Vandals Announce I-Club for Former Athletes

Recently a group of former Vandal athletes agreed to be members of a charter organization reserved exclusively for former varsity Idaho Vandal athletes: The I-Club. A tent will be set up on the North Lawn of the ASUI/Kibbie Dome, and former Vandal greats JOHN FRIESZ (who's number will be retired during the game) and MARK SCHLERETH (ESPN analyst and former NFL All Pro) will be in attendance.

The University of Idaho Athletic Department and several volunteer alumni recently established a new club with the mission to provide all former Idaho student-athletes the opportunities to re-connect with their alma mater and its current athletic programs.

Vandal QB John Friesz will have his number retired Saturday. Among many career honors, he was named Division 1-AA Player of the Year (Walter Payton Award) and voted a 1st Team 1-AA All-American (1989).
I-Club members plan to promote, encourage, and advance the University of Idaho and its athletic programs. Members also will honor the contributions of former student-athletes. Members are provided opportunities to re-establish and connect with teammates and participate in fund-raising events.

The University of Idaho invites former student-athletes to join these Vandal greats in supporting the I-Club: Jerry Kramer, John Friesz, Mark Schlereth, John Yarno, Gary Simmons, Ken Hobart, Scott Linehan, Mandy (Becker) Mallette, Ryan Downes, and Tom Hennessey.

Membership costs $50 per year and the dues for recent graduates are waived for the first three years following their graduation. The annual dues provide special benefits and privileges for all current members. Former athletes who were members of Varsity athletic teams at the University of Idaho are eligible for membership in the I-Club.

Vandal center John Yarno is the only Vandal to be named a Division 1A AP All-American (1976). He was named the Big Sky Offensive Player of the Year and played in the Senior Bowl. Yarno was drafted in the 4th round of the NFL draft by the Seattle Seahawks.
Available Benefits

Members receive an official membership card, an invitation to an annual golf tournament, special treatment at athletic events, such as pre-game functions with coaches, and potential discounts to certain sporting events. Reunions with old teammates are a cornerstone benefit. Member's names will be placed on the Wall of Traditions at the University of Idaho Athletic Hall of Fame.

A special pre-game reception tent will be available for all club members at specified home football games. Admission is for all I-Club members and their guests only. The first I-Club pre-game event will occur before this Saturday's showdown with Boise State. The I-Club tent will be located on the North Lawn of the ASUI/Kibbie Dome. John Friesz (his number will be retired during halftime) and ESPN's Mark Schlereth will be in attendance.

Vandal great Jerry Kramer (64), with Bart Starr in Green Bay, was a Second Team All Pacific Coast selection at Idaho who went on to an illustrious pro career, including earning All-Pro recognition in '60,'61,'62,'63,'67 and '68.
A key benefit is reunions with old teammates. What is probably the most important component in the launch of the I-Club is the ability to reconnect with former teammates, friends, and to meet their families. This is long overdue at the University of Idaho and will, most likely, become the cornerstone of the club's endurance.

Club Recognition

Members of the I-Club will be recognized at athletic events and may purchase I-Club merchandise.

I-Club members will have access to an on-line directory of other I-Club members. Access to an on-line resume book of senior student-athletes is also available to club members.

Vandal QB Ken Hobart, a former walkon nicknamed "The Kamiah Kid", became only the second player in NCAA history break the 10,000 yard mark for career passing. In 1983 he was voted a Division 1-AA 1st Team All-American.

Football Game Day Benefit

Members, who are former football players, can obtain pre-game sideline passes, which are arranged in advance with the football office, and are limited in availability.

Two Membership Classes

Former athletes who join the club become active members. Active members can become Honorary Members by majority vote of I-Club Board of Directors. Honorary members are members who are recognized for exceptional service to the cause of athletics at the University of Idaho.

Letter Club within a Club

Members of the I-Club may join the Golden Ring Club, if they lettered, received their degree from the University of Idaho, and are a dues paying member of the I-Club.

A three year starter at linebacker and center for Idaho ('54-'57), Wayne Walker was named the Most Valuable Defensive Player in the Shrine Game as a senior. In the NFL as a linebacker and placekicker with the Detroit Lions, he was named to the All-Rookie team and was named an All-Pro five times.
I-Club Ring Available in the Future

It is not the secret decoder ring that can unravel any Idaho facility mysteries, but members will get the opportunity to purchase a specific athletic ring. The ring can be worn with pride as a former athlete of the University of Idaho.


Former athletes may join by contacting the I-Club through the University of Idaho. The address is:

University of Idaho
The I-Club
P.O. Box 442304
Moscow, ID 83844-2304
(208) 885- 0259
Contact: Ashley Rokyta

Note: The above web site will not be available until at least October 20th and will not accept on-line payments; only member information.

All former Vandal athletes at this weekend's game are invited to visit the I-Club tent this Saturday.

Join the Club and reconnect with fellow Idaho athletes today!


NOT PICTURED: Mandy (Becker) Mallette, and Scott Linehan

2nd Team AP All American (1988). Played 13 years in the NFL, won 3 Super Bowls, was voted to several Pro Bowl Teams, was voted to SI's All NFL Team (1997), and is currently an analyst with ESPN.
Idaho's starting punter, was a member of the Idaho football team from 2000-'03 and holds the career record for most punts and most punt yards at Idaho.

As a senior in 1957-1958, Gary led the Pacific Coast Conference in scoring (21.6 ppg) while Idaho finished FOURTH in conference play (17-9, 9-7 PCC). That year, the season ending standings read: 1) Oregon State,
2) Cal, 3) UCLA, 4) IDAHO, 5) USC,
6) Stanford, 7) Oregon,
8) Washington, 9) Washington State. He was a first team All Conference selection and All-American that year. In 1958 Simmons was drafted in the 12th round of the NBA draft by the Minneapolis Lakers.
A linebacker for Idaho in the mid '80s, Hennessey is third all time on career tackles (390), second in career interceptions (16), third in single-season interceptions (8), and first in single-season tackles (180), among many other records. In 1985 he was named the Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year and in 1986 was named a Second Team All-American.

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