Idaho coach Robb Akey terminated

21 Oct

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 —

Rob Spear—-Gesser-announced-as-interim-coach-Spear.mp3

Jason Gesser—-Gesser-announced-as-interim-coach.mp3

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.

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.

18 Responses to “Idaho coach Robb Akey terminated”

  1. Emily October 21, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

    This is called Spears trying to save his own job. How does he expect the team to win when he schedules so many unwinnable games, LSU, UNC…. This is a joke.

  2. JP October 21, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

    Well, Emily, Akey couldhave tried winning the games beside LSU and UNC, and at least being competitve in our conference games. We lost 38-7 to a first year FBS team, we lost 70-28 to a team we used to be competitve with, we lost to Eastern Washington, an FCS team, and could only must 3 points. We only won 2 games last year. This is a sad, sad team, and it has nothing to do with the fact that they had to play a couple of a really good teams on the road. This is about getting rid of a coach who sucked. I’m not confident that Spear can find anyone better to replace Akey, but at least it’s worth a try.

  3. Lois October 21, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

    This truly makes me sad that they would release coach Akey before the end of the season. He is a good coach and loves the young men that play for him.

  4. Howard Warren October 21, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

    Unfortunately, I haven’t been back to Idaho since I graduated in 99. I was able to watch only one game, the Humanitarian Bowl (and this was when I was deployed to Africa). I loved Akey’s fire and positive attitude in that game. Tough times being a Vandals fan with the transition to Independence. Even tougher with no coach for next year.

  5. CKuheana October 21, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    Coach Akey, Wishing you nothing but the
    Best. Thanks for giving my son the opportunity to be a Vandal.

  6. nick October 21, 2012 at 5:50 pm #


  7. Realist October 21, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

    Well JP, sounds like it’s time to adjust the competitive level. Come on, Big Sky football!

  8. Lynn Curtis October 21, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

    I’m so sad to see Coach Akey go – he is truly a terrific coach who cares about his players. I think the transition to Independent hurt UI and recruiting possibilities immensely, taking the toll on Coach and staff. I wish him and his family the very best – he was such a good friend to Bob (Curtis – my husband) and to me especially during a very difficult time. Love you and your family so much Coach!

  9. Rich Breshears October 21, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

    Akey was a great coach, and a great man. He’s better than the U of I. The problem comes from many years ago when a slew of poor decisions were made. I blame our regents and the poor management of our athletic directors over the years.

  10. Vandal Tuba '02 October 21, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

    From what I saw as a fan, Coach Akey showed immense character and integrity. Having a coach of that caliber is a rare thing. I think we’ve made a big mistake in letting him go. This is an academic football program, and in my mind, good character is more important than win-loss records.

  11. Geoff October 21, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

    They fired the wrong “ROB”! Spear is the one who needs to go. Akey is a great man – Spear, not so much. In fact, didn’t he hook Idaho up with Erickson and his team of full of felons many of whom Akey had to send packing when he took over ? We’d be putting the For Sale sign on Rob Spear’s lawn if Nellis had a spine.

  12. El Curto October 22, 2012 at 6:49 am #

    Rob Spear just lost all of the publicity the Idaho Football Program garnered. Robb Akey put that program in the spotlight. His enthusiasm and passion for coaching the kids that he brought to Moscow will never be matched. Coach Akey will land on his feet somewhere else, soon. However, this might be Spear’s last hoorah.

  13. Disappointed October 22, 2012 at 8:11 am #

    Coach Akey was a great coach, a great man and mentor to all the players he coached while at Idaho. Idaho has never been the best place to coach given the circumstances, but Coach Akey made all his players want to play and play hard. This is a terrible situation which I believe reflects on the entire Idaho Athlethic Department and they have their out now. Good luck finding someone to coach at the Unviersity of Idaho — who would want to, especially while Spear is still in charge. Wish Coach Akey and his family nothing but the best and a new coaching job where he will be appreciated for all he brings!

  14. BJack October 22, 2012 at 10:54 am #

    Coaches KNOW they’ll be let go eventually. I believe this is only a guy trying to save his job and hiring the young Gesser is a move to get a young guy who they can pay a miniscule amount and hope he works out. No Solid Coach is taking this job with the backtracking that is going on here with Conference realignment and sub par talent.

  15. Fichtner October 22, 2012 at 11:22 am #

    Spear needs to go. His track record speaks for itself. He’s not Athletic Director material and needs to be pressured to resign. I cringe to see how a former high school coach can make the Vandals look worse, and cringe even more to see who Spear hires next. Can we all not remember Dennis Erickson? Spear was lucky to find Akey. Until Spear is gone I’m not going to go to another athletic event.

  16. distantfan October 22, 2012 at 11:23 am #

    It is all relative JP. Idaho very well could have been 0-70 over the same course of games had it not been for Akey. He pulled a poor program up out of the mud even if ever so briefly until the mud(Spears administration) sucked him back down.

  17. Alex October 22, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    The wrong man was fired. FIRE SPEAR!!

  18. Distant Fan October 22, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

    As a distant fan I watch every Saturday. The team captains know their players and were elected by their team-mates. It is time to trust in them and let them lead their team on to win the remaining games as I know they can. Aaron Grimes, defensive captain and Mike Scott, offensive captain have the knowledge, drive and ability and Gesser will be wise to utilize their talents as the true talents they are and not stiffle them as I think they have been in the past. When they come out of their huddle one already knows the play they are trying. Running up the middle makes no sense when opposing team “reads” the play and is there. Think outside the box and look for the opening and go for it. Look for the wide receiver who is open and throw the ball to them not the one who the QB decided he was going to throw to during the huddle. So many opportunities that have been missed and the plays have made no sense. I hope someone will listen to these team captains and hello TEAM CAPTAINS, make the winning plays like I know you can. Mike and Aaron, please lead your team like you mean it, insist on claiming your elected right, you are good players and we want to see you on every play and lead your teammates like they have never been lead before! You can all do it, we have faith in you. This is your last chance of the season. Make the best of it and show everyone what was needed.

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