Linkovich, Mike (2000)
Mike Linkovich arrived at Bowdoin College in 1954. His plans didn’t include an extended visit.
Linkovich stayed as head trainer for 41 years. He and his wife, Virginia, still make their retirement home in Brunswick.
“I had never been to Maine,” recalls Linkovich. “J wanted to see what it was all about. At the time, I didn’t expect to be here very long. But I don’t regret it.”
Linkovich said he became very comfortable being a part of the Bowdoin family.
“I just feel very good about the people I was associated with,” said Linkovich. “I didn't see many rotten apples. I enjoyed working with them. I enjoyed my time at Bowdoin.”
Linkovich earned the affectionate sobriquet “Big Daddy” providing care and counseling to Bowdoin athletes and coaches during his long tenure.
“I can t remember who pinned that on me or how it started,” said Linkovich. “Maybe it’s because I was a father figure.”
Linkovich was 31 before he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia.
Born in Monaca, Pennsylvania, about 25 miles northwest of Pittsburgn, he graduated from Monaca High School in 1941, just before the outbreak of World War IT.
After four years of service in Europe with the 70th Infantry Division “trailblazers’’ he returned to civilian life and work in the steel mills.
But in January, 1951, he started college and finished two and one half years later. He then enrolled in a graduate program at Springfield College. It was here that Mike Linkovich, infantryman, steel worker, physical education student, began the route that would take him to Bowdoin.
“I really enjoyed a course taught by Erastus Pennock,” said Linkovich. ““That’s what led to my interest in becoming an athletic trainer.
“He (Pennock) said ‘don’t be a stranger’ so I wasn’t and learned a lot. At the end of the year (1954) he told me Bowdoin had an opening.” and a mentor at Springfield was the cousin of Herb Pennock ““The Knight of Kennett Square” who compiled a 240-161 record over 23 Major League seasons, including two tours with the Boston Red Sox.
As the years on campus went by, Linkovich became as much a part of the campus as the Bowdoin pines.
in 1967 he was made an honorary member of the Bowdoin Alumni Association. He is an honorary member of two classes, 1958 and 1959.
Mike and his wife Virginia, a native of Nashua, N.H. have been married for 40 years. [hey are the parents of two sons, Steven, a 1984 Bowdoin graduate and a vice president at State Street Bank in Quincy, MA; and Michael, who followed a career in physical therapy after graduating from Northeastern.
Linkovich earned many national and regional honors including induction in 1982 into the National Athletic Trainers Hall of Fame.
in 1980 he was the recipient of the Bowdoin Alumni Council Award presented for outstanding service and devotion to Bowdoin College.
He is a member of the Davis and Elkins and Beaver County, Pa.Halls of Fame.
From Bowdoin College
In l982, Linkovich received his profession's highest honor when he was inducted into the Athletic Trainers Hall of Fame in Seattle, Washington. He is also a member of the Beaver County (Pennsylvania) Sports Hall of Fame (l983), the Davis and Elkins College Athletic Hall of Fame (1993) and the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame (2000). In 1995, he received the American College Hockey Association's Jim Fullerton Award for "one who loves the purity of the sport," and in 1996 received the Maine Chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame's Contribution to Amateur Football Award. In l980, he received the Bowdoin Alumni Award for Faculty and Staff in recognition of his "outstanding service and devotion to Bowdoin."
From Bowdoin College February 2, 2017 by Doug Cook
And Many More: Happy 95th Birthday to Legendary Mike ‘Link’ Linkovich
For more than sixty years Mike Linkovich — known to nearly all as “Link” (though there was a time when Bowdoin athletes would call him “Big Daddy”; that’s a true story) — has been a fixture on campus.
Joining the College in 1954 as athletic trainer, Link was a member of the Bowdoin staff for 40 years, and still can be seen often in the athletic equipment room, at sporting events, and in the dining halls.