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Tinker Hatfield

Bob Blackburn - Special Contribution to Sport

Born in Hillsboro, Oregon on April 30, 1952, Tinker Hatfield attended Central Linn High School where he earned distinction as an accomplished basketball player, an All-American Track & Field star in hurdles and vaulting. He was an All State running back and Sunkist All American (Top 100). In 1970, Tinker was named State of Oregon’s top individual high school athlete.

Tinker studied architecture at the University of Oregon while being coached by the legendary Bill Bowerman, co-founder of Nike. He held the UO record in the pole vault and placed sixth in the 1976 Olympic trials. After graduation, Tinker practiced architecture in Eugene until 1981 when he joined up with Nike to design offices, apparel showrooms and Nike retail outlets.

In late 1985, Tinker began designing Nike products, becoming Creative Director of product design in 1989. Tinker was named Vice President of Nike Design in 1993. In addition to helping design the first ever cross training shoe (the Air Trainer) Tinker has earned global recognition for imagination and innovation in his collaborations with Michael Jordan for the Air Jordan line.

In 1998, Fortune Magazine named Tinker one of the 100
Most Influential Designers of the century. Some of Tinker’s design work for the Air Jordan is included in the Smithsonian Museum for design. More recently he has been the subject of sneaker collector documentaries and cover stories on several magazines such as Sole Collector.

Tinker currently creates specialized Nike athletic products for champion athletes including LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Roger Federer, Laird Hamilton, Gabrielle Reece, and numerous Track and Field Athletes. He also spends time mentoring young Nike designers and helping to build the Nike of the future.

Tinker is primarily responsible for the re-branding of University of Oregon, including conceptualizing the O, redesigning uniforms; changing colors, and contributing architectural artwork such as designing the new U of O video replay board.