Oct. 16, 2012
The Northern Illinois University Athletics Department, in conjunction with Fund Raisers, Ltd., is pleased to announce that former Huskie and Indianapolis Colts great, Ryan Diem, has had his brick recognized as October’s Fan Brick of the Month.
The Carol Stream, Ill. native was a four-year letterman and two-time team captain during his NIU career under head coach Joe Novak, starting 35 games at tackle while not allowing a QB sack in his final two seasons in DeKalb. Diem became the first OL in school history to be drafted since Todd Peat went to the St. Louis Cardinals in the 11th round (285th overall) of the 1987 NFL draft. As a senior, the Huskies offense ranked 12th in the nation in rushing (228.1 ypg.) and scoring (37.2 ppg.) en route to single-season records for total yards (4,706), points (409), touchdowns (51), and first downs (255).
As a fourth round pick (118th overall) of the Colts, Diem went on to be a fixture on the Indianapolis offensive line for over a decade, starting 150 of the 157 games he played in. Diem was a part of the 2006-2007 Super Bowl Champions Indianapolis Colts squad that defeated the Chicago Bears, 29 -17, in Super Bowl XLI and became a favorite of then-Colts QB, Peyton Manning. The bond was so tight between the two that when Manning took less money to stay with the Colts in July 2011, the team used its savings to bring back Diem and running back Joseph Addai, two players Manning thought would be key to the Colts' success.
While Diem was a force to be reckoned with on the football field, he and his wife, Julie, have also gone above and beyond in the philanthropic arena partnering with “Allie and Friends” for the last five years to host a charity golf outing that has helped raise over $300,000 toward Children’s Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation. For both his successes on the football field and outstanding charitable work, Diem was recognized in April 2008 as one of Northern Illinois’ Outstanding Young Alumni. The award is given annually to an individual who has exhibited outstanding accomplishments within 10 years of earning an undergraduate degree from NIU. Diem also sponsors an annual reading contest at Calhoun Grade School in Chicago and was an active participant in the Colts’ Community Tuesdays program prior to his retirement this past March.
In 2007, the Diems showed their appreciation to NIU and to the contributions that Coach Novak, the university and the football program made to his success, with a generous gift to name the Offensive Staff Meeting Room in the new Jeffrey and Kimberly Yordon Center.
"I feel very fortunate to be able to give back," Diem said. "I look at it as a gift and it is something that is important to me and to my family."
The Northern Illinois University Athletics Department is pleased to join Fund Raisers Ltd. in saluting Ryan Diem as October’s Fan Brick of the Month.
To start designing your brick, visit imaginemyniubrick.com or order today by visiting niuhuskies.com/fanbricks or call 855-NIU –FANS (855-648-3267).