Against all odds, Jack
Linn Jr. stayed alive to find success on the gridiron, after a
mysterious infection nearly took his life. Jack's weight
dropped from 270 lbs to 160 lbs over three months, his sense
of smell was impaired, and his hair started falling out,
before antibiotics saved his life.
Recoved, Jack became the
first freshman in school history to play varsity basketball.
The Freedom Bulldogs lost to Seton-LaSalle in double
overtime in the WPIAL quarterfinals that year, but, as a
sophomore, Jack helped lead Freedom to its first 20-win
season, all the way to the WPIAL final and the PIAA
quarters. Freedom also made the playoffs in his senior
In football, Jack was a
member of the Associated Press All-State Scholastic Team as
a lineman and also averaged 38.5 yards per punt with a long
of 74. Despite being unable to play his entire junior year,
Jack earned three letters in basketball and one in football.
He would eventually receive Freedom High School's Alumni
At West Virginia
University, Jack played tackle on a dominant offensive line.
The Mountaineers played in the 1987 John Hancock Bowl and
the next season finished the regular season undefeated for
the first time in school history at 11-0 and won the Lambert
Meadowlands Trophy. West Virginia lost 34-21 to Notre Dame
in the 1989 Sunkist Fiesta Bowl National Championship Game
and finished 5th in the AP and UPI polls. Following the 1989
season, Jack and WVU played in the Gator Bowl. Jack won a
host of awards in Morgantown, including Sporting News
All-American 1st Team, AP All-East 1st Team, All-ECAC, Ideal
Mountaineer Man of the Year, and Mountaineer Club (the
highest award a WVU student-athlete can receive). Jack
received a B.S. in Physical Education and his athletic
coaching certificate in 1990.
Jack was drafted in the
9th round by the Detroit Lions but spent the 1990 season on
injured reserve. He spent part of 1991 with the Miami
Dolphins, then returned to Detroit in 1992 and part of 1993.
He was picked up by the Indianapolis Colts and started three
games with the Cincinnati Bengals before injuries forced him
Jack served as an
assistant coach at Shepherd College and Indiana University
of Pennsylvania before starting his own irrigation business
in Florida in 2001. He was a Village Police Safety Officer
working with youth in Alaska starting in 2008. After
returning to Florida, Jack died in a motorcycle accident in
2015. He is survived by his daughter, Ashlee Linn, and son,