Did Rob Spear make the right decision to let go of Robb Akey during the season or should he have waited until the season’s end? We want your opinion. Follow the link below to complete our survey and we will release the results next week.
Idaho football interim coach Jason Gesser and Athletic Director Rob Spear discuss the replacement of former coach Robb Akey, expectations for the remainder of the 2012 season and the Vandals’ coaching outlook in the future.
Idaho football coach Robb Akey has been terminated effective immediately and Offensive Coordinator Jason Gesser will take over as head coach on an interim basis, the athletic department announced Sunday.
“The President (Duane Nellis) and I believe it is important to make this move now so we can immediately begin the process of hiring a new coach for the 2013 season,” Athletic Director Rob Spear said. “We appreciate Coach Akey’s enthusiasm and dedication to the University of Idaho but this is the right move at this time.”
The termination comes on the heels of Akey’s 70th game as coach of the Vandals, a 70-28 loss at La. Tech. Akey is 20-50 in his five-and-a-half seasons with Idaho and 1-7 this season.
Spear said a search for Akey’s replacement will begin immediately.
News conference audio —
Akey signed a contract extension in June 2010 following the Vandals’ Humanitarian Bowl victory. The extension was set to extend through 2014. Per terms of the agreement, if terminated, Akey would receive his base annual salary of $165,796.80 per year “until the terms of this agreement ends or until (Akey) obtains employment, which occurs first.”
In Akey’s third season with the Vandals, he led the team to a 8-5 record which included a Humanitarian Bowl victory, Idaho’s second ever bowl victory.
Notable players to play under Akey include San Francisco 49ers left guard Mike Iupati, Houston Texans safety Shiloh Keo and former Chicago Bears quarterback Nathan Enderle.
Idaho starting quarterback Dominique Blackman along with other Vandals took to Twitter following Akey’s termination to express their feelings.
— #itsallforKEN#⃣3⃣ (@vandalsQB3) October 21, 2012
Akey was the glue that held us together. I can say as a team we played for him. Not even for ourselves.We love Akey we need Akey #akeyarmy
— Taylor J Elmo (@TjMO81) October 21, 2012
Wishing nothing but the best for Coach Akey. Great coach/mentor who truly cared for his players. Still a lot of coaching left in him I hope.
— Nathan Enderle (@nenderle) October 21, 2012
Wish Coach Robb Akey the best. Idaho won bowl game in 09, Vandals became our “official” team. Been a rough stretch for a good guy. #Nolte
— Scott Van Pelt (@notthefakeSVP) October 21, 2012
Gesser, who has been on the Idaho staff for two seasons, spent time as a quarterback in the NFL and Canadian Football League after playing his college football at Washington State. Before coming to Idaho, Gesser coached the Eastside Catholic High School Crusaders from Sammamish, Wash., for two seasons.
The following is Idaho’s football schedule for the 2013 season, per an e-mail sent from the athletic department. The final game will be against an unannounced BCS opponent.
In a conference call, athletic director Rob Spear has also announced that Idaho will join the Big Sky Conference in all other sports for the 2014-2015 season.
Vandal Football 2013
Date Opponent Conference Location Series First played
Aug. 31 North Texas Sun Belt Denton, Texas UNT leads 4-5 1996
Sept. 7 Wyoming Mountain West Laramie, Wyo. Idaho leads 4-2 1921
Sept. 14 Northern Illinois Mid-American Moscow, Idaho Tied 3-3 1969
Sept. 21 Washington State Pac-12 Pullman, Wash. WSU leads 69-17-3 1894
Sept. 28 Temple Big East Moscow, Idaho First meeting -
Oct. 5 Fresno State Mountain West Moscow, Idaho Fresno State leads 10-4 1946
Oct. 12 Arkansas State Sun Belt Jonesboro, Ark. Tied 4-4 1975
Oct. 19 Bye
Oct. 26 Mississippi SEC Oxford, Miss First meeting -
Nov. 2 New Mexico State Independent Moscow, Idaho Idaho leads 13-5 1971
Nov. 9 Old Dominion Colonial Moscow, Idaho First meeting -
Nov. 16 Bye
Nov. 23 BCS opponent TBA -
Nov. 30 New Mexico State Independent Las Cruces, N.M. Idaho leads 13-5 1971
Athletic director Rob Spear will hold a 4:30 PM PT conference call today and will likely announce the remaining games for Idaho’s 2013 Independent schedule. In addition to the four games that have been revealed in recent months, Spear, according to Brian Murphy of the Idaho Statesman, will announce seven more games during the conference call.
As has been rumored, Idaho will remain in the Western Athletic Conference for Olympic sports in 2013, before transitioning to the Big Sky in 2014-2015. Spear confirmed this information with the Idaho Statesman on Friday.
The Vandals’ current 2013 football slate includes games at Wyoming (Sept. 7), vs. Northern Illinois (Sept. 14), at Washington State (Sept. 21) and at Mississippi (Oct. 26).
Contracts for these additional seven games have been signed. The Vandals will host Temple, Fresno State, New Mexico State and Old Dominion. Idaho will visit New Mexico State, Arkansas State and North Texas.
The home-and-home with New Mexico State is something the schools have been working toward since the spring.
The Idaho football program is being backed in to a cliff, and one more step back will push it all over the edge. Idaho sits at 1-6 and one more loss means Idaho will go bowl-less for a third consecutive season. The first game with backs against the wall happens to come at 5-1 Louisiana Tech, the team that lost to No. 18 Texas A&M by two points last weekend in Shreveport, La.
Though it’s not as if Idaho hasn’t had to travel long distances to face tough competition this season. This is Idaho’s fifth trip of the season to Texas or further east.
The challenge? Stopping La. Tech’s offense. Check that, the impossibility is stopping La. Tech’s offense. The Bulldogs have the number one offense in the country at 53.8 points-per-game. Their lowest scoring output was in a 44-38 win at Illinois. On top of that, La. Tech has only turned the ball over four times all season, three of them coming at Illinois.
There is a glimmer of hope, and that comes when Idaho will be on offense. La. Tech has a bottom-five defense in the country at No. 117. This is the week where Idaho can, and will have to, get its offense back on track. The running game got back on track last week at Texas State, though this will need to be the week where Idaho needs to operates its methodical offense on all-cylinders.
The most effective way to play defense against La. Tech is for Idaho’s offense to stay on the field, as cliche as it sounds. Methodical drives have been an issue for the Vandals. Both of Idaho’s touchdowns against New Mexico State were set up off of turnovers, while Idaho’s one touchdown at Texas State was set up with big plays. Idaho has struggled when its been forced to drive the length of the field and consistently convert third downs (10-28 the last two weeks).
And well, if nothing else, Idaho has little to lose this weekend.
— Here’s Theo Lawson’s preview in today’s issue of The Argonaut, in which he talks with cornerback Aaron Grymes and wide receiver Mike Scott about the power that is the La. Tech offense and the soft, fluffy bunny that is their defense
— Also in today’s issue of The Argonaut, I take a look at the program that La. Tech has built in Ruston and why they will continue to grow to bigger and better things — especially under the leadership of coach Sonny Dikes.
— Finally make sure to check back later for a full report of Idaho AD Rob Spear’s news conference regarding the 2013 independent schedule that is expected to be announced at 4:30 p.m. Friday.
Here’s our video scouting report for this weekend’s match-up.
During the Vandal radio network post-game show of Idaho’s loss at Texas State, Idaho athletic director Rob Spear said Idaho currently has 11 games lined up so far the 2013 season.
Spear said in the interview with Tom Morris he had 12 games lined up as recently as last Friday Oct. 12, but that one school had to pull out. Spear could come out the with the schedule as soon as the next week or two when he gets the 12th game, and likely wouldn’t be announced until the scheduling contracts are actually signed.
That schedule could include a home-and-home with Arkansas State, as reported by Scout.com’s AStateNation, citing Arkansas State’s athletic director. Spear said a contract for that game has not been signed, according to the Idaho Statesman. If the AStateNation report is true, Idaho would play at Arkansas State in 2013 and at the Kibbie Dome in 2014.
Currently, the Vandals have four confirmed scheduled games for both 2013 and 2014, but have only one home game for those seasons so far. Idaho needs five home games each of those seasons to abide by NCAA rules for being an FBS football program.
Along with the home game scheduled against North Illinois in 2013, Idaho is likely to play New Mexico State and an FCS school at the Kibbie Dome, in addition to making a return trip to New Mexico State in the same year.
Idaho is allowed to schedule an FCS school to count towards its required five home games. If needed, Idaho would also be able to schedule a game at Pullman’s Martin Stadium or Spokane’s Joe Albi Stadium and have that be considered one of its five home games.
We’ll have more as it comes available.
Idaho 2013 schedule:
Aug. 31 – at Ole Miss
Sep. 07 – at Wyoming
Sep. 14 – v Northern Illinois
Sep. 21 at Washington State
Not confirmed: at Arkansas State, v New Mexico State, at New Mexico State
Idaho 2014 schedule:
Aug. 30 – at Florida
Sep. 13 – v Western Michigan
Sep. 20 – at Ohio
TBA – at Northern Illinois
Not confirmed: v Arkansas State, v New Mexico State, at New Mexico State