Here is a short but fun story for all of you sports fans. And why not spin you a bit of a history lesson as well. The Summer of 1954 brought some new coaches to the Spartan football program at HillHi. Norm Martinson was coming in as Head Coach for the Spartans at HillHigh and had a staff of talented young men with him. Even moreover he had some talent in his Coaching Staff. Among them was a 1st year Coach by the name of Ad Rutschman. At that time everyone knew Ad as he had been a hometown hero and 3 sport superstar for the Spartans.
Now if your new to Hillsboro or do not know his name you need to. Those of us with some past know who he is; even if a little. This young man, some 24 years old in the photo above (Center), took his first year Coaching job as a Freshman coach and parlayed that to become one of the greatest football coaches in the history of the world. Few know that Rutschman turned down a pro contract with the Detroit Lions to stay home and teach and coach the Sparts. The 1954 season was a building year, but by 1956 he had become the head baseball coach and had moved into a position of prominence in football as well. By 1959 he became the head football coach and was not even 30. He went on to win 3 State baseball Titles and in 1966 he coached the baseball and football teams to State Titles; no one had ever done that in the Region and few, if any, ever have.
As baseball coach of the Spartans he led the school to a co-state championship in 1962, with the title game rained out. He also led the team to both the 1966 and 1968 AAA state titles (the top division at that time in the OSAA). The 1966 team featured future Major League player Bob Beall, and the 1968 team Bob’s brothers Jim and Gene. Rutschman also coached the first event, a baseball game, at Hillsboro’s Hare Field in 1965. Hillsboro had four Little League teams when Rutschman began coaching at Hillsboro, but by the time he left, there were 41 teams.
After 13 years at Hillsboro High school, Rutschman was approached about taking over the head football coach position at Linfield College. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_Rutschman
Coach Rutschman was hired to lead Linfield after his incredible run at HillHi. His run at Linfield from 1968 to 1991 was the stuff of legends. In those years he amassed a record of 183 wins, 48 losses, and 4 ties. The Wildcats also won 3 National Titles and placed in the Semi or Quarterfinals 8 times. The coach was so legendary that by the time he left Linfield he had won almost every national and regional award that can be earned. He has a lifetime position with the team and is still involved, now well into this 80s.
This man is the pinnacle by which all football coaches in the West set their sites. I have met not less than 40 Head Coaches who played for Ad during their time coming up, and all of them say if it were not for him, they would likely not have become coaches. He influenced that many people. His footprints are all over our City, and the athletes who have played and Coached in Oregon and the Pacific NW. For those who do not know, Hillsboro’s high school baseball stadium is known as Rutschman Field, located adjacent to Hare Field.
Rutschman also played semi-pro baseball for the Hillsboro Townies and a number of other teams in the Pacific NW, where he was recruited and paid to play, driving hundreds of miles to play in those old farm club leagues. If Hillsboro ever had a real-life The Natural, Ad would be Robert Redford.
Rutschman’s grandson, Adley Rutschman, was a catcher for the Oregon State Beavers baseball team. Adley was the College World Series Most Outstanding Player on Oregon State’s 2018 College World Series championship team and was selected by the Baltimore Orioles with the first overall pick in the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft.
Hillsboro has a rich history, and in our rampant growth, it is hard always to know that. Some of us remember, others learn, but we are all telling our own stories here. This is one of our town’s finest. One of the finest to every coach, play or rise up from the Tualatin Plains. We #Salute you, Coach.
Richard Dick McKinney covered the Coach and almost every Coach in Hillsboro for his family’s paper for 5 decades. This man was Mr. Sports in Hillsboro and made The Argus one of the best papers in the Nation. He passed away recently, and we wish to share his story too. Rest In Peace, Dick! You were a legend.
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