Let me be the one millionth person to welcome you back to the University of Idaho.
At the very second I’m sitting down to write this, you’re probably enjoying your very first tub as head football coach of the University of Idaho Vandals. You just posted this on Twitter, and while these thoughts I’m about to write have been shifting around my head for days, this has inspired me to sit down and write it.
You see, currently I am sitting over 6,000 miles away in my school office in Taipei, Taiwan. But I feel like I’m sitting right next you. I feel like I’m in the Club drinking a tub of Rainier. Like I’m home, in Moscow, where my heart is.
The last 48 hours have been an overwhelming sense of pride, excitement, and most importantly … unity.
Coach, your task as coach of the University of Idaho is more than just recruiting players and winning football games. Your task is to be the great unifier of the Idaho community we have lacked for the better part of a decade.
You’ve already hit the ground running. Your outreach, words and actions have drawn a path forward for the entire fanbase to follow.
I was in the room when our old university president made the divisive decision, despite the feelings of the sitting athletic director and head football coach, to transition Idaho back into the FCS and Big Sky. It’s a decision that still creates friction within the fanbase today, many feeling the recent lack of success as vindication of that criticism.
But, none of that needs to matter anymore. We’re here now, and now we have a coach who fully understands what it means to not only play at this level, but win at this level. We have a coach who has been an Idaho Vandal before and understands how important this institution is to our entire state and region.
“Flagship,” you proudly proclaimed at your introductory press conference. Coach, you just get it. You get what this fanbase, athletic department and football program desperately need at this moment.
I’ll be perfectly honest and say I am one of the many who passionately threw my support behind remaining in FBS, fighting as an independent and seeing where the landscape took us. I’ll also say I could not be any more excited to have a coach who from day one talked about making the playoffs and winning the Big Sky Conference.
I, like so many of us, am ready to put the problems of the past behind us and move forward hand-in-hand with a program committed to winning the Big Sky Conference.
I want to be given a reason to throw my sleep schedule into chaos over the time difference and wake up at five in the morning for games against the Northern Arizonas and Sacramento States of the world, games I desperately want to to mean something for us in the Big Sky title and FCS playoff races.
“This isn’t a rebuild. We’re going to compete our asses off and win games now.”
Hell yeah, coach.
It’s time for us as fans to back up that promise as well by donating to the Vandal Scholarship Fund and getting our asses to the Kibbie Dome. It’s time to unite and back the boys on the field. And it’s because we finally have a coach who is going to unite us all in our passion for the Silver and Gold.