The University of Idaho will open its basketball seasons without fans because of coronavirus restrictions, and swimming and diving events will continue without fans, the school announced.

“In partnership with Idaho Public Health, medical experts and university leadership, we have determined it is best to play our upcoming home events without fans. This will remain in effect until it is deemed reasonable to allow spectators in our venues,” athletic director Terry Gawlik said in a statement. “Of course this will be disappointing for our student-athletes, families, coaches and fans, but I know our Vandal teams will embrace the opportunity to compete.”

It coincides with Gov. Brad Little’s announced move back to Stage 2 of the Idaho Rebounds reopening plan last week, which limits gatherings at indoor events to just 10 people.

The women’s basketball team opens the regular season at home at 6 p.m. Nov. 25 against Lewis-Clark State, and the men won’t compete at home until Dec. 31.


UI’s Hale earns WAC weekly honor

DENVER, Colo. – University of Idaho junior Katie Hale was named this week’s Western Athletic Conference swimmer of the week, it was announced.

She had seven victories in a season-opening, three-day meet against Seattle University. Hale was a part of four relays, also winning in the 50 freestyle, the 100 free and the 100 back.

“We always knew she was really talented and every year she learns more and more about how to be poised during a race,” Vandals coach Mark Sowa said.


Vandals add McKenzie

The University of Idaho men’s golf team announced the signing this week of Tommy McKenzie, who will join the program in fall 2021.

McKenzie, from Calgary, Alberta, Canada and Bishop Carroll High School, played out of Priddis Greens Golf Club.

“I’m very excited to sign Tommy to our program,” coach David Nuhn said. “He is one of the top junior players in Canada, Tommy is exceptional in the classroom, self-dedicated and a young man I believe will easily excel in our improved team culture.”

McKenzie will come into the program already having proved himself, winning the 2019 Golf Canada Western Canadian U19 Championship, as well as the 2019 Alberta U17 Championship.


Vandals add assistant

Second-year Idaho men’s basketball coach Zac Claus added to his coaching staff with the hiring of Johnny Hill.

The former Grand Canyon University assistant joins the Vandals as an assistant. He served as special assistant to the head coach in 2019-20 with the Antelopes.

“Our program is very fortunate to have added such a terrific young coach to our staff at this time in Johnny Hill,” Claus said. “It was resounding with how consistent everyone was that we spoke to about Johnny’s positive energy and work ethic.”

During his three years with the GCU, the Lopes had a 55-43 record. As a player, he played for Illinois State, Texas Arlington and Purdue.

“Our players are looking forward to him joining us and we are confident that he will have an immediate impact with our group both on and off the court,” Claus said.

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