On his first day as Idaho's interim football coach, Jason Gesser said he wanted to run the program for years to come. But if the Vandals choose to hire someone else, Gesser still wants to stay in Moscow “in the worst way,” he told The Spokesman-Review for a story that ran today.
We have some bonus material below, as well as a look at Gesser's chance to land the permanent job.
UPDATE: FootballScoop.com reports that Rob Spear plans to speak with Gesser, Wyoming defensive coordinator and former UI coach Chris Tormey, Cal Poly coach Tim Walsh, Montana State coach Rob Ash, and several others.
Gesser hopes to get a formal interview with AD Rob Spear and the Vandals' hiring committee after the season ends next week. Spear declined to comment Thursday on any facet of the coaching search, but he said after firing Robb Akey that Gesser — and everyone else on the staff — would be considered for the job.
At the time, Spear also mentioned the type of the coach he would like to hire, and Gesser seemed to fit the bill in many ways. This is how Spear put it:
“Obviously we want somebody from a successful program. I want somebody that understands the Northwest and is going to be able to recruit the Northwest. I want somebody who’s going to be able to recruit a high character kid. I want them to hold them accountable. And I want discipline in the program. So those would be the characteristics. And I don’t think you need to say it has to be a former or current head coach. It could be an up-and-coming assistant. I think we’re going to be very open in this process.”
Gesser is no doubt an up-and-coming assistant. He's gone from coaching Idaho's running backs last year to becoming offensive coordinator and then interim coach. All after having no college coaching experience two years ago.
But it's that inexperience that would likely make Gesser a tough sell for Spear to some boosters and UI fans. It also doesn't help Gesser's case that Idaho has lost 42-13 and 52-13 in his two games as the team's head man.
Keep in mind, Gesser is functioning as head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, a combination of roles that he wouldn't try to keep if hired. “I would need to hire a quarterback coach, an offensive coordinator. I would need to do all those things,” Gesser said. “(I) still would be want to be the guy calling plays and doing that stuff, but would definitely need to hire those positions and fill the staff out in the right direction.”
A big reason why Gesser wants to stay at UI is so he doesn't have to uproot his family. His wife, Kali, and two children just moved to Moscow six months ago after staying back in Seattle last year. Gesser said his 9-year-old daughter Jordyn and 5-year-old son Kolten love their school, and he loves being able to drop them off on Friday mornings.
Said Gesser, “I want to be here in the worst way. I love the place. I love the university. I love the community. I finally just got my family over this year and they love it. And so I don’t want to go anywhere else. I really don’t. If I had the opportunity of staying on as the offensive coordinator/quarterback coach again, that would be great. Or whatever it may be. That’s something that I hope if I’m not the guy selected that I do have that opportunity of still staying here.”