MOSCOW, Idaho – Following an end-of-the-season meeting with his boss, Idaho football coach Robb Akey said he’s clear on the best direction for the Vandals’ program. And as of now, the plan does not include restructuring his coaching staff.
“I have not made any changes to the staff at this point in time,” Akey told The Spokesman-Review on Tuesday.
“Obviously, if there was going to be a change, I wouldn’t be talking about it now,” he said later. “If there are any changes, those are things we’ll take care of in-house. That’s how I’ve always done things.”
Idaho wrapped up a 2-10 season and last-place finish in the WAC with a 56-3 loss at Nevada last week. After the worst defeat of the year, athletic director Rob Spear voiced his frustration during a Vandal Radio Network interview.
“I don’t even know what to say about this,” Spear said. “It was an unacceptable performance from our football team.”
Asked about Spear’s comments, Akey said, “The tone of it didn’t come out real good, I guess. I read the paper, too. But we’ve had (our) meeting and we talked. And I’m going to do the best things that I think will help us get better with myself and my staff. And we’ll get those things taken care of.”
UI offensive coordinator Steve Axman has been most criticized among the assistants after the Vandals’ offense generated a touchdown or less in seven games and finished 111th in the nation in total offense.
Yet Akey said the situation with Axman is no different than with his other coaches – he will meet one-on-one with each of them during and after recruiting visits over the next two weeks.
Regardless of potential coaching moves, the Vandals will be without receiver Preston Davis in 2012. The senior, who caught the winning two-point reception in the 2009 Humanitarian Bowl and missed this year with a foot injury, has decided not to return.
Although Akey said that it was Davis’ decision to leave the program, the fifth-year coach didn’t try to persuade him to change his mind.
“I guess I didn’t argue with him,” Akey said. “Call it mutual, whatever you want. But I want guys that (want) to be here and get it done. He’s a little uncertain about where his passion lies, so I think he’s going to go look at other endeavors.”
Davis was lost for the year just before the Sept. 1 opener with Bowling Green. He could have used his redshirt year and returned.
Akey noted the Vandals have to find playmakers at receiver next year, and settle on a clear-cut starting quarterback. Transfer Dominique Blackman and returner Taylor Davis – and potentially a February signee – will enter spring as top of the depth chart at QB.
“I think a lot of guys don’t want to live through another year like this again,” Akey said. “Everybody needs to get a breath of fresh air. Two weeks ago I think I told you I wish I had two more games with these guys. Right now, I’m glad this season is over with the way it has gone.
“But at the same time, if spring ball would start tomorrow, I’d be a pretty happy guy.”