelbook Country Club and Michelbook Lane signs by Wildcatville 3/27/2018