Saturday, June 24, 2017

Linfield Football’s dominance of the Northwest Conference, 2009-2016

By Gerry Painter - Wildcatville contributor, statistician, Linfield grad and Linfield Football season ticket holder

Read Gerry's story by clicking on this URL link ...

... however, if you can't access the article via the link, the story text follows:

Joe Smith became Linfield College head football coach in 2006.

The first three seasons (2006, 2007 and 2008) with him as head coach saw the Wildcats finish with identical six wins and three loss records.

The first two games in 2006 were, in order, losses to Western Oregon and Hardin-Simmons. Many were concerned that the “Streak” might be coming to an end. Not to worry! The Wildcats won six of the remaining seven games losing only to Whitworth in a very close game, 17-13.

Joe has now been the Linfield head football coach for 11 seasons and begins his 12th this fall. During those 11 (2006-2016) his teams have won 103 of the 123 games played for an 83.74 percent winning record.

According to “Linfield Coaching Chronology” by Kelly Bird, Linfield Athletics’ sports information director, on page 6 (see photo with this story) of the Linfield Football ‘Game Time’ home football game printed program of Oct. 15, 2016. (The percentage on the day of the game, before it was played was 83.9.) Joe now holds the best winning percentage (84 percent, see URL in Postscript at end of this story) of any coach in the history of Linfield Football dating back to 1896.

“Linfield Coaching Chronology,” by Kelly Bird, Linfield Athletics’ sports information director, appears on page 6 of the Linfield Football ‘Game Time’ home football game printed program of Oct. 15, 2016.

Joe’s teams have outscored their opponents by an average of 22 points per game, while gaining an average 362 yards per game.

However defense has been an important factor, as Linfield has held its opponents to an average 223 yards per game, a margin of offense over defense of 139 yards per game.

Before Joe became head football coach of Linfield he was its defensive coordinator for several years. When he became head coach he appointed Jackson Vaughn, one of his defense assistant coaches, as the new defensive coordinator. The resulting outstanding defense, led by Jackson, is not unexpected.

Of the 20 Linfield Football games lost during Joe’s head coach tenure only five have been won by a Northwest Conference team.

Whitworth has won two of the 12 games they have played Linfield during the Smith era, and Willamette has won three of 11 games—the last win being the shocker in 2014, 31-28, in McMinnville. No other NWC team has beaten Linfield in the 75 games played. The result is eight straight NWC championships.

Will dominance by Linfield Football continue indefinitely? Let’s hope so. Get ready for Linfield Football 2017, another season of Linfield’s superbly coached football playing to the best of its ability led by head Coach Joe Smith and his excellent coaching staff.

PHOTO CUTLINE -- Gerry Painter with a huge (80 pages long when photo taken by Wildcatville at Maxwell Field on June 24, 2017) Excel spreadsheet he has maintained for several years. In the spreadsheet he enters details of every Wildcat football game played since Linfield’s famous “Steak” began in 1956.