Posts tagged: Idaho football
The University of Idaho announced on Wednesday that it has hired Charley Molnar as wide receivers coach — a move that was first reported in early June by CoachingSearch.com. Molnar, the former head coach at UMass and offensive coordinator at Notre Dame, takes over receiving coaching duties from Vandals offensive coordinator Kris Cinkovich.
“Getting Charley to join our staff was a home run for us,” Idaho coach Paul Petrino said. “He has been one of the best offensive minds in college football. He is a great teacher of technique and details of his position.”
Molnar's hiring was prompted by the departure of offensive line coach Jon Carvin after spring camp. Instead of bring in an outside offensive line coach, Petrino moved Cinkovich from receivers coach to O-line coach (in addition to his role as offensive coordinator and assistant head coach).
In other news, Idaho center Mike Marboe was added to the Rimington Award watch list. The award is given to the nation's top center. Marboe has started 36 consecutive games — the fourth-most among active offensive linemen — entering his redshirt senior season for the Vandals.
Idaho kicker/punter Austin Rehkow was also one of 25 punters named to the Ray Guy Award watch list. Rehkow received All-America honors last years as a freshman after averaging 47.8 yards per punt and booting 34 punts of at least 50 yards.
Charley Molnar, the former head coach at UMass and offensive coordinator at Notre Dame, has accepted an offer to become the wide receivers coach at Idaho, according to Pete Roussel of CoachingSearch.com.
Molnar was fired by UMass in December after going 2-22 in the Minutemen's first two seasons at the FBS level. He served as Brian Kelly's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Notre Dame in 2010 and 2011 after working on Kelly's staff at Cincinnati and Central Michigan.
The hiring of Molnar, which Idaho has not announced, is likely the last in a series of coaching changes for the Paul Petrino-led Vandals. Offensive coordinator/receivers coach Kris Cinkovich took over as offensive line coach after Jon Carvin left the staff last month. Molnar will replace Cinkovich as receivers coach, while Cinkovich will still serve as offensive coordinator and assistant head coach.
The Vandals also lost cornerbacks coach Mike Mickens after the season. He was replaced by former NFL standout Ashley Ambrose.
For the fifth consecutive season, the Idaho football team will have a new offensive line coach this fall.
Jon Carvin, who held the post last season in Paul Petrino's first year as head coach, has left the program, the school confirmed on Saturday. He'll be replaced by offensive coordinator Kris Cinkovich, who will relinquish his role as receivers coach, FootballScoop.com reported.
Petrino is seeking applicants for the now-vacant receivers coaching job. In an online job listing for an assistant football coach posted on May 20, UI put the pay at $46,000 per year.
Carvin is one of two Idaho football assistants who have left this offseason, joining cornerbacks coach Mike Mickens. Two other defensive assistants on Petrino's original staff, Patrick Libey and Mike Anderson, resigned after spring football concluded in 2013.
Like Carvin, Idaho's previous two offensive line coaches — Gordy Shaw in 2012 and John McDonell in 2011 — lasted just one year. Dan Finn moved on after the 2010 season after coaching the O-line for four seasons (2007-2010).
Carvin's departure means redshirt senior center Mike Marboe will be under his fifth coach in five seasons at Idaho. Marboe told The Spokesman-Review in April that he thoroughly enjoyed playing for Carvin. “I love him,” Marboe said. “He’s a great coach. Playing for him, you know exactly what to expect and I’ve just come along, as well as developing my techniques that they expect from me and everything.”
At least with Cinkovich assuming the job, Marboe and Idaho's other linemen won't have a completely new face coaching them. Cinkovich, an offensive lineman at Spokane Falls Community College (1979-80) and Carroll College (1981-82), helped coach the Vandals' O-line on occasion last year.
The Idaho men's basketball program scored a perfect 1,000 in the latest year of the NCAA's Academic Progress Rates that were unveiled today — one of two single-year perfect scores for UI athletic programs. The women's golf team had the other 1,000 for 2012-2013.
That's the good APR-related news for Idaho. The bad news came nearly three weeks ago, when UI announced its football team was ineligible for the 2014 postseason and would lose four hours of practice time each week because of a four-year APR score of 901, well below the 930 threshold. Idaho's 2012-2013 score was 838.
Even with a projected 960 in 2013-2014, Idaho would be below a four-year score of 930 next year. Yet athletic director Rob Spear has said that he expects the school won't get dinged again in 2015 because it will have shown substantial progress.
To be postseason eligible, teams must have a four-year score above 930 or have an average above 940 the last two years.
The men's basketball team had a four-year APR of 944. That's slightly below its last two rolling four-year scores.
|Sport||2012-2013 Multi-Year Rate|
|Men's Cross Country||940|
|Men's Track, Indoor||962|
|Men's Track, Outdoor||957|
|Women's Cross Country||971|
|Women's Track, Indoor||959|
|Women's Track, Outdoor||959|
Former Idaho running back James Baker told the Spokesman-Review that he's headed to the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent.
After he wasn't selected in the seven-round NFL draft, Baker quickly latched on with the Chiefs. Kansas City was one of two teams who held private workouts with Baker in Moscow. Baker also visited the Chiefs, along with the Green Bay Packers, before the draft.
Baker led the Vandals last season with 593 rushing yards and six touchdowns. The 6-foot, 237-pound senior averaged 4.1 yards per carry. He also had eight catches for 177 yards and three TDs. Baker said NFL teams were intrigued by his pass-catching ability.
The Deerfield Beach, Florida, native's stock rose after he ran a 4.55-second 40-yard dash at Idaho's pro day in March.
UPDATED (10:10 a.m)
Idaho wide receiver Dezmon Epps, who had a breakout junior season in 2013, was arrested for driving under the influence early Sunday morning in Pullman, according to a report in Idaho's student newspaper. The arrest occurred at 800 NE Ruby St., adjacent to Stubblefield's Bar and Grill at 1:23 a.m. Sunday, the Argonaut reported.
Epps piled up big numbers last season after transferring from City College of San Francisco, catching 79 passes for nearly 1,000 yards. He had 11 catches for 121 yards in Idaho's spring game on Friday night.
Coach Paul Petrino issued this strongly worded statement to the Argonaut on Epps' arrest:
“I am aware of the situation involving Dezmon Epps and I am disappointed in his actions. I will review the matter and it will be handled swiftly and decisively. Our student-athletes will understand that there will be discipline in our program. They will learn the responsibility they have in representing themselves, the football program, and the University of Idaho in the right manner. We will hold our student-athlete’s accountable for their actions at all times as character and integrity will always be a priority in our program. We will learn just as many life lessons through our failures as we will through our successes.”
The Vandals announced on Saturday morning that they've been banned from a 2014 bowl and face reduced practice time for failing to meet the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate standards. As a senior, Epps could transfer to another school and be eligible right away because of the sanctions. Petrino said he met individually with Epps (as well as Maxx Forde, Mike Marboe and other seniors) and said he expects all of them to return.
“They’re all Vandals,” the second-year coach said. “They’re all 100 percent with us.”
Petrino said Saturday that a few seniors might make statements on Monday about the APR penalties.
At 9 this morning, Idaho sent word that it was going to hold a hastily scheduled news conference at 10. The timing — just 12 hours after spring practice had ended with the Silver and Gold game — was strange. And the reason for the news conference was unknown at the time.
Shortly later, though, UI announced in a release that its football program is ineligible to play in a bowl this season after failing to meet the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate standards. The Vandals, who are re-entering the Sun Belt Conference, will also lose four hours of practice time per week — time that must be devoted to studying.
We have our updated and final story below.
Things we learned on Friday night: Richard Montgomery is really fast. Idaho's quarterback battle likely won't be resolved soon after fall camp starts. The Vandals' defensive front could be special (Paul Petrino's words, not mine). And they have a stable of skilled wideouts.
OK, most of these things Idaho fans already knew. But they were all crystallized during the two-hour Silver and Gold game, attended by perhaps 500 fans at the Kibbie Dome.
We have notes and our story below.
If Idaho's Silver and Gold game on Friday night (7:30, Kibbie Dome) goes as well as the first four weeks of spring practice, Paul Petrino will walk away a happy coach. Asked about where the Vandals are relative to his expectations for the spring, Petrino had this to say on Wednesday evening: “You know what? I think we’re ahead of them. I think we’ve had a better spring than I hoped to (have). I’m happy. We’ve done better than I thought we would at this point. And so, it’s been good. It’s been real good.”
We have the full Q&A that Petrino had with a handful of reporters after a practice that he labeled as “really good.” Read on.
Idaho didn't run (quite) as many plays, and the offense didn't have quite as many touchdowns. But coach Paul Petrino was pleased after the Vandals' third scrimmage of the spring in the Kibbie Dome. We have video of Petrino's full comments to the media after the jump. We also have an early version of our story and notes on the Vandals' occasionally dominant defensive line.
UI, by the way, ran 143 plays after going through 190 in the first scrimmage and 173 last week. Idaho also had 11 penalties, at least of which one or two were waived off.
Paul Petrino wore a wide smile after practice on Monday evening. Maybe that was because the Vandals had another solid spring session, or maybe it was because of who was in attendance. Standing on the sideline were former Seahawks offensive lineman Robbie Tobeck and Tobeck's son, Mason. Earlier in the day, Idaho offered a scholarship to Mason, a junior tight end and linebacker at Cascade Christian in Puyallup, Wash. He's also been offered by Colorado State. Robbie played at Washington State and spent 13 years in the NFL.
After Petrino shook hands with both Tobecks following practice, we ran through a quick one-on-one interview with the second-year coach. Petrino said he doesn't foresee naming a starting quarterback before the start of fall camp, and he also gave us his philosophy on long scrimmages.
Dezmon Epps and Deon Watson had huge receiving days. Kris Olugbode churned out yards on the ground. And Irving Steele made his presence felt at linebacker.
Epps, Watson and Olugbode were three of several offensive standouts for the Idaho football team on Friday, which held its second scrimmage of spring practice at the Kibbie Dome.
After converted receiver Josh McCain put up big numbers in the first scimmage last week, Epps had the spotlight on Friday with 17 catches for 218 yards and four touchdowns. Watson, a redshirt sophomore from Coeur d'Alene, had nine catches for 170 yards and two TDs, while McCain went for seven catches for 73 yards.
Olugbode rushed for 200 of Idaho's 321 yards. And once again, redshirt freshman quarterback Matt Linehan attempted significantly more passes than Chad Chalich. Linehan was 33 of 52 for 401 yards, but Chalich (18 of 32 for 304) squeezed more yards out of his attempts.
Steele, a JC newcomer, had 18 tackles, matching cornerback Jayshawn Jordan's total. Zach Cable had four tackles for loss.
Ashley Ambrose, a 13-year NFL veteran with experience coaching at high-level college programs, has joined Paul Petrino's staff as secondary coach. Ambrose spent three years at Colorado (2008-2010) and two seasons at Cal (2011-2012), where he coached defensive backs. He played with the Colts, Bengals, Saints and Falcons and was named the AFC Defensive Back of the Year in 1996.
“We’re real excited to have Coach Ambrose on the staff,” Petrino said in a statement. “He was a great player in the NFL and played under some of the greater coaches ever. He brings great knowledge of the game.”
Ambrose has a big task in front of him — Idaho ranked second-worst in the FBS last year in passing yards allowed (315.8 per game) and its best cover corner, Solomon Dixon, left the program after the season.
Ambrose has worked at UI as a consultant to the coaching staff during the first week-plus of spring ball. He replaces Mike Mickens, who spent one year at Idaho before leaving for Bowling Green.
The Idaho football team spent three hours inside the Kibbie Dome on Saturday morning and early afternoon. Most of that time was dedicated to the first scrimmage of spring, which spanned roughly 190 plays. We've posted the full comments from coach Paul Petrino after the scrimmage.
Photo of quarterbacks Chad Chalich and Matt Linehan (10) courtesy of the University of Idaho.
Late in Idaho's fourth practice of the spring on Friday evening, running back Jerrel Brown turned to teammate Kris Olugbode and yelled, “I could do this all day!” Tomorrow, he might actually get a chance to.
The Vandals will hold their first scrimmage of spring at the Kibbie Dome at 10 a.m., and if it's like most of UI's scrimmages last season, it could be a marathon. Coach Paul Petrino likes to run through 100 or more plays in rapid succession to get his team acclimated to a fast game tempo. He even told Idaho defenders during Friday's practice to ease up on trying to tackle offensive players who were off-limits, because “we're going to hit for three hours tomorrow.”
On the eve of scrimmage No. 1, I talked to Petrino, offensive coordinator Kris Cinkovich, quarterback-turned-receiver Joshua McCain and linebacker Marc Millan. Their thoughts — and few of my observations — are below.
It came two days later than scheduled because of the weather, but Day 1 of spring practice at Idaho is complete. And coach Paul Petrino said the Vandals are way ahead of where they were a year ago.
We have a quick recap of the Sunday afternoon practice below. The Vandals will go Monday at 3:30 p.m., followed by sessions on Wednesday and Friday before the first scrimmage of spring on Saturday at 10 a.m.
Paul Petrino's second spring football at Idaho will look similar to his first a year ago. But there will be key differences. The quarterbacks will be off-limits after getting whacked last year. The coaches might try to install the playbook quicker now that many of the players are in the second year of the system. And for at least the first little bit, the Vandals will have Robert Asencio, a 6-foot-9 basketball player who's never played football, trying out with them at wide receiver. “You don’t see too many 6-9 guys walking around who can run and catch,” Petrino said, “so I’m excited to get him out there and see what we can do.”
Our spring preview story can be found here, and we've posted more from Petrino heading into the first day of practice (4 p.m. at the SprinTurf field weather permitting). Read on.
The Idaho football team will open the 2014 football season at Florida — after its second-to-last game of 2013 was at Florida State — and play five of its first seven on the road. The Vandals announced their full slate for 2014, their first in the Sun Belt Conference since leaving the SBC to join the WAC prior to the 2005 season.
The Vandals have five home games, starting with Western Michigan (which went 1-11 in 2013, the same record as Idaho) on Sept. 13. Their other games in the Kibbie Dome are against South Alabama (Sept. 27), New Mexico State (Oct. 18), Arkansas State (Nov. 1) and Troy (Nov. 15).
“You have to win at home,” UI coach Paul Petrino said in a release. “It will important for us to make (the Kibbie Dome) a tough place to play. We need to win our home games.”
Idaho starts spring practice on March 28. We have more below.
Paul Petrino announced his second recruiting class at Idaho, one that's heavy on junior-college transfers and speedy players at almost every position. Idaho signed 17 players today and 27 in all, including three grayshirts. The biggest signing came at the end of the day, when highly regarded defensive tackle Alfonso Hampton sent in his letter of intent.
We talked to Hampton's JC coach as part of our story, which you can read below.
After Idaho won just one game this fall in his first season as coach, Paul Petrino saw a number of holes on the Vandals' roster. He took a key step in filling a few of them today with the signing of eight junior-college players — two defensive tackles, two offensive linemen, two linebackers and two defensive backs.
” … Those are all places that we felt like we had needs and needed to improve,” Petrino said. “I think it was a really good job by the whole staff in going out and finding guys that we feel like can fit the system and are good guys and can come in here and can compete right away.”
We have all the details below, as well as a few notes and quotes from Petrino on each signee.