Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Linfield vs. Humboldt State football series

Tomorrow (Nov. 1, 2017) the fate of Humboldt State University (Arcata, Calif.) football will be known. Will the Lumberjacks (a.k.a. “Jacks”) continue the sport or will it, because of a football induced HSU athletic department financial deficit, be axed. Stay tuned.

But, whatever the case, the eight games played between Linfield and Humboldt State are in the record book. Linfield won two of them. HSU won five and one game was a tie.

The first game in the series was Friday, Sept. 22, 1939, in Arcata, Calif. It was the season opener for both teams. Linfield head football coach was Wayne Harn. HSU won 12-7, according to Linfield and HSU football record books. However an Associated Press story (posted here) in the Sept. 23, 1939, Oregonian says the score was 13-7. But, the Nov. 13, 1939, Oregonian says it was 14-6.

The most recent game was Saturday afternoon, Sept. 15, 1978, in McMinnville. It was Linfield’s second game of the season, counting an alumni game. It was second game of the season for HSU, too. Ad Rutschman was Linfield head football coach. Linfield won, 35-21, according to a story (posted here) from the Sept. 16, 1978, Oregonian.

1939 Linfield lost 12-7
1946 Linfield lost 13-0
1949 Linfield won 22-7
1951 Tie, 20-20
1960 Linfield lost, 33-0
1965 Linfield lost,  20-14
1975 Linfield lost 24-3
1078 Linfield won 35-21

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Slideshow: Linfield Football at PLU 10/28/2017

'Hartford Pipeline' member Curtis Manns to be posthumously honored during 2017 Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame event

Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet and Induction 2017 will be Nov. 11 on the college's campus.

During the event the late Curtis Manns (Class of 1962) will be posthumously honored with the Gene Forman Inspirational Award.

The award goes to an alum who successfully demonstrates perseverance when faced with adversity during the course of his/her life events.

Manns was a member of Linfield's storied "Hartford Pipeline" of Hartford, Connecticut.

He was the initial student-athlete from a Hartford  high school to attended Linfield.

Manns entered Linfield in 1958 and lettered in football his first three years. He gave up the sport as a Linfield senior to concentrate on academics. Ultimately, he earned master's and doctoral degrees and served for many years on the faculty of Florida A&M.

According to the Bennington, Vermont, Banner, in its Nov. 20, 1971, edition, Curtis Manns "received his B.A. in political science and mathematics from Linfield College, McMinnville, Oregon, While at Linfield, Manns played on the varsity football and track teams He graduated with distinction and was elected to the Phi Gamma Mu national honor society. "

In the book Leveling the Playing Field: The Story of the Syracuse Eight by David Marc, the author wrote, "I owe a lot to my teachers and coaches at Weaver (High in Hartford), but the one who inspired me most was my math teacher, Curtis Manns, who was black. To some people it may sound like a cliché today, but he told me I could be anything I want to be in life and that had a powerful impact on me. I located him many years later and thanked him for his advice and support."

Curtis Lyman Manns apparently was born Aug. 10, 1939, possibly in Kentucky, and apparently died Feb. 8, 2016, possibly in Tallahassee, Florida.

He graduated from Linfield in 1962 with distinction and was elected to Phi Gamma Mu international honor society in the social sciences.

In 1969 he earned a master's degree in education (guidance with an emphasis in psychological counseling) from the University of Hartford and a doctoral degree (Ph.D.) in education in 1977 from Stanford University.

He was a research and adjunct professor of management at San Jose State and San Francisco State Universities.

His career included being a real estate and investment broker. He taught and coached at his alma mater, Weaver High School, in Hartford, and also was a teacher and coach in Terryville, Conn.

He was an administrator, including serving as dean of Williams College in Massachusetts.

His duties at Williams included counseling students in personal and academic matters, implementing and enforcing college policy, and proposing to the dean, provost and president of the college programs in those areas which concern African American students. During the summers, Manns directed a transitional program for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, who will be enrolling in private schools affiliated with the national ABC (A Better Chance) program. 

He taught mathematics at Tallahassee, Florida, Community College and was a finance professor in the School of Business and Industry at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee.

Photos of Curtis Manns. Color photo from flickr. Other photos from Oak Leaves yearbook show him in student attire, as Linfield football player #58 sitting next to #55 Bernie Grant, both ‘Hartford Pipeline’ members; on sidelines during a Linfield football game and boxing in an Intercollegiate Knight smoker. 


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Without scoring TDs, Linfield football won games in 1984, 1990, 2008 and 2017

Linfield 2, Pacific 0
(Wind, rain on real grass) 
=McMinnville N-R said 10/24/2017, "The last time Linfield won a game without scoring a touchdown was 1984 when the ‘Cats beat Pacific 2-0. That season Linfield won the NAIA national championship." (According to Oregonian, game was played Sat., Oct. 27, 1984, in McMinnville at Maxwell Field. Linfield scored its 2 points on a second quarter safety. Noseguard James Lee tackled Pacific's QB in end zone.

Linfield 9, Oregon Tech 7
Klamath Falls
(Weather? afternoon game)
=Oregonian said in a game played Sat., Sept. 15, 1990, in Klamath Falls, Linfield football beat Oregon Tech, 9-7. Linfield points came on three field goals by Brooke Knight.

Linfield 9, Menlo 0
McMinnville/Maxwell Field
(Cloudy with showers, afternoon game)
=Linfield College kicker Scott Birkhofer accounted for all of Linfield’s points in a 9-0 victory over Menlo on Maxwell Field in McMinnville on Sat., Oct. 4, 2008. His field goal kicks of 39-, 54- and 32-yards all came in the first quarter. It was a Northwest Conference game.

2017:Linfield 12, George Fox 6
McMinnville/Maxwell(Wind, rain on artificial turf, afternoon game)=According to N-R, on Sat., Oct. 21, 2017, in McMinnville on Maxwell Field, Linfield football, without scoring a TD, beat George Fox, 12-6. Linfield’s points came on four field goal kicks by Willy Warne. GF got its 6 points by scoring a TD with no time left on the clock in fourth quarter. (No point/points after TD attempted by GF since officials said the game was over because that conversion point/those conversion points would not have changed game’s outcome.)

Monday, October 23, 2017

Linfielder Ed Griffin: Before and after Linfield

  • Before Linfield - Player for Hartford (Connecticut) Public High School.
  • Before Linfield - Player for Virginia State College (now University) in Petersburg, Virginia.
  • After Linfield - Pro player for Hartford Capitols of Eastern Basketball Association.
  • After Linfield - Joins Hartford Public High School Sports Hall of Fame as a player following a successful career as head boys' basketball coach of Bulkeley High-Hartford.

Postscript -- Photo taken during Ed and cousin John's time at Linfield 

Linfield’s athletics famous ‘Hartford Pipeline’ included in new book: Rick Turner, John Lee & Ed Griffin featured

A new (published July 2017) book mentions Linfield’s famous ‘Hartford Pipeline.”

The book includes biographical information about Pipeline members/Linfield grads Rick Turner, John Lee and Ed Griffin– Classes of 1963, 1967 and 1968 respectively – outstanding basketball players for Linfield. All hail from Hartford, Connecticut.

For those who love the history of Linfield athletics -- especially if they are familiar with its famous ‘Hartford Pipeline,’ which helped get Turner, Lee and Griffin to Linfield -- this book is a “must read.”

If you don’t know of the ‘Hartford Pipeline’, read about it here:

It’s a “pipeline” between about Hartford, Connecticut, on the U.S. east coast with Linfield, more than 3,000 miles away, in McMinnville, Oregon, on the country’s west coast. Hartford high school grads attended Linfield. (The “pipeline” was between Linfield and public high schools in Hartford. That’s high schools plural, not high school singular.)

The book “Oh What a Move! Profiles of Hartford basketball players, 1954-1984” is by Michael Copeland and Howard Greenblatt. It’s published by Fox Hall Press.

Wildcatville bought the book and read it on the recommendation of Harold Abrams (Class of 1973), a ‘Hartford Pipeline’ member and former standout basketball starting guard for Ted Wilson coached Linfield Wildcat teams. Abrams – a retired City of Hartford parks & recreation director -- lettered in the 1969, 1970, 1971 and 1972 seasons for the Wildcats and is in the Linfield hoops record book for career assists.

Abrams said, "Rick and Ed were my mentors. They assured me Linfield was where I needed to be. Attending Linfield was one of the best decisions in my life. Go, Wildcats!"


==Rick Turner is included in Part 1 of the book, Championship Fever, 1954-1959.

During the summer between seventh and eighth grade, Rick Turner “played on a VFW-sponsored  baseball team. He got along well with his teammates, and he noticed that they were equally as concerned about academics as they were about sports.

“They talked about the kind of courses they would need to take in high school to prepare for college. It made an impression on him that would influence his thinking about the educational process, especially as it related to his community,” says the book.

An outstanding basketball player, track athlete and student, Turner “had the desire to go to college” but he “needed a scholarship in order to afford college.” No college recruited him, the book says.

But, Hartford’s pipeline to Linfield resulted in a scholarship to the college.

(Turner was the second member of Linfield’s ‘Hartford Pipeline’. The first was Curtis Manns, Linfield Class of 1962).

During one of Turner’s seasons playing Linfield basketball, he and ‘Hartford Pipeline’ member Bernie Grant, Class of 1963, were in Linfield’s men’s basketball starting five. During their careers, they both received all-Northwest Conference (NWC) all-star mention.

In 1961, an Oregonian sports columnist praised Turner’s basketball skills. The columnist wrote that Turner “has to be the most improved player over last season. At 6-2, he can operate outside or inside, has tremendous spring for rebounds, is a fine shooter, and tireless.”

Turner played Linfield basketball for two different head coaches. In his first two seasons, 1959-1960 and 1960-1961, it was for Roy Helser. In the 1961-1962 and 1963-1963 seasons he played for Ted Wilson. (For Hal Smith, Linfeld track & field coach, Turner was a NWC championship broad jumper.)

--Read about Rick Turner at Wildcatville:

--Rick Turner and Linfield mentioned here in the New York Times:

==Part 2, Fierce Rivalries, 1960-1969, includes cousins John Lee and Ed Griffin.

Lee -- played football, basketball and baseball for the Wildcats -- is a member of the Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame. Griffin -- played football and basketball for the Wildcats – should be in Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame, too.


“There has probably never been anyone in (Hartford) as proficient in three sports,” football, basketball and baseball, as John Lee. But what set (him) apart was not merely his remarkable athletic ability,” the book says. “He was a natural leader and one of the finest and most genuine people you could ever hope to meet. He cared deeply about other people, and his sincere humanitarian instincts were reflected in the exemplary manner he chose to live his life.”

In high school he was a “superior all-around athlete” who was “eminently coachable, a player with ideal temperament for competitive sports, supportive of his teammates, respectful of his opponents, unflappable under pressure, and always willing to accept instruction and strive for improvement.”

As a baseball player, John Lee was one reason his high school team have its first winning season since World War II and its first city championship in nearly 20 years, says the book.

A highlight of John Lee’s time as a Linfield athlete was in 1965-1966. He was the first NAIA athlete to compete in national playoffs of football, basketball and baseball in the same academic year. As a prelude, in the 1963-1964 school year, he became the first freshman in Northwest Conference history to be named to three all-NWC teams.

The book credits John Lee, after graduating from Linfield, for keeping the ‘Hartford Pipeline’ -- started by Joe Beidler, a Hartford high school coach who had coached at Linfield NWC opponent Whitman College of Walla Walla, Wash. -- going. As part of that effort, Lee helped Ronnie Smith, Merle Lawrence, Stan Mason, Lance Powell and Carl Hardaway get to Linfield.


As a Linfield student, John Lee gets major credit for Ed Griffin transferring to Linfield.

Griffin attended Virginia State in Parkersburg, Virginia, as a freshman and was a starter on its basketball team.

But, he left Virginia State after his father died and returned to Hartford. He told the Oregonian in 1966 he went back to Hartford to “work to help out my Mom and stayed out a year and a semester.” Then, he followed Lee to Linfield, but had to attend Linfield a year before gaining athletic eligibility.

Those who know Ed Griffin as a Linfield athlete, will be surprised to read that he began singing in Hartford’s Mt. Olive Baptist Church youth choir as a 13-year-old. But, they would not be surprised that in addition to the choir he also played for the Mt. Olive team in a church basketball league.

“There was nothing (Ed) Griffin loved more than winning. It became part of his DNA. You only had to watch (him) play a single game at any stage of his life … to see how embedded wining was in his basketball psyche. He always made winning his first priority, and the intense desire to come out of a game with a victory would stay with him throughout his life,” says the book.

In high school Ed Griffin was basketball all-state, all-New England, all-conference and all-city. He was a Parade (Sunday newspaper supplement) All-American 3rd team 1961-1962 season pick and on the 30-member Scholastic Coach's (magazine) seventh annual News magazine All-American High School Basketball Squad. Oh, he was also a high school all-state football player.

The Scholastic Coach article accompanying its 1962 All-American team selections described Ed and another player as “backcourt whizzes.” It said 5-11 Ed “sparked his team to the New England crown, moving one coach to this unsolicited testimonial: ‘I’d put him on the all-state team if he had his right arm tied to his side.’ ”

During high school his team won two consecutive state basketball championships. Later, as a coach, he would lead Hartford high school teams to two state hoops titles.

“As a player and a coach,(Ed) Griffin was all about winning, and his determination to succeed make him one of the greatest high school basketball players the city of Hartford had ever known,” the book says.

Among his accomplishments as Linfield athlete was twice making the all-NWC team as a football halfback and then repeating on the NWC basketball all-star team as a forward.

After Linfield, Lee and Griffin – who had a tryout with the NFL Dallas Cowboys -- played for the Hartford Knights of the professional Atlantic Coast Football League. Griffin also played for the Hartford Capitols of the professional Eastern Basketball Association.

--Read "Still A Straight Shooter: Griffin's Philosophy Working At Bulkeley" by Desmond Conner, Jan. 31, 1997, Hartford Courant.

Story (link below) includes, "Eddie Griffin, who once scored 70 points in a game, was one of the very best basketball players to come out of Hartford. Using a combination of speed and a silky smooth jump shot, Griffin led Hartford Public High School to consecutive New England titles in 1961 and '62. He received Parade All-America honorable mention the second year."

Hartford Courant says Ed Griffin was a Parade All-American high school honorable mention pick. But, this posting (link below) says Griffin was a Parade second team All-American during the 1961-1962 season:

--Read "Ex-Hartford Basketball Stars Still Lighting The Way For Youths" from June 11, 1997, Hartford Courant.

Story (link below) includes about Ed Griffin: And Griff, well Griff, he was the man. “Eddie Griffin … ah, that guy Eddie … he was so good,'' said Walter “Doc'' Hurley, a legendary player, coach and teacher in Hartford. “That guy was one of the greatest ballplayers to ever come out of the state.'' About Ed Griffin and two others: “Not only are they great athletes, but they're good people,'' said John Wardlaw, director of the housing authority. “They're great role models for young people.''


All of this praise is well deserved. This book is obviously based on much effort. Unfortunately, it includes errors which would not have appeared in print if the writers had fact checked their manuscript.

Among errors, the book:

--calls it the “Hartford Connection” instead of the ‘Hartford Pipeline.'

--does not include mention of all members of the ‘Hartford Pipeline.’ In addition to Turner, Lee and Griffin, the book mentions ‘Hartford Pipeline’ members Curtis Manns, Pete Dengenis, Bob Sullivan and Bob Rafallo (incorrectly listed as Bob “Rufallo”) as well as Ronnie Smith and Lance Powell. But, is does not include the aforementioned Harold Abrams, Mike Stelman, Charles Ferguson, Clifford Mitchell, Tony Ragazzi Jr., Billy Scott , Bobby Williams , Kevin Rivers , Pete Casarella, April Everett, Brenda Joiner or Eddie Ware.

--identifies six ‘Hartford Pipeline’ members as having becoming college educators. Indeed, all of them became educators. But, not all of them were educators in college

-- incorrectly says John Lee served as a Linfield athletic director.


--Ed Griffin is a member of the New Haven, Connecticut., Register newspaper All-Time, All-state (Connecticut) boys' basketball teams and the Hartford Public High School Sports Hall of Fame. John Lee is a member of the Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame and the Weaver High School Sports Hall of Fame. Both are members of the New England Basketball Hall of Fame.

Ed Griffin was nominated to the Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003 and 2008.

Paul Durham coached Ed Griffin in football at Linfield and was Linfield athletic director during the time Ed Griffin competed in football and basketball for Linfield.

 Paul Durham died June 22, 2007.

In February 2004, Paul Durham wrote about Ed Griffin's nomination for the Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame: "I will vote for Eddie Griffin. He was really outstanding in both basketball and football. His high school basketball team recently won a state title in Connecticut. I know about his trouble on the Alaska trip but that doesn’t need to be publicized. My quote about Eddie: In my opinion Eddie Griffin was as outstanding a 2 sport man as anyone who ever played at LINFIELD! He was a good man, likeable, dependable in sports, and probably a good student, at least I’m sure he graduated & is a credit to LINFIELD. I don’t know much more except on the basketball court he could run down the floor covering the guy he was guarding and often end up with the ball. Never saw anybody else with that hand quickness.”

In April 2004, Durham also wrote, "I’m 100% behind the move to get Eddie Griffin into the LINFIELD Athletics Hall of Fame. He was a great athlete in two sports for us, one of the tops in my time at LINFIELD. He helped make me a better coach. Memory tells me he had a tryout with the Dallas Cowboys and that doesn’t happen to every guy across the block. And he coached a state high school basketball team to a state championship in Connecticut recently.”

--“Dodging with Durham” sports column by Paul Durham, McMinnville News-Register, Nov. 12, 1958 -- 6-2 Rick Turner, a freshman member of the Linfield basketball team: As a basketball player Turner is graceful, quick and “has some of the moves and shots of that greatest of all Northwest Conference basketball players when he played at College of Idaho, Elgin Baylor.”

--“Wildcat Preview” by George Murdock, McMinnville News-Register, Sept. 9, 1964 -- “Prior to the 1963-1964 school year, no freshman in the history of the Northwest Conference had ever earned a berth of three All-Conference teams. Last year, the record was shattered by wingman John Lee, who was then a freshman safety (on the Linfield football team). Lee earned his three All-conference bids in football, basketball and baseball. At 5-11 and 185 pounds, Lee is slated to handle the Wildcats kickoff and PAT work in addition to his job at wingback which will require him to run, pass and receive. As a freshman at Linfield last year, Lee earned his letters in football, basketball and baseball. As a student at Weaver High School in Hartford, Conn., Lee picked up an impressive list of honors. Playing quarterback on Weavers grid unit, he lettered three years and was named to the All-Conference and All-City team three straight years. His senior year he was named to the All-State and All-American High School squads. In addition, Lee was named the outstanding back at Weaver ball club. As a forward on the basketball squad, he was All-City and All-Conference three straight years. He was named the outstanding freshman at Weaver and as a senior the most valuable player on the maple court five. In baseball, Lee earned a berth on the All-City and All-Conference units for three straight years and his senior year was named to the All-State unit. (For Linfield football) as a sophomore this year, Lee will be one of three Wildcats called on to go both ways. He will see action both in the wingback spot and in the safety slot. Lee’s natural ability, speed and agility makes him one of the top backs in the conference…”

--“Dodging with Durham” sports column by Paul Durham, McMinnville News-Register, Oct. 17, 1965 -- “When John Lee came out west to Linfield from Hartford, Conn., in September of 1962 he told Wildcat coaches about his cousin back home in Hartford who was a great basketball player and who that winter was named to the All-American High School Basketball team. That young man’s name was Eddie Griffin. When Griffin graduated from high school in the spring of 1963 he was somewhat interested in coming to McMinnville to college with his cousin but decided instead to enroll at Virginia State. As a freshman there that winter he was a starter on the varsity basketball team but dropped out of school early in the second semester due to the death of his father. Lee was more persuasive when he flew out west again last fall, 1964, and brought cousin Eddie with him. During the 1964-65 school year Griffin attended classes at Linfield, straightened out his eligibility which was fouled up because of the transfer rule, and became eligible for all athletics here this fall. Although he hasn’t played football since the fall of 1962 when he was a senior in high school, Linfield coaches know he had ability in the gridiron game since Griffin was picked as the outstanding back of (an all-star football) game in Connecticut the year he graduated.  So, it made Wildcat mentors happy to know that Griffin has decided to participate in both football and basketball here. And now, after six weeks of the season have flown by, the ‘Cat coaches are more sure than ever that they have a great one in Griffin. So far he has played primarily at a defensive halfback position, but more and more he will be used as a running back. Early in the Lewis and Clark game he showed tremendous talent carrying the football and at 205 pounds he has been very impressive as a blocker. Griffin, like Lee, can become one of the all-time greats in the history of Linfield athletics. He’s rapidly getting the “feel” of football again. He can “do it all,” both on offense and defense. And he’s even better at basketball … At least Coach Ted Wilson hopes so.

--“County Clatter” sports column by George Murdock in an October 1965 issue of the McMinnville News-Register -- It mentions Linfield 62-16 football win in McMinnville over Whitman in 1965 season. (Some records incorrectly show game score as 61-12. But, 62-16 is correct score. ) One of the finest performances in the game was by Ed Griffin “halfback who doubled as a starting halfback on defense. Griffin got the Wildcats rolling Saturday night when he appeared out of nowhere to intercept a Whit pass and race 54 yards along the sidelines to score. Another time, Griffin race 33 yards to spark a Wildcat drive. For the night, the Wildcat performer carried five times for 71 yards to lead the squad. His effort bounced him into first place among the Wildcat ground gainers with 167 yards in 19 attempts. Griffin’s efforts earned him Wildcats back of the week honors. Griffin … had to sit out last year because he was a transfer from Virginia State. He attended that school during his freshman year. At Virginia State, Griffin started on the hoop lineup and earned all-conference honorable mention recognition…” At Hartford High school he was a two-year football starter on offense and defense at halfback. earning all-conference and all-state honors. For high school basketball he was a three year started and all-conference and all-state as a senior. As a senior he was the most valuable player award winning the Connecticut state high school basketball tournament and also in the New England tournament. Griffin was “persuaded to transfer to Linfield” by his cousin, Linfield student-athlete John Lee, and since graduated Rick Turner, who played basketball and competed in track for Linfield. All three are from Hartford.

-- “Sportslightner” column by Salem Oregon Statesman, sports editor Al Lightner, Jan. 18, 1966 – “Ted Wilson’s Linfields weren’t really much in December basketball, but what an outfit they’ve grown to since Wilson added the Hartford, Conn., representation to the lineup. That would be personified by Joe Lee, the swift, high-jumping six-footer who just becomes eligible after battling grade problems in the fall term, and Ed Griffin, the chunky, 5-10 sophomore who was the football team’s fullback until he suffered a broken leg … As a freshman, Lee had the distinction of earning All-Conference accolades in basketball, baseball and football at Linfield. Perhaps Wilson himself didn’t know that footballer Griffin was also a spectacular basketeer. We accidentally heard of it while in (Augusta, Georgia, for the 1965 NAIA national championship football game: Linfield vs. St. John’s) and ran into Pete Dengenis there. From Hartford also, and a Little All-American touchdowner when at Linfield, Dengenis extoled the merits of Griffin, the basketballer. ‘Fantastic’ was a word he often used in describing the youngster.”

--By Joe Much, Sports Editor, Salem Capital Journal, March 2, 1966 – Ed Griffin is the “Wildcat with the bored look and middle-age spread. He’s listed as a six-footer, but looks two inches shorter and a step slower … That’s until they throw up the basketball. The he turns into a player who puts the “gosh-awful go in Linfield’s fastbreak, rebounding, stealing the ball, setting up the thing and whipping murderous passes right under the nostrils of startled enemies. When that isn’t working, the portly soph transfer from Virginia State just fills the hall with soft little jumpshots that get home in amazing profusion.” In the NAIA District 2 championship game Eastern Oregon College at Linfield in McMinnville, Linfield won, 74-49. Interim coach Roy Helser (filling in for Ted Wilson, recovering from a heart attack) “admitted some early agony in the game and his thankfulness Griffin has come all the way from Hartford, Conn., to sample Rain Belt basketball. ‘You shouldn’t be hasty about these things I know,’ said Helser, ‘but this guy shows me more than anyone I’ve ever seen here. And that goes a long way back through a lot of people.” EOC coach Bob Quinn said about Griffin: ‘He’s unbelievable. I believe he could score anytime he wanted to and I know he could against anyone we could put on him.’

-- Lee, Griffin Insure ‘Cats Future by sports writer Dick Fishback, March 6, 1966, Oregonian – “(Cousins) Ed (Griffin), a 5-10 sophomore, and John (Lee), a 6-0 junior, are links in a chain that has fed Linfield a number of Hartford athletes.” … The cousins “played their way through grammar school and kept their close ties through the recreation programs. But in high school they were rivals, Griffin played for Hartford Public and Lee for Weaver (high schools).” After graduating high school, from Griffin went on to Virginia State and was a starter on its basketball team, but left school after his father died. ‘I went to work to help my mom and stayed out a year and a semester,’ he said. Then, he followed Lee to Linfield, but had to sit out a year before being eligible to compete in athletics. Roy Helser, Linfield’s basketball coach (filling in after coach Ted Wilson had a heart attack) said of Griffin: ‘There are a couple of things that make him great… First, he’s a terrific shooter and a good rebounder. But what probably distinguishes him most is his ability to take the ball from an opponent. He has the quickest hands I’ve ever seen.’ Lee and Griffin can both “come up with great plays.” Griffin has “all the tools – dribbling between the legs and behind the back, the dipsy-doodle layup and the defensive skill that can drive an opposing team into a frenzy.”

-- By Bob Schwartz, sports news editor, Salem Oregon Statesman, Oct. 23, 1966, edition – In the 1966 Linfield Homecoming football game versus Pacific, John Lee scored TD on a 26-yard pass reception. Ed Griffin intercepted a pass and was Linfield’s leading rusher with 49 yards in 13 carries. Lee gained 60 yards on two receptions.

-- “Dodging with Durham” sports column by Paul Durham, McMinnville News-Register, Sept. 4, 1966 – “Three members of the Linfield student body, from Hartford, Conn., traveled across the country by bus from the east coast to the west to get to the local campus for football drills.  There were two gridders, John Lee and Eddie Griffin, and an All-American of a couple of seasons ago, now a member of the coaching staff as a student coach, Pete Dengenis. They made the jaunt in three-and-a-half days and except for sleeping problems once or twice, thoroughly enjoyed seeing the country first hand. They made several friends along the way and Dengenis became particularly well acquainted with a pretty young miss who unfortunately debarked at Chicago but prior to that time found the Linfield man’s shoulder very, very soft whenever she felt drowsy. But even some of life’s most pleasant moments are sometimes tinged with sadness, according to Dengenis.”

-- Salem Capital Journal, Nov. 13, 1966, about Linfield football – “The Wildcat running back has been somewhat crippled, however, by the loss of fullback Ed Griffin with a broken leg last week. Griffin also played defensive back.”

-- Column in Salem Capital Journal, Dec. 1, 1966 – About Linfield’s men’s basketball:: “The Wildcats this year will put a pair of polished pogo sticks named Ed Griffin and Johnny Lee into action for a reasonable demonstration of how the game in played in Connecticut. But the two New Englanders may be quite yet a full cry, both having squandered the autumn playing football.”

-- Honolulu Sunday Star Bulletin & Advertiser, Sept. 24, 1967 – One of the reasons Linfield won its historical game, 15-13, in Honolulu over the University of Hawaii was Ed Griffin. Story in the Star Bulletin & Advertiser said Linfield’s go-ahead touchdown (11-yard pass from Mike Barrow to Rogers Ishizu) was set up on a drive which was a “march” of 60 yards in 13 plays. “The passing of Barrow to Ishizu and Maurice Okumura plus the running of Griffin highlighted the drive.” Later in the game, setting up a 31-yard field goal by Tim Kubli, was a drive in which “Griffin and Ishizu were the main guns”

-- About a Linfield football, Oct. 2, 1967, Salem Capital Journal – “Then suddenly a small hole opened in the middle of the (Linfield) line and thick-legged fullback Ed Griffin popped through. He veered past two linebackers, then outran three deep defenders 81 yards to the goal line.”

--About Whitman at Linfield football game by Joe Much, sports editor, Salem Capital Journal, Oct. 23, 1967 – In the game, “Ed Griffin used the occasion to run 140 yards nearer possible All-American recognition in 17 carries. One was a sensational 80-yard scamper from scrimmage on a delayed rip off tackle. The fullback Coach Paul Durham thinks may be his best runner ever also caught a pass for a 45-yard touchdown that required some twinkle toes and finished with 24” of his team’s 40 points in the 40-7 win.

-- Salem Capital Journal, Nov. 14, 1967, about Willamette at Linfield football game – Linfield QB Mike Barrow “pitched out to the right to fullback Ed Griffin, while split end John Sadowski moseyed downfield. Suddenly Griffin stopped and flung the ball. Sadowski had been left so open that a decent pass would have sent him speeding to a touchdown. As it was, he had to circle back and make his catch just 25 yards away for a first down at the Linfield 39.” Linfield football Coach Paul Durham called it the ‘first pass Griffin ever threw for Linfield.’ Durham clarified, ‘Actually, (Ed) didn’t throw that… but he got it there and it started us rolling.’ ”

-- Linfield Grid Coach Durham Pleased with 8-1 Season, Nov. 23, 1967, Salem Oregon Statesman – Linfield football coach Paul Durham said, “In my 20 years at Linfield I would say that this year’s players did more with their ability than any team I have coached. The team just wanted to win and did the job. ‘Ed Griffin, Mike Barrow and Rogers Ishizu were the keys to our offense. I believe that Griffin is the best fullback to come along in the conference for several years.’

-- By Joe Much, sports editor, Salem Capital Journal, Dec. 23, 1967 – Linfield men’s basketball played the University of the Pacific (of California, not to be confused with Pacific University of Oregon) at the Portland Memorial Coliseum and lost 103-78. But, Griffin shined. “Ed Griffin was working a clever con act on his keepers. Then Grif made a mistake. He added insult to injury. Pacific’s Fred Carpenter has this cute little behind the back dribble bit and was getting away with it. But late in the half, Griffin coaxed him into giving it another go, then side-slipped quickly and swiped the ball for an easy lay-in … Griffin later frisked two other Pacific guards for the ball and baskets” giving the “sizeable Linfield crowd” thrills. Carpenter led his team with 22 points, but Griffin was the game’s leading scorer with 26 (12 field goals and 3-3 free throws).

-- Salem Capital Journal, Jan. 26, 1968 about upcoming Willamette vs. Linfield men’s basketball game. Story includes, “The return of Ed Griffin has added to Linfield’s fluid motion.” Jim Boutin, Willamette coach, knows Griffin must be controlled because Griffin is ‘the key to Linfield’s success.’ Griffin is the “lad who keeps Linfield in high gear with his passing finesse and playmaking.”

-- “Dodging with Durham” McMinnville News Register sports column by Paul Durham, March 16, 1968 – Gil Brandt, Director of Player Personnel for the Dallas Cowboys … of the National Football League, “flew to Portland Monday afternoon and drove down to McMinnville Tuesday morning to sign Linfield’s Ed Griffin to a professional (free agent) football contract. Considered to be an astute judge of raw grid talent, Brandt has picked up numerous football ‘diamonds in the rough’ which were completely passed up in the pro grid draft …” In the column, Durham wrote that Ed Griffin is a “truly great athlete. He is a competitor who performs best against the toughest opponent. He has quick hands and quick feet. And in sports quickness is about as important as anything can be.” Durham said Brandt was convinced Griffin was worthy of a contract because of one of the Dallas scouts, who lives in San Francisco. The scout stopped at the Linfield Athletic Office and was impressed after watching Griffin playing for the Wildcats in a film of the Linfield-Hawaii game last fall.” Durham wrote that he thought Griffin had a “terrific” chance to make the Dallas team. Griffin is fast and “what we call a ‘glider’ when he runs and covers ground must faster than he appears to. When he got out in front on his long runs (for Linfield) no one ever caught him. But even more important in football than pure speed is that quickness that is the Griffin trademark.” However, Ed Griffin, did not make the Cowboys team. A story with a Thousand Oaks, Calif. (home of the Dallas Cowboys training camp) in the July 16, 1968, Salem Capital Journal, said Griffin “former star football player with Linfield College, was among 12 free agents cut” by the Cowboys.

Photos from Linfield Oak Leaves yearbooks and newspapers mentioned in this article.

Postscript -- Photo taken during Ed and cousin John's time at Linfield 

Postscript -- Rick Turner mention in Paul Durham newspaper column

Paul Durham’s “Dodging with Durham” sports column, McMinnville News-Register

May 30, 1962 N-R:

Linfield track and field coach Hal Smith pleased with Wildcat track athlete Rick Turner, who did not compete in the sport in high school in Hartford, Connecticut. Turner is a “springy-legged basketball forward has twice won the NWC broad jumping championship. “Both last year and this he took the only first places the Wildcats picked up in the conference meet with a 21-7 after knocking off a blue ribbon in 1961 with 10-6 …Rick expected to continue to improve and post at least 322-6 next spring when he’ll be a senior.”