Former University of Utah athletes Jerry Chambers (basketball), Fred Gehrke (football) and Suzy Harris-Rytting (skiing), will join legendary Ute basketball coach Jack Gardner, and long time athletic director James R. (Bud) Jack as 1988 inductees into the Crimson Club Hall of Fame.
The induction ceremony will be held, along with the Senior Awards Banquet (honoring current Ute senior athletes), on May 23 at the Red Lion Hotel. The banquet begins with a 6:30 p.m. reception followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m. and is open to the public. Cost is $25 per person and reservations must be made by May 19. For information or reservations, call Carolyn Johnson at 581-5456.Chambers was one of the most prolific scorers to don a Utah uniform. A first-team All-American in 1965-66, Chambers led the Utes to the NCAA Far West Championship and a berth in the "Final Four." He was named the NCAA tournament's Most Valuable Player that year when he scored 143 points in four games. He was the nation's fourth-leading scorer that season, averaging 28.3 points per game. That average remains a Western Athletic Conference record, as does his 30.1 point league scoring average.
Chambers' 892 points that season remains the second-most points scored by a Ute player in one season and the most scored by a WAC player.
The most nationally acclaimed coach in University of Utah basketball history, Jack Gardner coached the Utes from 1953-71. He retired with a 339-154 career record (.690 winning percentage), seven conference championships and two trips to the NCAA Final Four (1961 and 1966). Gardner, whose Ute squads participated in 10 post-season tournaments, coached five All-Americans while at Utah (Art Bunte, Billy McGill, Jerry Chambers, Merv Jackson and Mike Newlin). Gardner was elected to the National Basketball Hall of Fame in 1983.
Clarence Fred Gehrke, a multi-sport athlete for the University of Utah from 1937-39, also achieved success in the professional football ranks. While at Utah Gehrke lettered in football, track and field and swimming. The conference record holder in the javelin, he also won the conference diving championship three years. In 1940, Gehrke began his pro football career with the Cleveland Rams, before World War II and a wartime defense job with Northrup Aircraft Corporation in Los Angeles interrupted it.
The end of his military duty signaled a return to Cleveland for Gehrke, where he was an All-pro halfback for the 1945 World Champion Rams. In 1965 he joined the staff of the Denver Broncos, becoming general manager in 1976.
Evidence of James R. (Bud) Jack's 39-year stint with the University of Utah is visible everywhere on campus. Jack, who gained national prominence in the 1960s as athletic director and director of the development foundation, was a driving force behind the current pharmacy building and medical facilities, as well as the Jon M. Huntsman Center and the multi-building health, physical education and recreation complex.
Under Jack's direction and encouragement, women's intercollegiate sports became a reality at the university. He also brought the first NCAA Basketball Championships to the U. Jack became the first Utahn elected to the presidency of the prestigious National Association of College Directors of Athletics.
At age 15, Suzy Harris was skiing competitively at the local level. At age 18, she became an Olympic alternate. The 1951 National Giant Slalom Champion became a full-fledged member of the Olympic team in time for the 1952 Games. Known as Suzy Harris Rytting, she earned a host of national and international giant slalom victories from 1945-1969. However, the story which vaulted Harris Rytting into the headlines was a race she could not ski. She arrived in Switzerland with the U.S. Women's Olympic Ski Team in 1952, but a visit to a Swiss doctor during tryouts revealed that Harris Rytting was one month pregnant. Without further ado, the U.S. Olympic Committee dropped her from the team and sent her back to Salt Lake City.