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.
We all know the OLD adage, defense wins championships and offense sells tickets. Many think it is just that, old. Some of the talks around making a defensive hire are like folks don’t remember the 2014 Super Bowl. When the best offense in NFL history led by Peyton Manning was going to stomp the top ranked Seahawks defense… 43-8 Seahawks was the final. People remeber Tom Brady and offensive guru Bruce Arains winning the Super Bowl last year, against another offensive coach. Since 2010 offensive coaches have a losing record vs defensive coaches in Super Bowl head-to-heads.
I know we aren’t talking about the NFL though. We are talking College Football. Well the 2022 College Football Playoff consists of 3 defensive coaches. Jim Harbaugh being the exception. But lets get even more specific. Lets talk FCS
Coaches in FCS Title game since 2010 when it was moved to Frisco
Offensive Head Coaches
Beau Baldwin -EWU
Aaron Best- EWU
Rob Ambrose – Towson
John Grass – JSU*
Curt Gignetti – JMU
Total games coached by offensive coaches: 5 Titles won:1(2010)
Defensive Head Coaches
KC Keeler – Delaware & Sam Houston
Willie Fritz – Sam Houston State
Craig Bohl – NDSU
Chris Klieman -NDSU
Brock Spack -ISU
Mike Houston – JMU
Bo Pelini – YSU*
John Stiegelmeier -SDSU
Matt Entz- NDSU
Total Games coached by defensive coach: 17 Titles won: 10
*Fired from team
2021 Quarterfinal Teams
Defensive Head Coaches
Bobby Hauck – Montana
Matt Entz – NDSU
John Stiegelmeir – SDSU
KC Keeler –SHSU
Offensive Head Coaches
Randy Sanders – ETSU
Mark Ferrante – Villanova
Brent Vigen – Montana State
Curt Cignetti – JMU
First round Playoff teams
Offensive Head Coaches
Eric Morris – UIW
Jason Simpson – UTM
Bobby Petrino – Mizzu State
Bob Chesney – Holy Cross
Dan Hawkins – UC Davis
Willie Simmons – FAMU
Frank Scelfo – SLU
Aaron Best – EWU
Scott Abell – Davidson
Brian Bohannon – KSU
Nick Hill – SIU
Defensive Head Coaches
Colby Carthel – SFA
Mark Nofri – Sacred Heart
Mark Farley – UNI
Bob Nielson – South Dakota
Bob Stieglemeir – SDSU
Offensive Head Coaches:
Curt Cignetti – #3 JMU
Troy Taylor- #4 Sac State
Mark Ferrante – #5Villanova
Randy Sanders – #7ETSU
Brent Vigen – #8 MSU
Defensive Head Coaches:
KC Keeler – #1 SHSU
Matt Entz – #2 NDSU
Bobby Hauck – #6 Montana
In round 2 of the playoffs defensive coaches went 4-0 vs offensive coaches.
What about Big Sky Titles since 2010?
Offensive Head Coaches:
Troy Taylor – Sac State
Aaron Best – EWU
Beau Baldwin EWU
Tim Walsh – Cal Poly
Dan Hawkins – UC Davis
Rob Ash – MSU
Titles won: 12
Defensive Head Coaches:
Jay Hill – Weber
Ed Lamb – SUU
Demario Warren –SUU
Bubba Schweigert – UND
Titles won: 7
-Reminder we sometimes have shared titles 😦
While Jarring remember, without Baldwins wins offensive coaches have also only won 7. Then remember guys like Tim Walsh & Rob Ash were fired eventually. While guys like Bubba Scheigwert & Jay Hill are still coaching and had playoff teams just last season.
It has been 12 days since the news broke about Paul Petrino being let go. Now we get to experience that joy you hope to only experience a few times in your life, the hunt for Head Ball Coach.
We know some people have been Panicking on the timing. Big Schools like USC and LSU have named new head coaches, group of 5 schools like New Mexico State have announced big hires, heck even Jacksonville State of the FCS made a splash hire recently. Yet Idaho remains on the sidelines or at least their cards close to the chest.
I think I speak for most vandals when I say I am willing to wait if the hire is right. Maybe it is an individual from a winning staff that is in playoff race (FBS or FCS…) As a recruiting guy this all does make me nervous with Early Signing day, which might as well just be called regular signing day at this point, only 17 days away. But as I saw someone on twitter say. “What’s more important missing on one class or missing on the next head coach?”
In times like these I guess I will live by the age old sang “Good things come to those that wait” and “Patience is a virtue.”
But, man is it hard. So the team here at Tubs At The Club compiled our own shortlists of our top 5 prospects. Note we don’t have any insight right now. This is strictly just a list of the 5 guys we want to see be the next Head Ball Coach
Rank | Coach Name | Points (First Place Vote)
Beau Baldwin 10 (2)
Andy Thompson 7 (1)
Jeff Choate 6
Joel Thomas 4
Bodie Reeder 4
Danny Rocco 4
Ed Lamb 4
Ian Shoemaker 3
Rod Chance 2
Scott Linehan 1
Producer Dammer wants it noted his original list was 1-5 anybody but Linehan.
Due to editors choice Martens scores werent included for making our top 10 until he has confirmed interest from Jon Newlees for the opening.
The time has come for Idaho to start a coaching search for the first time since October 21, 2012. The Athletic Director at the time, Rob Spear, dismissed coach Robb Akey after a 70-28 loss in Ruston, LA, to former WAC conference-mate Lousiana Tech. Washington State QB legend Jason Gesser was named the interim for the remaining four games. After a 43-day search, Paul Petrino was hired on December 3, 2012. At the time of his firing, Petrino was making $446,214.40 a year, tops of the FCS. Idaho is not likely to pay the next guy the same figure, but you can bet your bottom dollar this is a Top 10 job in the FCS and will pay like it.
Attached is my shortlist in order of who I want as coach. I have done days of research on my own for this topic, consulted with Tubs at the Club contributors, folks around the Big Sky, AllVandals.com, and former players to create MY list of 15 realistic candidates for our vacancy.
Have To Call: Make Them Say No
Jeff Choate | Co-Defensive Coordinated – Texas
To outsiders, this one makes no sense. Choate just left Montana State, a top 5 FCS job, to be a co-Defensive Coordinator at Texas. But bear with us: on our show Colter Nuanez of Skyline Sports sort of hinted at it. From St. Maries, Idaho, about 66 miles north of Moscow. He grew up a Vandal fan and loved “The Kamiah Kid” Ken Hobart. It is rumored a major reason he left Montana State was due to Big Sky canceling fall football in 2020 and it gave him too much time to think and not coach.
Choate mentioned in his exit presser he just “likes building things.” He could be bored being back to an assistant. Also, Texas is not having a fantastic season. Either way, Idaho would have to be okay with him having an exit strategy. He wants a job at Washington, Washington State, or Boise State. This will eat some people up. But it does get him in a region where at least WSU, Washington, and BSU become more likely. If Choate can replicate what he did at Montana State at Idaho, he will get one of those jobs.
Choate is also the most likely to say “no thank you” of this lot. But you have to call and make him say no. Like Colter said on our show, childhood rooting interests are “sometimes hard to shake.”
Beau Baldwin | Head Coach – Cal Poly
Idaho has to give Beau Baldwin a call, if not just to please the donors or a few local podcasters. Baldwin is the head coach at Cal Poly, where he’s rumored to make around $250,000–a number Idaho should be able to beat. After taking over for Paul Wulff at Eastern Washington in 2008, Baldwin won a national title in his third season in 2010. He left EWU after nine seasons in 2017 with an 85-32 record and six playoff appearances.
Baldwin left EWU to become Cal’s offensive coordinator. Needless to say, he struggled. Baldwin returned to the Big Sky in 2020 to revamp Cal Poly, where he’s also struggled (1 conference win in 2 seasons*). Which was expected when working a triple-option team to a spread offense. Although Geoff Collins at Georgia Tech sure is struggling a lot less, with five ACC wins in his first two seasons.
Doug Nussmeier | QB Coach – Dallas Cowboys
Doug Nussmeier is a former Vandal legend and 4th round NFL draft pick with more experience than Idaho would even know what to do with. Nussmeier’s stops include Michigan State, Fresno State (OC), Washington (OC), Alabama (OC), Michigan (OC), Florida (OC), and the Dallas Cowboys (QB coach), though never as head coach.
He is from the Northwest but is a southern boy at his core. With his son committed to LSU, I think he stays down south. Unless we get a little McCaffery ball going here and Doug becomes HC and 4 star QB Garret Nussmeier transfers from LSU for Daddy Ball 2.0. Garret Nussmeier has only played in 3 games as a true freshman, meaning he could start as a true freshman next year. With McCoy and Jordan on Idaho’s roster, that does not seem necessary, but hey, the last four years are proof you can never have too many quarterbacks.
Scott Linehan | Offensive Analyst – Missouri
Stop me when this one sounds familiar. Vandal QB legend from the northwest. Has coached at UNLV, Idaho(OC), Washington (OC), Louisville (OC), Minnesota Vikings (OC), Miami Dolphins(OC), St. Louis Rams (HC), Detroit Lions (OC), Dallas Cowboys(OC), LSU (OC) and Missouri.
Really the only difference between Scott and Nussmeier is Scott was a NFL head coach and an interim HC in the NFL. You would also imagine he brings in Matt Linehan to coach. Another version of daddy ball most vandals I imagine would be excited about.
My reservations on this hire are until 2020 he hadn’t been in the college game since 2001, and since 2020 well his offenses have not looked fantastic.
Hard to deny the excitement that he would spark back into the program. Plus having Matt back on the sideline maybe my favorite part of this move.
Nick Rolovich | Fired Head Coach – Washington State
Covid will be a thing of the past, or so I choose to believe. If guys like Art Briles, Urban Meyer, and Hugh Freeze, got new jobs, then you better believe someone is going to give Nick Rolovich an opportunity. The policy leading to his forced termination across the border is currently not a policy in Idaho. Meaning he is legally able to be hired, you come to your own moral conclusions.
The Hawaii Rainbow Warrior would be a good fit. Most Vandal fans want an offensive mind and his Run & Gun offensive is that. He has spent the entirety of his career in the west. He is 33-33 as a head coach at traditionally hard places to win (WSU 5-6, UH 28-27). This may make you question this decision a bit, but he took over Hawaii from Norm Chow who went 10-36 in 4 years. Nick has 4 .500 or better seasons in his 6 years of coaching.
He is confirmed to have been to at least 2 Vandal games while on the Palouse. He is a weirdo in the best way, where he may find an opportunity to coach in the Kibbie Dome as cool. Plus man CJ Jordan would be so fun to watch in this system.
Troy Taylor | Head Coach – Sacramento State
It is hard to not notice what Troy has accomplished with the Hornets. He will have led Sac State to two playoff appearances and two Big Sky titles in his first two seasons. The team had only had 2 seasons with more than 2 wins in the previous 5, and had never been to the FCS playoffs. Troy fixed that for the tune of back-to-back Big Sky Titles (in a season in which they participated).
He is a great example of Vandal fans needing to change their mentality on “Can’t afford” or “Who would come here.” He Currently is making $240,000 a year. He was the Offensive Coordinator at Utah making $525,000 a year, a 46% paycut. While I think we could and should be able to beat his salary. He signed a 7-year contract and with current performance metrics, he is making closer to $340,000 a year. The contract we would have to offer and the buyout for the remaining 5 years maybe too much of a burden after the very un-team-friendly deal we just go over. But should make people realize hiring a power 5 coordinator is a very real possibility. So kick that notion out of your head.
Top 15 Canidates: Realistic Candiates
15. Eti Ena | AHC/Defensive Coordinator – EWU
Eastern Washington is known for their high-powered offense, but the reason they are constantly a top-flight side and appeared in the 2018 National Title game, is an overshadowed defense. Now the Stats may not back that claim but when your offense scores so much that you are always on the field. Ena has been Defensive Coordinator since 2019 after coaching the defensive line the 3 seasons previous. He has coached a number of All-Big Sky linemen.
Eastern Washington is his Alma Mater, but he also coached the defensive line with Robb Akey from 2009-2012. Meaning he coached the likes of NFL Veteran Benson Mayowa and others in the 2009 Humanitarian Bowl. I know some Vandals are wary of Vandal retreads, especially from staffs that were canned. I think you will find our defensive line was not a problem while Ena was here.
Ena has also spent time at Cal Poly as a defensive line coach. Making his resume read 4 years as a Vandal, 7 years in the Big Sky, and 1 year under Beau Baldwin in 2016, for all the Baldwin fanboys out there. I cannot find the Eastern Washington assistant coach’s salaries or salary pool but one would imagine the head job at Idaho would be a hefty pay raise. He is still young only graduating from EWU in 2005. Could he bring a few more Vandal rings to compliment the 09 humanitarian bowl ring on his finger?
14. Alfred Pupunu | Former TE Coach | Colorado
Alfred Pupunu is not a name I’ve seen thrown around much. But brings much of what Vandal fans are looking for. Had an 8-year career in the NFL including a 1994 Super Bowl appearance. He would bring that NFL presence and really help in recruiting as he would command a room over some other Big Sky coaches. Also seems like the kind of guy that would keep a gem like Luther Ellis on staff. He is a Big Sky guy at his core too. Pupunus’ Alma Mater is Weber State. One of his coaches back in 1992 when he was playing?… Former Idaho headman Robb Akey. It should come as no surprise he was hired by Robb in 2010 as TEs Coach. For what it’s worth he was held in high enough regard he was retained on the staff when Paul Petrino got the job. He continued to coach at Idaho until after the 2016 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl win.
Meaning he coached All-Decade team TEs Trent “Buck” Cowan & Deon Watson, Vandal greats like Daniel Hardy and Taylor Elmo.
He wasn’t just given the job out of charity by Akey. He worked under Kyle Wittingham at Utah for 2 years and in 2008 worked on Ed Lambs’ original staff at Southern Utah where the Thunderbirds got turned around and won a conference championship twice and made playoffs twice as well.
After Idaho, he went to coach TEs at his Alma mater for two seasons where they won two Big Sky Titles before moving on to Colorado under new coach Mel Tucker. He did not make the move to Michigan State with Mel and was not retained by the Current Colorado coach so is currently unemployed.
13. Conor Riley | OL Coach – Kansas State
The first name on the list with zero ties to Idaho.
Riley has 8 years of FCS coaching experience. In 2011-2012 he coached Sacramento states offensive line. Where the offensive started to see improvements to 6th and 7th in the conferences from bottom years. Sac States offensive line improvements were noticed, his next stop would be TE and FB coach for North Dakota State.
He would coach North Dakota States TE’s for only one season before moving back to the offensive line. Where between the years of 2014 and 2016 he would coach 6 All-Americans. Believe it or not, NDSU had only had 1 All-American on the line before Riley.
He would receive a promotion to OL/ run game coordinator in 2017. Where he would coach 3 more All-American offensive lineman and RBs. He ended up putting a few dudes in the NFL. Including a former walk-on and winning 4 National Titles.
He would follow coach Klieman to Kansas State. In his first year, 4 of his Offensive Lineman received All-Big 12 honors. In 2020 with completely new starters K-State ranked 22nd in the nation for sacks allowed.
Riley probably deserves to be ranked higher on this list but he had very little coaching outside of the Midwest. Riley is from Omaha, played at Omaha, Riley coached for 18 years, 16 years of which are in Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota and North Dakota. Giving me some reservations on his ability to recruit the Intermountain region and Pacific Northwest states. But Craig Bohl and Brent Vigen have proven it is possible.
12. Matthew Powledge | Safties/Special Teams – Baylor
This is what I would call “Gambling on the next Jeff Choate or Bobby Hauck.” Both of these Big Sky coaches came from a power 5 program. Coaching position groups and were in charge of special teams. Powledge could be a young version of these two.
Powledges’ Alma Mater is Sam Houston State, graduating in 2009. Before getting a master’s degree in sports management from Southeastern Louisiana in 2011. He started his coaching career at Kentucky, Southeastern Louisiana and Northwestern State. Before returning to Sam Houston State as special teams coordinator.
He got picked up by the University of Louisiana Monroe in 2016 to coach TEs and Special teams. He got to experience the Kibbie Dome in 2017 for Vandal win, 31-23. During his time at ULM, he went 0-2 vs Idaho. He then moved on to the University of Louisiana to coach for 2 seasons. Coaching 6 All-Sun Belt players. Before arriving at his current role at Baylor.
This would be an outside the box hire. Get a young up-and-comer with some FCS, G5, and P5 experience.
11. Byron Hout | Defensive Line – Idaho State
I know, I know. He went to Boise State and is most famous for a right hook to the jaw where he may or may not have lost a tooth (sure looks like it on tv), and yes it maybe one of my favorite .gifs. I think there is something there. He comes from the Jeff Choate coaching tree (odd to say he has a tree).
But hear me out. He is from Coeur d’Alene, so would know how to recruit Idaho, Eastern Washington and, Western Montana. Something we haven’t done well since the early 90s… Weird we were winning then. He played at Boise State from 2008 to 2011. He got to see how to build and run a successful program in Idaho. Under arguably the 2nd most successful coach to ever coach in the state (behind Dennis Erickson of course, who he has probably met in Coeur d’Alene). He then spent a year as a GA under Mike Leach at Washington State. Getting to see the foundation to a successful rebuild on the Palouse. He went back to Boise for 1 year under Chris Peterson, and 2 years with Brian Harsin.
Leading to his signing as a full-time coach in 2016 under Jeff Choate. Where he coached 6 All-Conference Defensive Lineman at Montana State. In July he moved to Idaho State and received high praise from Montana State staff even after his departure. He lacks head coach experience and his Idaho State defense is not looking very good. However, this could be a diamond in the rough type of hire.
10. Matt Mumme | Offensive Coordinator/QB Coach – Nevada
A disciple of his father Hal Mumme and Mike Leach. Matt has some FCS and head coaching experience to pair with an impressive Offensive coordinator resume.
After his playing days at Kentucky he took the QB coach position while receiving his masters at FCS side Southeastern Louisiana. At that time SELA was restarting their program and in its first season, they won 5 games. The success continued in year 2 as they won 7 games. Eventually leading to the Mummes moving on to New Mexico State University. Where success would be a string of 4 win seasons. But for a team that was used to winning one or none, it was a step in the right direction. Matt was co-offensive coordinator for the Aggies during these years. He would end up going 1-3 vs the Mighty Vandals.
He would then follow his dad again to McMurray a DIII level program that was once again used to none or one wins a season. In his two seasons there they were able to win 10 games. In 2011 Matt stepped out on his own for the first time. While Hal stayed at McMurray, Matt moved on to be the offensive coordinator of FCS side Davison. Two years later getting his first Head Coach position at DIII side LaGrande. He spent 4 years at the perennially bad private school before starting his current role as OC at Nevada.
When he arrived on Jay Norvells staff. Nevada had struggled under every coach not named Chris Ault. They now have been to 4 straight bowl games and threaten to win the conference every year. QB Carson Strong could be a day 1 draft pick and the Wolfpack are a consistent top 25 offense under Mumme.
One can hope he has learned some lesson from his former head coaching gig and from his father and could be an amazing hire. Nevada once stole Chris Tormey from us, let’s return the favor.
Another young coach to look at. Willy Korn is an up-and-coming coach.
He played for Dabo Swinney at Clemson before starting his coaching career in 2013 at FCS side Charleston Southern. He coached WRs and was recruiting coordinator for the Buccaneers. During his 4 years, they made it to the FCS playoffs twice. For the program’s only two appearances ever in the FCS playoffs. Korn would then leave with Coach Jamey Chadwell to Coastal Carolina where the success has continued, including winning the Sun Belt last season and even making a run at the College Football Playoff.
He has coached freshman of the year QB Grayson McCall and 5 All-Americans.
Korn is solely in charge of the passing game and Coastal Carolina has been one of the most proficient passing attacks in the nation since Korns promotion to offensive coordinator.
The things working against Korn is he has never really left the Carolinas, has no head coaching experience, and with Coastals success he may have higher profile opportunities come to this off-season himself or the ability to follow Chadwell if he gets a P5 job and/or take over Coastal.
8. Andy Thompson | Defensive Coordinator/ LB Coach – Sacramento State
This one will get some of you excited, our first Montana Man on the list. Thompson is a grad of the school in Missoula. He played from 1999-2004. Meaning he won the 2001 national championship and went 3-1 vs the Might Vandals as a player. He played for 3 different coaches (Dennehay, Glenn & Hauck).
After a one-year stint coaching at Eastern Oregon University, he took a job at Northern Arizona and was there for 13 seasons before joining Troy Taylor’s staff at Sac State in 2019. As we covered in the Troy Taylor segment it’s hard not to notice what Sac State has accomplished. From what our friend Colter Nuanez said on our show Troy Taylor runs the team as a business. He is hands-off on the defense. He lets Thompson run the defense.
I am an oddball who believes if you look at all the GREAT coaches, they are defensive-minded. I think it is easier to find a good Offensive Coordinator and pair them with a defensive mind in charge. Think Nick Saban, Bill Belichick, Bill Cowher, Pete Carroll, John Harbaugh, Mike Tomlin, and of course Paul “Bear” Bryant. In fact of all the living active coaches with super bowl wins 9 of the possible 12 super bowl rings are held by defensive coaches. 6 of the possible 10 national championship rings belong to defensive coaches.
Defensive coaches in my opinion are a safer bet. Even when you look at the Big Sky since 2000: Bobby Hauck, Jay Hill, Jeff Choate, Chris Ball, Ed Lamb all the defensive guys, none of them fired. But then you look at offensive coaches and you have the Baldwins and Taylor for sure but you also have Paul Petrino, Bobb Stitt, Robin Pflugrad, Ed McCaffery, Rob Phenecie and Tim Walsh.
Thompson would get me pretty excited.
7. Joel Thomas | RB Coach – New Orleans Saints
The protocol son returns. You would be hard-pressed to find a more beloved Vandal than Mr. Thomas. This is one I was not that hot on, but is growing on me.
Since providing Vandals with one of the greatest moments in Vandal History. He has a quiet, but efficient coaching career. Including a return to Idaho as Offensive Coordinator and RBs coach from 2004 to 2005 under Nick Holt. Where in case you forgot about him he turned an under-recruited nobody freshman named Jayson Bird into an All-Conference caliber RB.
He has had multiple stops as a RBs coach including College and the NFL ranks. He did spend one season as Associate Head Coach for the Washington Huskies. He spent some time with Bret Bielema at Arkansas, Bret Spent time at Wisconsin, with?… You guessed it University of Idaho Athletics Director Terry Gawlik.
At only 46, an alumni and a guy who seems to have never really gotten his coaching shot. He could be a long-term kind of guy. Guys like Elisha Cummings, Nick Romano, and Aundre Carter would THRIVE with this hire. Bring him home!
6. Luther Elliss | DL Coach – Idaho
We have basically witnessed all of Luthers’ coaching experience while at Idaho. He has never had a leadership role by title. Anyone who has been to a game can tell you, he is the energy on the sidelines. This is a huge gamble though. It is a lot like Northern Colorado’s hire of Ed McCaffery. He has some superstar kids, would shoot life into the program, very good NFL career, but only some high school coaching experience.
The other thing to think about is, we have heard he is not interested in being a head coach. If this is true then we better find a way to at least keep him on staff.
This hire would mean Athletic Director Terry Gawliks’ two men’s sports hires would be from previously fired staff. A cringey stat that was provided by Brian Marceau.
5. Inoke Breckterfield | DL Coach – Vanderbilt
Who? Well if you don’t know Breckterfield, better listen on up. I have a hunch he will be involved. The Oregon State Beaver has no ties to Idaho other than one game back in 06 when he was a volunteer coach for the Beavers vs Idaho under Dennis Erickson.
He has coached the defensive line at Oregon State, Weber State, Montana, UCLA, Pittsburg, currently Vanderbilt, but most importantly… yup, Wisconsin. He spent 6 seasons at Wisconsin, 5 of which while Terry Gawlik was in Madison.
I think getting Inoke and having a fresh look at the program, relationship with our AD and I think could be able to keep a guy like Luther on the staff. These two minds together and we would keep our elite front 7.
Even if Luther doesn’t stay, Inoke I think could be huge in sparking this defense to the next level.
I know he isn’t the most exciting hire, but I think he is the type of guy Gawlik will look at and could be a real gem.
4. Ed Lamb | Assistant Head Coach/ST – BYU
Ed Lamb is the man responsible for the build of Southern Utah from Great West cellar dweller, to conference champions in 3 seasons. Then saw them through the transition to the Big Sky making the playoffs twice and winning the conference once. Then leaving Demario Warren (current coach) the keys to a team that won the championship again after he left. Then his players cycled out and Southern Utah is 5-24 without them. For perspective, with Ed Lamb they went 24-24 (one bad 3 win season) and with Warren 16-18 (one 1 win season with only his seniors left).
Ed Lamb is off the Jim Harbough tree. Served as assistant for Harbaugh at San Diego and used his philosophies when taking over Southern Utah. Though it was Idaho’s own Tom Cable that gave him his first college shot in 2002. Drawing him out of BYU grad assistant with some high school ranks to be DC for the Idaho Vandals in Cables final years. I know this is a bit of a red flag for some, but again this is more of Cables shortfall than it is on Lamb. Cable brought in a 28-year-old high school coach to be a Defensive Coordinator. That is just a gamble on personnel that ultimately led to Cables canning.
Lamb only went on to help San Diego become a powerhouse in Pioneer League. Then the aforementioned stint at Southern Utah, now at BYU as Assistant Head coach has been to 4 bowl games in 5 years and a 6th this season (result pending), not to mention a part of a run at a College Football Playoff appearance in 2020.
His specialty is special teams, which if you haven’t caught on by this point is a common trait amongst successful coaches. His leaving of Southern Utah at its peak rings echoes of Jeff Choate. According to a Desert News Article, he left because he wanted a new challenge. He has spent 6 seasons in Provo and has experienced success. But has yet to move from Assistant Head Coach and Special Team Coordinator. It may just be time for a new challenge and Idaho is that. With a much higher ceiling. Maybe his punter Ryan Rehkow can talk him into it.
3. Derrick Odum | AHC/ Defensive Coordinator – San Jose State
I would be ecstatic if Odum was given the nod. The man is still young but has 21 years of coaching experience. He played his college ball at the University of Utah. Started his coaching career there as well back in 1996.
While he is currently a Defensive Coordinator for one of the greatest rebuilds in the past decade, he cut his coaching chops in the secondary. And where has Idaho been notably weak the past 20 or so years? Let’s fix that.
Like many folks on this list he also has coached at Montana. It was his first position coach job. He would spend the 98 & 99 seasons in Missoula. Never making it to Moscow as the Little Brown Stein was in Missoula that year, and Idaho won it for the last time. It’s not all bad for him against Idaho though as his next job was at Utah State for 3 seasons. In the Aggie/Vandal showdown in 2000 went Odums’ way in Logan, UT.
Odum goes a bit under the radar during this rebuild as the defensive turnaround in San Jose is impressive.
(was) 3. Ian Shoemaker | Offensive Coordinator – Eastern Washington
Well I had a lot to say about this one. Then under mysterious circumstances, he resigned. I decided not to move him up or down. But if you read this far. Spoiler alert this article was written in early November and I was just waiting to post it until the Petrino news was final.
Shoemaker appeared to a really good hire leading one of the best offenses in FCS history, and then he just Gary Anderson’d and resigned midseason.
I’m sure he had his reasons. Just hope he and his family are okay and wishing them the best. Probably out of the running now, pending more information.
2. Brian Lindgren | Offensive Coordinator – Oregon State
I have thrown around our______ (insert coach here). Brian is stacking up to be our Bobby Hauck, Aaron Best, Troy Taylor Type. Alumni-Check and Power 5 Coordinator-Check. Brian would need to probably be okay with a pay cut. His current salary is $500,000. For perspective, Paul Petrino was making $446,214.40. We all expect the next man to make less than Paul did just on basic FBS v FCS finances (bet you thought were done with that dead horse). According to Bestplaces.net adjusted to cost of living $500,000 in Corvallis to Moscow is equivalent to making $423,623. Meaning if a big booster really wants Lingren, Pauls’ current salary in essence is a raise. But like we touched on coaches like Troy Taylor at Sacramento State took almost a 50% pay cut to be a head coach.
The question will be does Lindgren want to come back? There are a multitude of reasons why he wouldn’t. First and foremost taking a job at your Alma Mater is a risky decision. An up and coming coach young coach I know from Idaho said he would probably never want to coach at Idaho. Look what happened to Tom Cable! Everyone loved Cable, then he coaches at Idaho and he is blamed for the beginning of the end of our FBS run. It is not just an Idaho thing either look at Paul Wulff across the border at Washington State. Coaching at your Alma Mater can be highly rewarding but can also really tamper your relationship with the institution. Another reason is to not take the Idaho job is sadly Lingren is young and will have many opportunities in his future, and FCS jobs are no longer a stepping stone. Beau Baldwin couldn’t get more than a sniff at Pac-12 Coordinator (which Lingren currently is) Craig Bohl built NDSU and won multiple National Title in a row and the best he could get was head coach at Wyoming. Jay Hill made a traditionally irrelevant program in Weber State relevant on a national level. Even he can’t get a look from a terrible Utah State job. Let’s not even get started on Jeff Choate getting a Co-coordinator position, not even full coordinator. Unless you are at or towards the end of your career in terms of wanting a big job (Taylor, Hauck etc) it doesn’t make sense to leave the power 5 coordinator position to grind it out in FCS.
1. Rod Chance | DB Coach – Oregon
The Myth, the man the legend. The guy I want to helm this rebuild to FCS powerhouse and FBS expansion candidate.
An alumnus of the FCS and 4-year letter winner in his playing days at Rhode Island. He started coaching the DBs at Rhode Island before moving on to Vanderbilt, before becoming the defensive coordinator at Southern Utah 2 years when they won the Big Sky. He then moved to Minnesota and Oregon now.
I know a lot of people want a coordinator or someone with head coaching experience. I think his previous stint as a coordinator, his youth, and his energy is enough. He can sure up our secondary and continue our defensive prowess. Look, like it or not the Big Sky is rapidly becoming a defensive conference.
Who knows it never hurts to get an Oregon guy as sometimes Nike support follows. Look no further than UNLV that hired an Oregon guy and then got brand new jerseys. Not saying you hire someone for this, but won’t complain if it were to happen.
In my opinion, Rod takes a top 10 job in the FCS and leaves with it as a top 4 job in the FCS.
Honorable Mentions: Kent Baer, Stanely Franks, Kirbie Moore
*** As always I”m not an journalist so, take your gramatical error comments, & put them in a beg some-Where. Hope you enjoyed the content regarless if you maid it too dis disclaimer -CH
The University of Idaho has a new stunning arena on campus. It is the campuses first basketball-specific facility in the University’s 132 year history. It was built with wood from the University’s experimental forest on Moscow Mountain and utilized only in-state timber and wood companies to complete its construction.
The final product is beautiful. But where does it rank in the Big Sky Conference? Hell, where does it rank out west? Former Athletic Director Rob Spear was convinced we were passed over for the Mountain West in 2013 was not football, but rather our lack of a basketball facility. Playing almost all of our non-conference games in a gym that is a memorial to the first world war and later moving into a football facility that tried to be an intimate basketball setting, and simply fell short more than it succeeded.
Did we just build something to get in the game? or did we build something special! To raise the bar! To be the envy of many!
Lets start by ranking all 11 basketball arenas in the Big Sky Conference.
11. Hornets Nest | Sacramento State
Built: 1955 Capacity: 1,012
10. Walkup Skydome | Northern Arizona
Built:1975 Renovated: 2011 Capacity: 16,230
T8. Brick Breeden Fieldhouse | Montana State
Built: 1957 Renovated 1998, 2013 Capacity:8,455
T8. Reed Gym | Idaho State
Built: 1951 Renovated: 2002,2010 Capacity:3,214
T6. Bank of Colorado Arena | Northern Colorado
Built 1974 Renovated 2006, 2011 Capacity: 2,992
T6. Reese Court | Eastern Washington
Built: 1975 Capacity: 6,000
5. America First Event Center | Southern Utah
Built: 1985 Capacity 5,300
4. Dee Event Center | Weber State
Built: 1975 Capacity: 11,592
3. Dahlberg Arena | Montana
Built: 1953 Renovated: 1999 Capacity: 7,321
2. Peter W. Stott Athletic Complex/Viking Pavilion | Portland State