Linfield coaching legend receives honorary statue

Helen Lee, Editor in chief

A bronze monument of Linfield football coach and Athletic Director Paul Durham was displayed on campus on Oct. 18.
The Durham memorial was crafted by a Northwest sculptor Heather Greene and the concept of the statue was Pete Denegis’s idea, one of Durham’s Camellia Bowl players. It is located between the swimming pool and the HHPA Building.
Durham was Linfield’s football coach from 1948-1967. He had an impressive run leading the Wildcats, and had a victorious impact on the program.
Durham had a 122-51-10 overall record with a 69.4 winning percentage. In the last eight years of coaching the football team, Linfield’s team were 62-10-2 for a 90 percent winning percentage. Throughout the course of his time as the coach, the Wildcats claimed five conference championships.
Eight years into his coaching career at Linfield, the 1956 Wildcat football team began their now 59-year consecutive winning season record. This is a record for all divisions in NCAA football.
According to a press release for the monument, Durham’s signature win was his 15-13 victory as the underdog in a 1967 game against Hawaii in the old Honolulu Stadium. At that game, there was a record crowd for the Wildcats of more than 20,000 people.
Durham branded his methods as “The Linfield Way,” and continues to be the standard and base values for the athletic culture of the Wildcats.
As one of the most honored sports figures in Oregon athletic history, some of the football coach’s awards are 1961 NAIA National Coach of the Year, 1961 Man of the Year at the Hayward Banquet of Champions, 1989 State of Oregon Hall of Fame, 1998 Linfield Hall of Fame, and 2001 University of Hawaii Sports Circle of Honor.
He was not just a football coach, and participated in a variety of activities such as teaching health classes at Linfield, singing in choirs, and writing a column for the McMinnville News-Register called “Dodging With Durham.”
Linfield set up the statue during Homecoming week to honor Durham’s football tradition. The memorial is illuminated at night.
Students, staff, faculty, and other members of the Linfield community can celebrate this monument as an attest to the college’s passion for excellence and proud football history.