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Strong to be featured speaker at Idaho Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet

| March 21, 2019 1:00 AM

COEUR D’ALENE — Former Seattle Seahawk fullback Mack Strong will be the featured speaker at the 57th annual Idaho Athletic Hall of Fame’s North Idaho Sports Banquet, which will be held on Saturday, April 13 at The Coeur d’Alene Resort.

The banquet will honor northern Idaho high school and college athletes from the spring and fall of 2018 seasons and the 2018-19 winter season. Tickets for the banquet are on sale for $25 apiece and can be purchased online at www. idahoathletichalloffame.org. and clicking on the brown “Tickets Here” button.

Strong enjoyed a 15-year career with the Seahawks during 1993-2007 and was named first-team All-Pro in 2005. He made the Pro Bowl in 2005 and again in ’06, and helped the Seahawks to the 2005 NFC title. The team eventually lost to Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl.

Strong left his mark with the organization as he was named to the Seahawks’ 35th anniversary team and was a five-time winner of the Steve Largent Award, which goes to the team member who best exemplifies the spirit, dedication, and integrity of Largent, a former Seahawk wide receiver. No other Seahawk has won the award more than twice.

Strong was born in 1971 in Fort Benning, Ga., and attended Brookstone School in Columbus, Ga., where he was a three-sport standout in football, basketball, and track. In football, he rushed for 4,414 yards and 86 touchdown during his career.

Strong continued his football career at the University of Georgia. During his freshmen year, he played behind two eventual first-round NFL draft picks, Tim Worley and Rodney Hampton. After that season, the team recruited two more running backs, junior-college transfer Terrell Davis, and freshman Garrison Hearst. With the depth, the coaches decided to move Strong to fullback where he started the final two years. He was named offensive captain his senior year and finished his college career with 1,210 rushing and receiving yards, and scored 10 touchdowns.

Strong went undrafted, but signed as a free agent with the Seahawks following his senior year in 1993. He went on to play in 201 games and rushed for 909 yards on 230 carries for an average of nearly 4.0 yards per carry. He also scored 15 touchdowns.

In 2007, Strong suffered a herniated disc in his neck vertebrae in a game. Although the injury was said not to be life-threatening, it did force Strong to announce his retirement on Oct. 7 of that year. He was able to take a position assisting the team’s running backs for the remainder of the season.

Since then, Strong has dabbled in broadcasting. He worked with Fox Sports Northwest, which included the show “Mack Strong: Seahawk Insider.” This past year he worked some with KIRO radio during the Seahawks’ broadcasts.

Strong and his wife, Zoe, started Mack Strong TEAM-WORKS Foundation in 2002, which supports mentoring and character development for students in diverse communities by offering in-school and after-school programs at no cost to school districts and families. They are also involved with several non-profit organizations.

Strong, who resides in Pullman with his family, serves as director for the Pacific-West region with the NFL Legends Committee. He also is an assistant coach with the Pullman High football team.

Along with the high school and college awards announced during the April 13 banquet, four individuals will be inducted into the Idaho Athletic Hall of Fame. The four are former University of Idaho coach Chris Tormey, former Moscow High and NFL standout Doug Riesenberg, former UI swimmer and volleyball player Nancy Monroe, and longtime high school and Pac-12 football official Steve Hudson.

The list of finalists for the high school and college awards will be announced later this month.

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