Thursday, June 07, 2018

Linfield men’s basketball NWC opponent had future NBA, NFL stars in its starting five

When did a Linfield men’s basketball team play a Northwest Conference opponent which had future NBA and NFL stars in its starting five? It happened not once, by three times.
It was during the 1954-1955 season when Roy Helser was Linfield men’s basketball head coach and the team’s top player was 6-foot-5 forward Don Porter. Both are in the Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame.
The NWC opponent was the College of Idaho of Caldwell, Idaho. One of its starting forward was 6-foot-5 freshman Elgin Baylor, who went on to NBA fame and is in the Basketball Hall of Fame. Starting center was 6-foot-3 R. C. Owens, who later was a star receiver with the NFL San Francisco 49ers.
In 27 games during the 1954-1955 season, Baylor averaged 32.8 points and 18.9 rebounds per game. An Oregonian sports writer/sports columnist praised Baylor’s “amazing spring and accurate timing.”
C of I had a 23-4 win loss record and was 15-0 in conference that season. It was the first men’s basketball team in NWC history to go undefeated in conference games.
On January 17, 1955, in jammed packed Riley Gym, McMinnville, Linfield lost 90-62 to C of I.
In Caldwell on Feb. 18, 1955, and Feb. 19, 1955, respectively, Linfield lost 77-43 and 86-57 to C of I.
Baylor started college in Idaho following a storied high school basketball career in Washington, D.C. After the 1954-1955 school year, he transferred. Why? C of I coach Sam Vokes was fired and the college restricted athletic scholarships.
Baylor moved to Seattle University, sat out his transfer year, and played two seasons for Seattle U. He was the #1 overall pick by the Minneapolis Lakers in the 1958 NBA Draft playing initially for Minneapolis and later, after the team moved, for the Los Angeles Lakers.
=Back to C of I 1954-1955 basketball … Amazingly, the season did not end for College of Idaho in the NAIA national basketball tournament in Kansas City. C of I was in the 1955 NAIA District 5 playoffs in Bozeman, Montana. The winner would go on to KC.
On Feb. 28, 1955, Baylor scored 44 points leading C of I to a 93-71 win over Carroll College of Helena, Montana. In the district championship game on March 1, 1955, Baylor scored 43 points, but host Montana State won, 78-76.
=And, about Baylor's time in Seattle ... His last game for Seattle U was in Louisville, Kentucky, in the 1958 NCAA men's basketball tournament championship on March 22, 1958. He scored 25 points and had 19 rebounds, but Kentucky won, 84-72. However, he was named the tourney's Most Outstanding Player.
PHOTO shows action from one of the February 1955 Linfield at College of Idaho men’s basketball games in Caldwell, Idaho. C of I’s Elgin Baylor, #15, has the basketball. Who are the two Linfield players are in the photo? We can’t identify them? Can you?
ANOTHER story at Wildcatville might interest you. Read it at URL link below:

Thursday, May 31, 2018

In 1976 Tom McCall lent his voice to Linfield College

Prior to, during and after his tenure (1967-1975) as Oregon governor, the sound of Tom McCall's (photo) distinctive voice was known statewide.

What does McCall's voice have to do with Linfield College?

Read on.

Some know that in September 1974, the Linfield trustees offered Gov. McCall the Linfield presidency. This was after Gordon Bjork's tenure as president ended May 31, 1974, and during the time (Aug. 1, 1974 to 1975) Cornelius Siemens was the college's interim president.

A book about Linfield history says McCall "at times appeared to accept" the offer to be the college's president. But, the book says, in January 1975 Gov. McCall "declined the offer, consenting instead to election as a trustee."

Charles Walker was Linfield president starting in August 1975 and served to 1992.

Walker inherited a college in difficult financial straights. It could not afford to advertise, but McCall played a role in helping get Linfield's name before the public, including potential students, alumni and supporters.

In 1976, the United States celebrated its Bicentennial culminating Sunday, July 4, 1976, with the 200th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

Walker asked American historian Stephen Dow Beckham, then a member of the Linfield faculty, if he would write a series of brief one or two sentences about historical events which happened in Oregon in 1776. He did so. Beckham also found photos to use with many of the historical briefs.

Then, Walker asked for help from journalist Floyd McKay, a Linfield graduate, trustee (1972-1978) and then news analyst at KGW-TV in Portland. (McKay was Linfield adjunct professor of communications, 1969-1974.) Could McKay ask McCall to be the "voice" and narrate the Oregon in 1776 historical briefs for use as free public service announcements to run on Oregon TV and radio stations?

McKay asked. McCall said "yes."

Each brief included a tag line indicating it was from Linfield College.

"The college distributed these public service announcements about historical happening in Oregon in 1776 on video tapes to Oregon TV stations and on audio tapes to Oregon radio stations. They were readily accepted and used. The fact everyone knew the narrator's voice was a definite plus. It didn't cost much to do all of this, but the return to Linfield was valuable," said Walker in May 2018.

That's how former Oregon Gov. Tom McCall lent his voice to Linfield.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

How the Hawaii-Linfield football pipeline started

Thanks to Dennis Anderson for researching/writing this in 1986 and to Scott Seina for posting it at Facebook May 24, 2018.

Dec 21, 1986
The Sunday Star-Bulletin & Advertiser,
Section C, Page 97

Stories compiled by Dennis Anderson, Advertiser staff writer

Isle preps discover Northwest trail

Hawaiian punch helps Linfield win championships 

McMINNVILLE. Ore. — Three national championships in the last five years.

Thirty-one consecutive winning seasons.

Seven unbeaten regular seasons in the last 13 years.

Ranked among its division's top 20 teams for 15 years in a row.

It is arguably the best small-college football program in America and there is a strong thread of Hawaii contributions running all through its fabric.

Linfield College shut out Baker University of Kansas, 17-0, last Saturday to cap another 12-0 season with another NAIA Division II football championship.

Seven players from Hawaii played in the championship game. There were a total of 20 Hawaii players on the 1986 roster.

Last season there were 22. Every season since the late-1950s Hawaii players have made key contributions at Linfield and Linfield hasn't been under .500 since.

Why Hawaii?

Why Linfield?

Doug Hire of Waipahu, a 260-pound senior offensive guard who Thursday was named first team NAIA-II All-America, provides insight to why Hawaii players choose Linfield.

“I knew I was good, but Pearl City High didn't have a good record when I was there so I was not recognized. I only received one recruiting letter, from a JC in Arizona. So I wrote to Linfield, Willamette and Drake. 

“Coach Rutschman (Ad Rutschman, Linfield coach the past 19 seasons) came to see me. He was the first person to show interest. I knew the academics at Linfield had a good reputation and I wanted to play for a winning program.

"It's lived up to all my expectations.”

Hire has started on teams that won 32 of 34 games over the past three years and won two national championships.

He's attracted attention from the NFL, especially for his pass blocking, and could have his own highlight tape of lead blocks on sweeps. One that set up the last touchdown was the most memorable play of this year’s title game.

Hire expects to receive a degree in education in June.

Other starters from Hawaii on this year's team have been Jody Tyrell, a 6-1, 215-pound senior linebacker, and Chris Kelly, a 6-foot, 200-pound sophomore defensive end. Both graduated from Moanalua, another Hawaii high school that plays most of its games in obscurity.

Aundre Pace, sophomore from Radford High, was an alternate starter at tailback with a season average of 5.1 yards per carry.

Also on the 48-player playoff squad were Bryant Anderson, sophomore defensive end from Pac-Five (Maryknoll) who started on, three special teams and made two key plays in the semifinal and championship games; James Hiu, sophomore from Roosevelt who was the No. 1 backup behind two all-conference seniors at linebacker; and Miller Atagi, freshman center from Waialua whom Coach Rutschman expects to be "a great one" in the future.

Tyrell was chosen to the Southern Division, Columbia Football League first all-star team at linebacker. His season totals were 92 tackles, including nine for losses, 10 quarterback sacks, three opponents' fumbles recovered and two passes intercepted.

Tyrell is the first cousin of former Leilehua standouts Junior and Ulysses Tyrell, both of whom played at California junior colleges this year. Jody expects to receive a degree in systems analysis in June.

The coaching staff includes two former Hawaii and Linfield players. Wes Suan (Waialua High) has coached running backs at Linfield since 1979 and is in charge of recruiting Hawaii.

Jose Guevara, a 310-pound all-conference offensive tackle who completed his eligibility last season, assisted with offensive linemen this year while completing work on a fine arts degree. In the process he picked up his third championship ring.


Why Hawaii?

A physics teacher and dorm supervisor at lolani named Arthur Robinson inadvertently started the Hawaii-Linfield pipeline in 1958.

He took two lolani football players to Oregon on spring break to look at small colleges.

They liked Linfield best and sold three teammates on the idea when they returned.

Those five pioneers were Hugh Yoshida, Kenny Ling, Willie Chang, Jimmy Tan and Tyrone Kuhns.

Yoshida became a second-team NAIA All-America linebacker in 1961 on the first Linfield team to play for the national championship. Today he is one of the most successful and most respected high-school football coaches in Hawaii, at Leilehua, with the 1984 Prep Bowl championship to his credit.

When then-Linfield coach Paul Durham saw what Hawaii players could do for his team, he made it a point of recruiting at least one week a year in the Islands.

Durham won 122 games and seven Northwest Conference championships in 20 years. He never had a losing season after he started recruiting Hawaii players.

He never had a losing season after he started recruiting Hawaii players.

“We attracted a lot of players who felt they were a little too small for the big colleges," Durham recalls. "But by their junior and senior years, judging by the interest pro teams showed, many of them were big enough."

In 1967, Durham brought his Linfield team to Honolulu Stadium and upset the University of Hawaii, 15-13, in the rain with the help of two long, fourth-quarter quick kicks by Rogers Ishizu of Maui.

The next year UH hired Durham to be athletic director of the Manoa campus.

The Linfield-UH series continued for five more years and while little Linfield did not win again, Hawaii high school players and their parents liked what they saw and the Hawaii-Linfield connection flourished.

Durham is now retired and living in Honolulu. 

He was succeeded as Linfield coach by Rutschman, who was won 150 games and never had a losing season in 19 years. 

Rutschman spends two weeks every January in Hawaii, visiting with former , players and recruiting future ones.

“No matter how big or how small,” he says. “I’ve never had a player from Hawaii who wasn’t a hitter.”

Linfield’s best from Hawaii

“At every position," says 19-year Linfield football coach Ad Rutschman, "the best or one of the best players I've ever coached has been from Hawaii." 

With apologies to anyone he omitted, Rutschman recited these names of past Linfield standouts from the Islands, by position: 

Offensive guard — Tim Bowman, Mike Hirakawa, Doug Hire ("maybe the best," first-team NAIA All-America candidate this season), Wise Nicola, Joe Soong.

Offensive tackle — Charles Carveiro, Joe Gueverra, Ed Kama (first-team NAIA All-America, 1980), Henry Mahi.

Offensive line — Henry Cook.

Tight end — Bernie Peterson (second-team NAIA and third-team Associated Press Little All America, 1973, first-team Kodak All-America 1972), Keith Machida (second-team NAIA All-America 1985).

Receiver — Rogers Ishizu, John Sadowski.

Quarterback — Marco Minn, Pat Silva.

Running back — Mike Ah Chong, Danny Crowell (later transferred to Hawaii), Dino Gipaya, Robert John Heukalani, Scott Mosher, Dan Paulino, Wes Suan.

Wingback — Jeff Akamine.

Nose guard — Bob Feliciano (later changed his name to Bob Miles), Gordon Pang.

Defensive end — Larry Akana, Henry Coelho, Arthur Trout.

Linebacker — Jody Tyrell (NAIA All-America candidate this year), Les Ueki, Roy Umeno.

Defensive back — Eric Au ("would have been great but was injured"), Paul Dombroski ("maybe the best," first-team NAIA and Kodak. All-Americas 1978, played six seasons in the NFL with Kansas City and New England), Mike Kincaid, Bryan Miyamoto, Donald Ng, Wesley Park, Wendell Say ("one of the smallest, a tiger on special teams"), Billy Yamamoto. 

Photo cutline:
Hawaii’s 20 contributions to Linfield College’s unbeaten 1986 football team:

Front row, Brad Johnson, Aundre Pace, Jon Kobayashi, Dan Ahuna III, Hugh Dunn, Gregg Yoshimura.

Second row, Damien Seina, Chris Kelly, Charvis Bush, Paki Morgado. Peter Ranta, Ross Kauihou, Bryant Anderson, Warren Albert.

Back row, Tom Lacey. Miller Atagi, Jody Tyrell, Doug Hire, James Hiu, Jeff Coelho.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Wildcat Melanie Oord, NWC 2018 Softball 'Player of the Year'

Linfield's Melanie Oord, Class of 2018: Northwest Conference 2018 Softball "Player of the Year." Video clip from 2018 season by Wildcatville.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Jackson Vaughn, Catball head coach during 2018 season

Catball: Super regional at Tyler, Texas, May 2018

Photos by a Catball parent from Catball/Linfield softball Super Regional series vs UT-Tyler in Tyler, Texas, May 2018.


Monday, April 30, 2018

Gene Forman in the news

=Sept. 14, 1961, Daily Chronicle of Centralia, Wash.: 

Toledo High head football coach Ted Hippi is preparing his team for the 1961 season. Toledo has "13 lettermen returning to the fold, including an all-senior backfield of good speed. Big question mark in the ... backfield is at quarterback. Gene Forman, 204-pound senior, was figured to run in the quarterback slot this season. But, the big ex-lineman injured his ankle during the summer and has been unable to turn out so far this season. Hippi said the ankle was not responding satisfactorily to treatment. Tentatively set to fill in at the quarterback slot is Jim Tharp, 130-pound senior letterman."

=Sept. 12, 1963, Daily Chronicle of Centralia, Wash.:

Two Toledo athletes at Linfield's football practices are letterman Gary Olson and Gene Forman.

=Nov. 2, 1966, photo by Jim Vincent, staff photographer, The Oregonian

1966 Press Photo Linfield Football Star Gene Forman in Hospital with Neck Brace

"GENE FORMAN ... ex-Linfield football star faces toughest challenge."

=Nov 4, 1966, Daily Chronicle from Centralia, Washington
(With edits)

Former Toledoen: Friends Rally To Provide Aid for Injured Athlete

By Ken Mark, sports editor, The Daily Chronicle

A childhood dream nearing reality for a Lewis County son was abruptly shattered last August in the pain and din of a crashing auto.

Gene Forman, who as a child carried a constant hope of some day performing in the professional football ranks, today lies in a Portland hospital bed facing the possibility of never walking again.

He is at Providence hospital. The former Toledo high school athlete, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Forman, now of Longview, went from a three-sport all-conference basketball career in high school in 1962 to Linfield College at McMinnville, Ore.

A 6-5 tackle weighing about 255 pounds he earned both all-star and Little All-American honors. Professional scouts made treks to the school, eager to speak with the young athlete. Then the dream was shattered. Driving his small foreign car near McMinnville, Gene fell asleep at the wheel. The car plunged from the road hurling him to the ground. He is now paralyzed from the waist down. But his spirit remains high.

In an effort to help with the growing medical expenses, a group of Forman's friends, headed by Hal Laycoe, coach of the Portland Hockey club, formed a committee to obtain financial help. "Gene is a wonderful young man, facing a frightful fate,' Laycoe was quoted. We want to help. Laycoe's son, Bob, Gene's college buddy and also a Linfield football teammate, quickly volunteered to head the drive. Also endorsing the effort is Paul Durham, the Linfield coach.

Quick to lend a hand have been Toledo residents who recalled Gene's high school career. A committee headed by Ted Hippi, Toledo High-School principal and Gene's former football coach, has been formed. Hippi has asked all those in Lewis County who would like to help Gene to forward donations to any of the following: George Murdock, Mrs. Beverly Holland, Keith Olson, Mrs. Wit ma Olson, Ruben Turner, Leroy Cox, Ray Winters, Bill Wight, Bill Jones and Hugh Kalich, all Toledo. He added that checks may be made payable the "Gene Forman Fund."

=Jan. 5, 1967 edition of the Daily Chronicle of Centralia, Wash., includes:

Review of 1966 sports year. In the month of August: Gene Forman, well-known to Lewis County as a Toledo high school and Linfield College athletic star, was seriously injured in an automobile accident. He was paralyzed in the crash.

=Oct. 1, 1974, edition of  The Mexia Daily News of Mexia, Texas. Same Associated Press (AP) story also appeared in other newspapers.

Wheelchair Coach Believes He'll Walk

RIDDLE, Ore. (AP) — "There are some limitations to coaching from a wheelchair," admits Gene Forman, who might have been a professional football player if it hadn't been for an auto accident eight years ago. "When I started looking for a coaching job, a lot of people said there was no way I could coach because I was in a wheelchair," said Forman, 30, who broke his neck in the accident. "I don't blame people for it," he said, "but I feel I've proved them wrong." Forman was named head football coach at Riddle High School this year after being an assistant coach for six years at the small school in Riddle, a town of 1,000 located 20 miles south of Roseburg in southwest Oregon. A month after the accident in 1966, "the doctors told me I would never walk again and that I had one chance in 10 million of recovering movement below my chest." Forman, who was an offensive tackle at Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore., wouldn't buy that. "I've been slowly progressing to where I am now," he said. "I have the use of my arms and can walk by using a walker. Late at night I go out and walk around my house. "I still strive to walk," says Forman, who was a Northwest Conference all-star selection in his junior year. 
"I've learned to live with myself, but I know I'll never completely accept it. I believe someday I'll be able to walk again." The 6-foot-4, 212-pound Forman, who weighed 240 pounds while at Linfield, says 1974 "has been a great year. My legs have been getting stronger and I've improved 80 per cent since the start of the year. Getting the head football job has helped," he said. "Maybe 1975 will be the year I do it."

=2008, Oregon Douglas County Greats: Gene Forman

This Douglas County Great has coached locally for more than 30 years, but most of it has been out of the public spotlight. 
His teams never played in front of thousands of screaming fans and rarely got the publicity they deserved. 

Days Creek head football coach Gene Forman has put together an impressive resume which includes a 97-82 record during his 19 seasons at Riddle High School and a mark of 77-56 in 14 years at Days Creek. 

"I just love coaching whether its eight or 11-man football and a lot depends on the guys you coach with and of course, the kids," Forman said. "I had chances to move on to bigger schools, but I was happy with my friends and my lifestyle here in Douglas County." 

Forman graduated from high school in Toledo, Washington where he played basketball, baseball and track. He also played football for legendary high school coach Ted Hippi. 

After graduation, Forman headed to Linfield College in McMinnville where he was a starting offensive tackle during the 1964-65 seasons. Dreams of a professional football career came to an end shortly after graduating from Linfield when a car accident left Forman paralyzed. 

"I was coming home after pitching in a semi-pro baseball game, when I fell asleep at the wheel." Forman said. "That was the beginning of a new chapter in my life and it's also when I discovered a passion for coaching." 

During his successful career, Forman has twice led his teams to the State Championship game. In the early 1980's, Forman's Irish lost the title game to St. Mary's of Medford. 

His second trip to the finals took place in the late 90's with Days Creek losing to league rival Powers. Of his nearly 180 victories, the head coach says there are a couple of games that stand out. 

"During our run to the title game at Days Creek, Cove came to our place and we were supposed to get 45-pointed," Forman said. "The fans were all around the field and we beat them in the mud, it was exciting." 

Forman resigned from coaching after the 2006 season, but was asked to come back and coach at Days Creek for one more year. So far, this year's team has struggled to a 2-4 record and will probably miss the state playoffs. But win or lose, Forman has enjoyed his years on the sidelines and don't expect him to slow down any time soon. 

"I have stayed close with a lot of my ex-players and I still see many of them," Forman said. "I also plan on spending more time with my four grandchildren." 

=Winter 2016 edition of WILDCAT: The Magazine of Linfield College Athletics

(With edits)

With  his  best  attempt  to  paint  a  picture  of  the  winning  attitude  that  permeates  Linfield’s  athletics program, Gene Forman said succinctly:  “You cannot describe it. But you know it when  you see it.”

Receiving  two  standing  ovations,  Forman  accepted   the   inaugural   Linfield   Inspirational  Award  at  the  Hall  of  Fame  Banquet  on  Nov.  7. 

Going forward, the award will be known as the Gene Forman Inspirational Award.

Suffering a crippling spinal injury just months before  his  senior  year  at  Linfield  was  to  begin,  Forman nonetheless went on to a distinguished teaching  and  coaching  career  at  several  small  high  schools  in  southern  Oregon.

 It  did  not  seem  to  matter  that  Forman  was  bound  to  a  wheelchair for nearly all of his adult life.

Forman  praised  Linfield  for  “having  one  of  the most consistently successful programs in the nation.” 

Of his time playing football for the Wildcats, Forman said, "“I was surrounded by good people,” he said. 

“I’m  proud  I  came  to  Linfield  where  anything  less  than  winning  was  unacceptable.

 After  we  tied a game 6-6 with Chico State in 1962, I can clearly remember just how brutal the following Monday’s practice was.” Forman  drew  chuckles  from  the  audience   when he quoted Yogi Berra’s famous one-liner:  “The first thing I would like to do is thank all the  people who made this day necessary.”

He  credited  his  decision  to  attend  Linfield  to  Ted  Hippi  ’40,  his  football  coach  at  Toledo  (Wash.) High School. Hippi went on to become one of that state’s best prep coaches, compiling an enivable 236-37-2 win-loss record.