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Akey Enjoys Simply Being Sports Dad

He was a gregarious personality on the Washington State and Idaho sidelines, leaping, hugging and chest-bumping with his players for 14 seasons on the Palouse. But now, looking across the field at high school kids, Robb Akey keeps to himself. He doesn’t want to be a distraction at Moscow High football practice, so he sits where he won’t be in the way and doesn’t speak to coaches unless they approach him. It’s best this way, he said. The former Vandals coach doesn’t want to be a volunteer assistant. He doesn’t want to interfere with the coaching staff. “I’m just being a dad,” Akey said. For the first time since his sons, Jack and Daniel, started participating in sports, Akey has the time to travel to their games and be an involved father. It’s a role he was unfamiliar with 11 months ago, when Idaho fired him in his sixth season on the job/Josh Wright, SR. More here. (SR file photo)

Question: Who would you say was the best Idaho Vandals football coach of the last quarter century?

Akey Surprised By Midseason Firing

Robb Akey knew his Idaho coaching staff needed a pick-me-up after a 70-28 loss to Louisiana Tech on Saturday. So he called a staff meeting for Sunday afternoon to suggest some changes, find some bright spots and go over recruiting plans heading into the final four games of the season. Before he got to meet with his staff, however, Idaho Athletic Director Rob Spear fired Akey. “I didn't expect it in the middle of the season. I knew we needed to win more games. We needed to win more — and that was an ugly game on top of it,” Akey told the Idaho Statesman on Tuesday evening. “I expected to be able to finish the season”/Brian Murphy, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Should AD Spear have waited until season's end to fire Coach Robb Akey?

Poll: UI Right To Fire Robb Akey

  • Monday Poll: Hucks Nation agreed with the firing of Idaho Vandals football coach Robb Akey. 74 of 153 respondents (47.74%) agreed with the firing. 57 of 153 respondents (36.77%) disagreed with the firing. 24 (15.48%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Should Kootenai County Assessor Mike McDowell and Treasurer Tom Malzahn received the 2.47% pay increases that they want?

Gesser Will Coach By Committee

Mid-afternoon on Monday, the sign outside the most prominent coach’s office in the Kibbie Dome still read: “Robb Akey, Head Football Coach.” A few hours earlier, Jason Gesser had met with the media for the first time as Idaho’s interim coach. And 18 hours before his introductory news conference, he first heard that Akey – his former boss and coach at Washington State – had been fired. “It’s been a whirlwind,” Gesser said. Gesser had yet to process all that had unfolded, and he was at a loss to explain how he found himself – at the age of 33 and in his second year as a collegiate coach – running an FBS program. But he had plenty to say about his vision for the Vandals football program/Josh Wright, SR. More here.

Question: Isn't 33 way too young to be head coach of a top division college football team?

Akey’s Departure Brings Tears

This morning Jason Gesser met with reporters for the first time after being named Idaho's interim head football coach. The 33-year-old former Washington State quarterback, wearing a black pinstripe suit with a gray tie, started crying a few minutes into the press conference when talking about the influence that Robb Akey, the man he's replacing, has had on him. “Akey’s been everything for me,” Gesser said. “The guy means a lot. … I mean, I owe my life to the guy”/Josh Wright, SR SportsLink. More here. (Dan Pelle's SR file photo of Jason Gesser earlier this fall)

Question: Do guys cry too much today?

Poll: ‘Binders Of Women’? So What?

  • Weekend Poll: A plurality of Hucks Nation took a “so what?” approach to the “binders full of women” statement made by Republican Mitt Romney in his second debate with President Barack Obama. 150 of 362 respondents (41.44%) said “so what?” when asked what they thought of Romney's controversial comment. 104 of 362 (28.73%) found the phrase offensive. 98 of 362 (27.07%) were amused by the statement. 10 (2.76%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Did the University of Idaho do the right thing in firing Vandal football coach Robb Akey?

Idaho Fires Football Coach Akey

Item: Idaho coach fired, Gesser takes over/Josh Wright, SR

Here’s a bet: Robb Akey comes down to the breakfast table this morning, looks at a family trying to hide its heartbreak and booms out the question he asks every room he enters: “HOW WE ALL DOIN’?” If only a life lived in capital letters could have repeated the “W” more often. Those rooms where Akey bowed the walls with his relentless spirit did not go concave with the air being sucked out in surprise when the University of Idaho sent out a feeble email notice Sunday afternoon that he’d been fired as head football coach. His record – 20-50 – was leaden. His relationship with athletic director Rob Spear was fractious. The support of Idaho’s constituency was indifferent. Oh, wait. That last part’s true no matter who happens to be the coach/John Blanchette, SR. More here.

Question: Do you agree with Robb Akey's firing?

UI fires head football coach Robb Akey

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: MOSCOW, Idaho (AP) ― The University of Idaho has fired football coach Robb Akey, with the team 1-7 and coming off a blowout loss. The school announced the move Sunday and promoted offensive coordinator Jason Gesser to interim coach. Gesser, a former Washington State quarterback, has been on the Idaho staff for two seasons. Akey was 20-50 at Idaho since taking over in 2007. He had one winning season with the Vandals, going 8-5 in 2009 and beating Bowling Green 43-42 in the Humanitarian Bowl. Idaho lost 70-28 to Louisiana Tech and allowed 839 yards Saturday. “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,” athletic director Rob Spear said. “We appreciate Coach Akey's enthusiasm and dedication to the University of Idaho, but this is the right move at this time.” Akey's contract runs through the 2014 season. Idaho is a member of the Western Athletic Conference, which won't have enough members to compete in football beyond this season. The school already has plans to play as an independent starting next season.

You can read more here.

Akey: Uncertainty Hurting Recruiting

With athletic director Rob Spear still trying to piece together 12 games for next year, Akey acknowledged the uncertainty is having a “tremendous impact on our recruiting, our planning for the future, on everything.” The instability has most clearly manifested itself in recruiting. Akey said “there’s a lot of rocks getting thrown around” by opposing coaches about Idaho’s situation. The Vandals have a “couple” verbal commitments, he said, but others “who I think we have a shot at have been kind of waiting to see” what the schedule looks like/Josh Wright, SR. More here. (Moscow-Pullman Daily News file photo: Dean Hare)

Question: If you were a high school football player, would you consider playing for the Idaho Vandals?

Akey: UI May Go Independent

Idaho football coach Robb Akey said the Vandals are considering independence as a way to keep their program's Football Bowl Subdivision options open. Idaho is one of two football-playing schools left in the decimated Western Athletic Conference. New Mexico State is the other. “We've been trying like a son of a gun to find a home. The best place for us would be the Mountain West. They don't want us right now. I understand all those things. Hopefully, it's going to re-allocate. I would expect there would be a change again in a couple more years,” Akey told the Idaho Statesman on Tuesday. “I wouldn't be surprised if we end up having to operate as an independent for a few years. We're just looking for a home, my brother”/Rob Murphy, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Would you support UI Vandals becoming an independent football school to stay in the Football Bowl Subdivision?

Read more here: http://voices.idahostatesman.com/2012/06/26/bmurphy/akey_wouldnt_be_surprised_if_idaho_becomes_football_independent#storylink=cpy

Vik QB Chalich Commits To UIdaho

Coeur d’Alene High quarterback Chad Chalich gave Idaho head coach Robb Akey an oral commitment Sunday night to accept a scholarship offer to play for the Vandals, Vikings coach Shawn Amos said. Chalich, who led the Vikings to the 5A state championship, had a home visit with Akey on Sunday night and committed, Amos said. Chalich, the reigning 5A All-Idaho Player of the Year accounted for five of Coeur d’Alene’s seven touchdowns, passing for 410 yards and running for 57 more in the Vikings' 49-28 victory against Eagle at Bronco Stadium earlier this month. Amos also said that wide receiver Deon Watson also had a home visit with Akey and is taking an official visit to the Idaho campus next weekend/Idaho Statesman.

Question: Was Chad Chalich wise in picking a scholarship from Idaho over a walk-on invite from Boise State?

Vandals Host Hum-Bowl Rival Tonight

On the first day of fall camp last month, Idaho football coach Robb Akey approached Brian Reader – a senior who bided his time behind a four-year starter – and supplied a clear message. “I remember the first practice we had out here,” Akey recalled last week. “I said, ‘We gave you the keys (to the offense) back there in the spring and you started driving. I want you to drive the damn thing fast now – and drive it like an Escalade, a fast Escalade.’ ” Just how well Reader has adjusted to his new role as the Vandals’ top QB – and how the offense has adjusted to him – will start to manifest itself tonight at 6, when Idaho kicks off its season by hosting Bowling Green in rematch of the memorable 2009 Humanitarian Bowl/Josh Wright, SR. More here. (Moscow-Pullman Daily News file photo: Dean Hare)

Question: Any predictions about tonight's game or the 2012 Vandal season?

49er Iupati Visits Idaho Vandal Practice

The Idaho football team was deep into its final practice before Saturday’s spring game when Robb Akey felt a tap on his shoulder. It was former Vandals star lineman Mike Iupati, now of the San Francisco 49ers, who decided to spring a surprise visit on his old coach and teammates. “I turn around and there’s a mountain standing there,” Akey said after Thursday’s workout. “I jumped up and gave him a hug and I started crying.” Akey put a sudden stop to practice and rounded up his players so that Iupati, who helped guide Idaho to a Humanitarian Bowl triumph in 2009, could give an impromptu address to the team. San Francisco’s first-round pick from a year ago didn’t disappoint/Josh Wright, SR. More here. (In this 2009 Idaho Press Tribune file photo by Greg Kreller, Mike Iupati embraces Coach Robb Akey in closing moments of UI's Humanitarian Bowl win over Bowling Green.)

Question: When did you last return to your alma mater to attend and event or guest lecture to inspire those following in your footsteps?

Akey Ranks No. 10 Broncos @ No. 14

In the USA Today Coaches Poll, Idaho Vandals coach ranked Boise State as No. 14 in the nation, while Bronco coach Chris Petersen put his team at No. 10. You can see the coaches’ rankings here. Overall, the Broncos, who will play Utah in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas, were ranked No. 10.

Question: How high would you rank the 11-1 Broncos?

Kustra’s A ‘Blue & Orange’ Snot?

Idaho coach Robb Akey let his team speak Monday, and one Vandal didn’t bite his tongue. Responding to a question about comments made by Boise State president Bob Kustra in July about Idaho’s fan base that Kustra described as “nasty, inebriated,” senior running back Deonte Jackson didn’t hesitate with his answer. “Personally, I tried not to read too much into it,” he said. “But I wouldn’t expect anything different coming from the blue and orange snot. I just took it and use it as fuel in the fire and feed my hunger to want to get after these guys to finish my career off with a win against them and bring pride back to this community, the University of Idaho and Moscow”/Chadd Cripe, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP file photo of Deonte Jackson being tackled in 2009 by a UWashington defender)

Question: Will Idaho’s trash-talking translate into a win at the Kibbie Dome against Boise State?

Robb Akey Bobblehead Day Nov. 6

The University of Idaho offers one more reason to travel to Moscow for the football game between the Vandals and Nevada — Robb Akey bobbleheads. They’ll be given away at the game Saturday, Nov. 6. Meanwhile, Akey discusses JoJo Dickson’s career-ending injury against New Mexico State last weekend in Josh Wright’s WAC notebook here.

Question: Do you own any bobbleheads? Which one(s)?

Murphy: Akey Puts Boise State No. 1

Idaho coach Robb Akey was one of 11 coaches to vote Boise State No. 1 in the latest USA Today Coaches Poll, he confirmed in an interview with Jeff Caves of 1350 AM KTIK. Boise State was ranked No. 2 in the coaches poll released Sunday. Akey does a taped interview each Wednesday that runs during “Idaho Sports Talk with Caves and Prater” from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on KTIK. Listen here to Akey’s short answer on voting Boise State No. 1. … Last week, Akey hinted that he did not vote Boise State No. 1. He called Boise State “one of the top teams in the country,” but said I was “reading too much into that quote” when I asked if that meant he voted Boise State No. 1/Brian Murphy, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you forgive Idaho Vandal coach Robb Akey for voting Boise State as the top college football team in the nation?

Sporting News: Akey to WSU?

During a visit to his doctor’s office, long-suffering Washington State alum Howard Martinson saw something in the Aug. 16 edition of Sporting News that brightened his day. While reading an article about the Pac-10 (or Pac-12, whatever the case may be today), Howard read this precition about WSU’s chances this year by Sporting News college football writer Matt Hayes: ” Another awful season will cost Washington State coach Paul Wulff his job. Idaho’s Robb Akey, a former Wazzu assistant, will be his replacement.” More here (scroll down). ” (AP file photo shows Robb Akey in 2006 after being announced as new coach of the Idaho Vandals)

Question: Do you expect Washington State to try to woo successful Idaho Vandals football coach Robb Akey back home?

Robb Akey Bobblehead Day Coming

Via Twitter, from Idaho Nation: “Special edition Robb Akey bobbleheads will be given away at one football game this year! You’re Gonna Love It!”

Question: Do you want a Robb Akey bobblehead?

PM: Enlisting In Akey’s Army

“Willie came home from a week at the University of Idaho,” posts Marianne Love/Slight Detour. “With him came some T-shirts for Mom and Dad. He gave me the yellow one and Bill, the Akey’s Army shirt. After seeing an ad in this morning’s paper for people to come and meet Idaho Vandal football coach Akey at Dover Bay Resort, I said to Bill that I believe the University of Idaho has embraced Rob Akey. And, yes, that’s an understatement.” More here.

Question: Have you enlisted in Akey’s Army?

Best Of The INorthwest — 6.17.10

A squirrel grabs a peanut out of Jarod Prosinski’s hand as he enjoys the weather with his mother during a walk at Holiday Park in Cheyenne, Wyo., Wednesday. (AP Photo/The Wyoming Tribune Eagle, Michael Smith)

Ed Board OKs $375K Per Year For Akey

The Idaho State Board of Education approved new six-figure contracts for the Boise State University (BSU) basketball coach and the University of Idaho’s football coach during a board meeting Thursday.  BSU’s Leon Rice (formerly an assistant at Gonzaga) will make a base salary of $400,000 for the next five years, plus incentives that could add up to an additional $70,000 a year if the team wins the NCAA basketball championship and players’ academic progress ranks highly. … The U of I’s Robb Akey will earn an average of more than $375,000 during the next five football seasons, with incentives that could add up to another $158,000 a year for various achievements including winning seven games in a season, being named national coach of the year, or finishing in the Top 25 ESPN/USA Today poll/Brad Iverson-Long, Idaho Reporter. More here. (SR File Photo: Dan Pelle, of Leon Rice, left, as an assistant coach for Gonzaga’s Mark Few.)

Question: Do you agree with the amount of pay that Robb Akey and Leon Rice will be getting to coach teams at UI & BSU, respectively?

Akey: Notre Dame’d Make Good Sub

Josh Wright/SR SportsLink (via Twitter): Robb Akey on changes to WAC: “If we replace (BSU) with Notre Dame, I think we’re going to be perceived as a pretty strong conference.” Akey, of course, was joking about Notre Dame. But he does see WAC adding another school. Also worried about losing La. Tech down the line. … Also, Josh reports: Rob Spear says UI’s non-conference schedule is booked through 2012. Playing BSU “will have to be in the future.” So no UI-BSU until 2013.

Question: Should Idaho do all it cans to schedule games with Boise State after 2012? Or should UI quit trying to play keep-up w/the Broncos and look elsewhere for nonconference foes?

Akey: Punished For Cleaning House

“As much as I hate to lose any scholarships, we cannot let a rule I struggle with hold us hostage and keep us from running a strong program,” Akey said in an Idaho release. “Our APR will continue to improve. I believe we are doing a good job of managing it.” Two years ago, the Vandals operated with 76 scholarships – nine below the maximum of 85 – after Akey had booted nearly 20 players from the team following his arrival prior to the 2007 season. While announcing his ’08 recruiting class, the coach was critical of the system the NCAA set up because UI was being punished for trying to clean up the program. “This is not what this rule, I don’t think, was intended to do,” Akey said then/Josh Wright, SR SportsLink. More here.

Question: Is there any question that the Idaho Vandals are better off today, competitively and academically, than they were before Robb Akey took over as football coach. Should the NCAA factor that in before taking away scholarships?

Sam: UI Sports Disses Vandal Nation

Sam: Tonight, the Vandals saw both a win and a loss. Mike Iupati is an amazing athlete and a mature young adult who deserves the accolades and should be a standard bearer for what it means to be a respectful college athlete that kids can look up to. But also tonight, the Vandal athletics department showed up petty and unprofessional they can be by denying an interview with coach Robb Akey to Vandal Nation, the blog run by Travis Mason-Bushman, a University of Idaho Argonaut reporter who also happens to have nearly 5,000 (you read that right) people following his coverage of all things Vandal Sports at any given time. Full comment here.

Question: Does Robb Akey and the UIdaho sports department owe loyal Vandal Nation an apology for refusing an interview after Mike Iupati was drafted by the 49ers?

Howard: When Does WSU Get Akey Back?

Howard Martinson: Seems like my beloved Cougs are irrelevant in NCAA football these days. Other than the fact that everyone can mark up their Coug game as a win. Maybe CdA HS or LC HS could beat up on the Cougs these days. No, I don’t get tired of the Coug jokes. I change the names and make it all about the UW dirtyfilthystinkingdogs. When, pray tell, can we get Robb Akey back in Pullman where he belongs? Or maybe Mike Price.

Question: Do you think successful Idaho Vandal football coach Robb Akey will return to coach WSU someday?