Rob Akey looked like he had taken the Idaho Vandals to the next level 4 years ago, and then led them on a Humanitarian Bowl quest in 2009. The Vandals were on the cusp of becoming relevant in college football again, if even on a small scale level, but it was not to be. Idaho swooped back into thier days of anonymity over the next 3 seasons and nobody thinks about them these days. A.D. Rob Spear has had enough and has made the decision to replace Akey, after going just 20-50 in 6 seasons.
Akey was of course, the defensive coordinator for Washington State for a long time before taking over at Idaho in 2006 and 2 years ago he snatched up Cougar qb legend Jason Gesser from Eastside Catholic High in Sammamish, WA to coach the running backs. Akey and Gesser had been together at WSU when Gesser led the historic run for the Cougars during his career in the early 2000’s. Before this season, Gesser was promoted to Offensive Coordinator and now of course, he will get his chance to be a college head coach. He is looking forward to the opportunity and is hoping to take over the full time position by the end of the year.
Obviously, I want to become a head coach, that’s something I get a chance to do now. But it may be my only time as a head coach. I’ve got to take it for what it is worth. I’m going to recruit here and coach here for the next five weeks. I’ll do it like I was going to be here for the next 20 years.
This is the attitude that immediately won over the Cougar locker room and fan base when he played here. However Spear is no doubt looking for a big coaching name to come in here and make a splash, what with the football team going independant next season and all. The thing about being one of three indy schools (the other two being Notre Dame and BYU) is this, you have to be competitive at a much higher level than Idaho has been if they want to consistently fill out a schedule that will mean anything to their program. Sure you can go to the LSU’s and the North Carolina’s and the Oregon’s of the world and get pounded for a paycheck, but that won’t go very far as far as building a winning program is concerned, and apparently that is what Idaho would like to become eventually.
So we here at All Coug’d Up!, and Cougars everywhere, congratulate an old friend, Jason Gesser, for his promotion and his upcoming opportunity. He’ll put his best forward and we’ll see what happens. Wouldn’t that be something if he brought the Vandals into Martin Stadium next season as their full time head coach? That would be really, really cool!