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Idaho fires Robb Akey; Gesser named interim coach

The University of Idaho has fired football coach Robb Akey and named offensive coordinator Jason Gesser the interim coach. Akey was 20-50 in less than six full years with the Vandals. Idaho was blitzed 70-28 last night by Louisiana Tech to fall to 1-7 on the year.

Akey is the first coach in the FBS to be fired this season. In 2009, he led Idaho to one of its two bowl appearances since moving up from the FCS (then 1-AA) ranks in 1996. The Vandals rallied past Bowling Green for one of the most memorable wins in Idaho history.

Akey signed a contract extension in June 2010 that was set to keep him in Moscow through 2014. According to the terms of the extension, Akey will receive his base salary — $165,796.80 per year — “until the terms of this Agreement ends or until (Akey) obtains employment, which occurs first.”

Gesser will speak at press conference at 10:30 Monday morning. UI media relations director Becky Paull said athletic director Rob Spear will not be made formally available to the media.

More below.


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Idaho's full press release is below. Here is reaction from former and current UI players on Twitter:

  • Nathan Enderle, former quarterback: “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.”
  • Current starting QB Dominique Blackman: “Honestly me or my cousin ken wouldn't have got a chance if it wasn't for Akey #RIP86 #akeyarmy”
  • Tight end Taylor Elmo: “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”

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MOSCOW, Idaho – University of Idaho football coach Robb Akey was relieved of his duties Sunday, Director of Athletics Rob Spear announced.
 
“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,” Spear said Sunday. “We appreciate Coach Akey’s enthusiasm and dedication to the University of Idaho but this is the right move at this time.”
 
The Vandals are off to a 1-7 start this season and are coming off a 70-28 loss at Louisiana Tech. Akey, hired in 2007, has a win/loss record of 20-50 as head coach of the Vandals.
 
Spear said a search for Akey’s replacement will begin immediately.
In the interim, offensive coordinator Jason Gesser will serve as the Vandals head coach. Gesser has been on the Vandal staff for two seasons after a professional NFL and Canadian Football League career. He is a graduate of Washington State University where he was an All-American quarterback.
 
Akey’s contract, which expires in December 2014, has a base salary of $165,796.


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Jim Meehan (@srjimm) Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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