Idaho Vandals Shortlist for Head Coach

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.”

Associate Press Michael Thomas

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.

Cal Athletics

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.

Dec 9, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys tight ends coach Doug Nussmeier signals from the sidelines during the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Getty Images Leon Halip

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.

Krem2 Brenna Greene

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.

Cal State Sacramento University Athletics

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.

Photo via SkylineSportsMT.com

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.

9. Willy Korn | Co-Offensive Coordinator/QB Coach – Coastal Carolina

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!

Photo Courtsey New Orleans Saints

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.

#ChanceOnChance

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 

😉

Idaho Preps With FCS Potential

Big Sky Recruiting of The State of Idaho

The State of Idaho has been steadily growing as a High School Football recruiting ground for College Football. Idaho has produced some phenomenal FBS talents in recent times like Taysom Hill, Leighton Vander Esch, Shea McClellin, Taylor Kelly and Tanner Mangum. We also just had a guy like Jonah Elliss out of Moscow High be highly recruited and looks to possibly be the next NFL guy from the state of Idaho.

But for everyone of those guys, there are so many talented individuals coming from Idaho. I worked with Justin Jackson, the founder of Rare Academy ID, to identify some guys that have FCS potential. Even a few I was cautious to post about. According to Justin, there are some SERIOUS sleepers in this years class.

Big Sky schools are starting to notice the talent in the state as well. There are 72 players from the state currently on a Big Sky roster for the 21-22 season. Maybe the more important stat, the blue bloods of the conference have taken notice.

Big Sky Schools # of Idaho Players
Cal Poly0
Eastern Washington2
Idaho19
Idaho State29
Montana4
Montana State6
Northern Arizona0
Northern Colorado0
Sacramento State0
Southern Utah0
UC Davis1
Weber State11
TOTAL72

Weber State has won the Big Sky 4 years in a row now and in 2019 made the FCS semi-finals. They have 11 players from the State of Idaho. This includes 2x All-Conference and current Preseason All-Conference Junior George Taralas from Borah High in Boise.

Montana State also has dipped their toe in the Idaho waters when head coach Jeff Choate was at the helm. The St. Maries kid and former BSU assistant knew the gems in the gem state. Tucker Rovig of Mountain View led them under center to the semi-finals of the 2019 FCS Playoffs.

Another former Bronco, UC Davis head ball coach Dan Hawkins has been recruiting the Treasure Valley pretty heavy since taking the helm for the Aggies. He may not have won many of the recruiting battles, but he offers a healthy amount of Idaho kids.

FCS PROSPECTS

Over the course of a couple phone calls and a few of the RARE Academy Idaho camps we has compiled a list of guys in the state that are FCS Prospects.

RARE Academy Idaho is an all-year training academy for kids throughout the whole state. This is not only physical training, but they do alot to help with the mental side of being an athlete and making the move to the college environment. Like many of you, Justin and his team see the potential growing in this State and just want to help these kids get the offers they are capable of. Then have the tools to succeed physically and mentally once on campus.

If you have never checked them out, you should. Its more of a have to see it to believe it. What they do for recruits in this State is amazing and one of a kind. They are only going to continue to grow and help your sons, nephews, neighbors be recognized and preforming at their peak.

The have a staff of former FBS players including Idahos own Brady Strodtbeck who cleared holes for Vandal running backs during the 2016 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

Some are borderline FBS guys, others could be PWO/D2 type guys. But this is the crop of dudes to keep your eye on and go see if their team is in your area this season.

PlayerPositionSchool
Davis ThackerWRMeridian
Ethan MikitaWREagle
Kade ThompsonWRRocky Mountain
Trais HigginsWRNampa
Ethan CastilloWRCapital
Garret LavinWRTimberline
Jackson MasonWRRocky Mountain
Gavin CappsWRJerome
Fisher ClementsTEMt.View
Isaiah SawyerTEMt. View
Will VailTEMelba
Gage JonesSEagle
Adam BallRBSt. Regis
Cross AntonnacchiRBMeridian
Taylor MarcumRBTimberline
Brett SpencerQB Weiser
Tiger AdolphoQBRigby
Carter FortinQBCole Valley
Malakai MartinezQBMeridian
Kaimen PeeblesQBSouth Freemont
Owen ToledoOLRocky Mountain
Gunnar ClarkOLMountain Home
Talin TogiaiOLRigby
Seth KnotheLBBishop Kelly
Caden KelleyLBRocky Mountain
AJ EdwardsLBRocky Mountain
Garrett McKennaLBMountain View
Jackson BergerLBCDA
AJ EdwardsLBRocky Mountain
Landyn YoungDLRocky Mountain
Liam ReevesDLTimberline
Jaxson WashingtonDLCDA
Deion TawzerDLRigby
Charles JudyDLSkyview
Jackson BeckDLMountain View
Aiden WhippleDLMountain View
Zachary ClarkDBPost Falls
Alameen AbimdolaDBMountain View
Casey CopeATHVallivue
Tao JohnsonATHThunder Ridge

There is loads of talent on this list. But there are a couple guys I want to highlight. Particularly in terms of Idaho going after them. I’m going to spotlight a few in no particular order.

Adam Ball 6’0 200lbs RB #17 St. Regis

I know this could be looked at as cheating since St.Regis the town is technically in Montana. But it is a border town and Adam is attending the RARE Academy Idaho showcases. He is not just attending, he is preforming. When Justin talks about this kid, you hear it in his voice. He is something special. He is the reason something like RARE exists.

If there is one name to take away from this piece. It is Adam Ball. Justin speaks so highly of this guy I am planning on attending a St. Regis game in person this season. (Scroll down for a list of MUST catch games this fall). Ball has been a standout at every event and is still under the radar. Almost, so much so, I just wanted to leave him off the list and just text our coaches about offering this kid. I just couldn’t not mention him, he deserves the recognition and WILL BE the steal of this class.

Davis Thacker 6’3 205lbs WR # 6 Meridian

Davis is the brother of Damen Thacker who just started 23 games for the Vandal hoops team. We know Paul Petrino is always talking about “family”. He loves recruiting sons, brothers, nephews of coaches, former players etc. Damen Thacker did transfer out and was apart of a different athletics program, but this is a move I would not be surprised to see our athletic department make.

Davis currently does not have any offers.

Taylor Marcum 6’0 185lbs RB #21 Timberline

If you follow prep football, this one is obvious. Taylor Marcum is one of the highly recruited guys in the state. In fact on July 18th he committed to Montana State. But, we have seen recently verbals change before NSD. He has an offer from the Vandals and Idaho is building a bit of a pedigree of giving in-state RBs playing time. Lets not forget the first play of the 2019 season against Penn State, Paul put in true freshman Nick Romano RB from Rocky Mountain and threw the ball to him. He is not afraid to say RBs from the state of Idaho are big time.

Garret Lavin 6’1 180lbs WR #19 Timberline

Yes, back to back Timberline guys. But, me myself, I am a Timberline guy. “The strength of the pack is the wolf and the strength of the wolf is the pack.”

Garrett is another legacy type guy. He comes from a Vandal family and just a guy I would love to see be given a shot. Even if our receiver room is getting crowded.

He does not currently have any offers.

Gage Jones 6’1 185lbs DB Eagle

Likely the best defensive back in the State, Gage is poised to have one heck of a season. With a few seasons now of poor secondary play. Getting this local stud would go along way to sure up the backend.

Jaxson Washington 6’1 260lbs DL #78 Couer D Alene

The kid is just one of those grinders. He has got a gym in the garage at home and from looks of it has spent some time with his second cousin Washington States star RB Max Borghi. He also is a very good wrestler, which is a extra bonus in a lineman. He also won the RARE Showcases events top 6 lineman honors.

The Vikes have put out loads of division one talent in the past decade. It is a program you trust. Our defensive line isn’t getting any younger. We should be looking to add 2 to 3 guys on the line in this class.

He currently has 3 offers from a few NAIA and such schools, some sort of offer from the Bengals in Pocatello. But looks to be getting looks from and Montana. His father is a former walk-on and they are a big Griz Family. They have been exposed to the Vandals and we could get him, but if Montana offers (especially before us) it would be hard to win this recruiting battle.

Malakai Martinez 6’0 180lbs QB #3 Meridian

Maybe a bit under the radar until recently. He is starting to show-up everywhere. He was one of if not the first QB Justin gave me. Then on August 8th he was announced the 6th best QB in The Northwest 9 the QB camp former guest of the podcast Taylor Barton runs.

Right now has no offers, I know Idaho has brought in the likes of CJ Jordan, Gevani McCoy and MacCloud Crowton. But you can never have too many QBs.

Hayden Klincheloe 5’10 215lb RB #23 Homedale

This one is a me pick. I watched Hayden in 3A state semis and final last season. He was hard not to notice. I turned to my friend I was in attendance with and said “this is the type of kid Idaho needs to offer.” I later learn he comes from a deep vandal family.

Feedback I got throught the grapevine is his speed is a concern. Well, if you can’t tackle him it doesn’t really matter does it?!

Hayden Klincheloe in State Playoffs Photo By: Chris Hammond

Games To Catch FCS Talent

For some of you football nuts out there, you want to catch these guys before they may suit up for or against the silver and gold in the coming years. I compiled a list of games to catch to watch some of this FCS talent under friday night lights around this beautiful state.

Week 1

Treasure Valley

Mountain View vs Meridian – Meridian,ID (Mountain View, HS)

  • 9 possible FCS guys

Capital vs Nampa – Boise, ID (Donnar Larson Park)

  • 1 Possible FCS guy

Eagle vs Bishop Kelly – Boise, ID (Bishop Kelly HS)

  • 3 possible FCS guys

Magic Valley

Buhl vs Weiser – Buhl, ID

  • 1 Possible FCS guy

Twin Falls vs Vallivue – Twin Falls, ID

  • 1 Possible FCS guy

Week 2

Spokane-CDA Area

Lakeside vs St. Regis – Plummer, ID

  • 1 Possible FCS STUD

Treasure Valley

Rocky Mountain vs Mountain View – Meridian, ID (Rocky Mountain HS)

  • 13 Possible FCS guys

Nampa vs Skyview – Nampa, ID (Skyview HS)

  • 3 Possible FCS guys

Idaho Falls

Rigby vs Post Falls – Rigby, ID

  • 5 Possible FCS guys

Week 3

Spokane-CDA Area

Koontenai vs St.Regis – Harrison, ID

  • 1 possible FCS STUD

Treasure Valley

Rocky Mountain vs Meridian – Meridian, ID (Rocky Mountai HS)

  • 11 Possible FCS guys

Week 4

Spokane-CDA Area

Clark Fork vs St. Regis – Clark Fork, ID

  • 1 Possible FCS STUD

Post Falls vs Mount Si (WA) – Post Falls, ID

  • 2 Possible FCS guys

Magic Valley

Thunder Ridge vs Rigby – Twin Falls (Thunder Ridge HS)

  • 4 Possible FCS guys

Week 5

Treasure Valley

Skyview vs Rocky Mountain – Nampa, ID

  • 10 Possible FCS guys

Melba vs Cole Valley – Melba, ID

  • 2 Possible FCS guys

Week 6

Treasure Valley

Eagle vs Timberline – Eagle, ID

  • 5 Possible FCS guys

Meridian v Skyview – Meridian, ID

  • 5 Possible FCS Guys

Week 7

Treasure Valley

Timberline vs Rocky Mountain – Boise, ID (Donna Larson Park)

  • 11 Possible FCS guys

Skyview vs Eagle – Nampa, ID (Skyview HS)

  • 4 Possible FCS guys

Magic Valley

Canyon Ridge vs Mountain Home – Twin Falls (Canyon Ridge HS)

  • 1 Possible FCS guy

Week 8

Treasure Valley

Homedale vs Weiser – Homedale, ID

  • 2 Possible FCS guys

Vallivue vs Bishop Kelly – Caldwell, ID (Vallivue HS)

  • 2 Possible FCS guys

Timberline vs Skyview – Boise, ID (Donna Larson Park)

  • 5 Possible FCS guys

Spokane-CDA

Coeur d’Alene v Post Falls – Coeur d’Alene, ID

  • 4 Possible FCS guys

Idaho Falls

Sugar-Salem vs South Fremont – Sugar City, ID

Week 9

Treasure Valley

Rocky Mountain vs Meridian – Meridian, ID (Rocky Mountain HS)

  • 11 Possible FCS guys

*** 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 

😉