Petersen, Akey, Hill among coaches rumored for other positions

Brian Murphy

The coaching carousel has begun. It is officially rumor mill season in college football.

UNLV: Idaho coach Robb Akey and former Boise State coach Dirk Koetter are among the names that are being thrown around at UNLV, which fired Mike Sanford. Fresno State coach Pat Hill also makes the list. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Dan Hawkins’ name pop up if he is let go at Colorado.

Why would Hill's name come up? Consider he has lost at least two WAC games in every year since becoming the Bulldogs' head coach in 1997. Outside of its first season in the WAC, when Boise State went 6-2 under Hawkins, the Broncos have never lost two league games in a single season.

Notre Dame: Charlie Weis has not been fired yet, but already there is speculation about the next coach in South Bend. Boise State coach Chris Petersen’s name will come up for this job, though I don’t think he is in the top tier of candidates for the position.

Portland State: Jerry Glanville has resigned as the head coach at Portland State. The Oregonian has the story and lists a number of potential candidates, a group that doesn’t include any Boise State assistants.



• The L.A. Times’ national college football writer Chris Dufrense argues that Boise State and TCU have already cracked the BCS and are being treated like major conference teams. We’ll see.

• still thinks the Broncos are going to the Fiesta Bowl. We’ll see. I have no doubt they deserve it over a team like Oklahoma State, but don’t underestimate the power of the connections between bowls and BCS conferences.

• Last word on the Boise State-Idaho game and rivalry. Thought John Blanchette of the Spokesman Review got it got it exactly right.

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Brian Murphy is co-author of "Blue Magic: Boise State's Unlikely Journey to a Fiesta Bowl Win." You can click here to purchase the book.

one point of view....

can't agree with the Blanchette article......basically stating that there is still a large chasm between the talent and athleticism of Idaho vs. BSU. I think what we saw is the the Vandal defense has a long way to go and had it's weaknesses dramatically exposed. I do not feel the same way about the offense, however.

Our ground game was very good. Our passing game was miserable in the hands of a 2nd string quarter back. This means we don't have great depth at QB.....but I really don't think BSU does either. If we had Enderle healthy I really believe it could have been closer. Hard to argue that we wouldn't have lost....b/c of our weak defense....but I don't think it would have been such a blow out. Just my opinion.....and of course I am not the least bit biased. :)


of course you don''re an UI fan afterall. The score tells a different tale however. You had one good running back get a few yards...whooopty doooooo!

Unfortunately...Even as a

Unfortunately...Even as a Vandal fan I have to agree with the article. There is a huge gap. Doesn't mean I don't love my Vandals any less, but the gap is definitely there. To BSU's credit they are pretty much the Yankees of the WAC. They've pumped a ton of money into facilities/coaching/marketing and its paid off for them.

And no doubt Nate would have made a big difference- heck he was the leading passer in the WAC until his injury. But I just don't see how we could have made that game close with our defense. Right now its holding up like a wet paper bag. But kudos to our student athletes for their hard work this year, and despite that game there's still a lot to be excited about as a Vandal. We should hopefully be bowl bound this year, and our recruiting class is shaping up nice...especially in the trenches.

And good luck to BSU the rest of the season...would be nice to see them in a BCS bowl game. They will have earned it if they win out. In the end we're all Idahoans and having two winning programs in our state is a great thing.

A BSU fan perspective on Enderle

Just want to point out Enderle's decision making has been suspect. He may have lead the WAC in yards prior to his injury but up to that point he had only thrown 15 TDs along with 9 picks. This isn't great but it's an improvement. The past two seasons combined he threw 30 TDs and 35 INTs. This season he has improved his TD/INT ratio and his completion percentage. However, in no way at this point is Enderle an elite quarterback. With Boise State's experience and very talented secondary, combined with their solid defensive line, Enderle's impact in the game would have been minimal.

I do believe Enderle has some tools that gives him the potential to be dangerous in the WAC. Just not against a team like Boise State yet. If he keeps improving, the game next year in communist Moscow could be interesting.

Agreed...Enderle is very

Agreed...Enderle is very prone to turn the ball over. He gets us our yards, but he's no where close to Kellen in accuracy and completion %. No argument there.

But by the same token...7 turnovers is not the norm for just about any football game, no matter how good the defense is and how poor the opposing offense is. Idaho didn't take care of the ball. Period. Credit to BSU's DB's (Wilson is a stud) for their excellent play, but some poor throwing decisions certainly helped make that happen.

And again like I said earlier...Enderle still wouldn't have made it close. BSU's offense is too good and Idaho's defense has problems.

Who knows, maybe I'm wrong, but thats my perspective on the whole deal.

This sounds eerily familiar

WAIT! I GOT IT! This is the same excuses we heard for the past year out of Eugene, OR. Would things have been different? Honestly, does it really matter?


Really? Are you serious? Woolridge is a stud but hes a Senior. You guys have no where near the talent the Broncos have. The Broncos recruit so much better and develop players better. The Broncos have lost 2 WAC games since 2002 and your sitting here telling us theres not much difference athletically between the two programs? Akey has done a good job up there this year, but its one year. The Broncos worse record this decade was 8-4 in 2001. You guys might match that. Win a few WAC Titles and its a more interesting argument.

Idaho's run game

besides the bronco game plan was to allow you to run but not allow you to throw deep passes which has been Idaho's M.O

Coaching 'rumors' are just that ... rumors!

I love coach Petersen but he's not going to Notre Dame. Sorry. Don't you think the 'elite' programs will be considering how Dirk Koetter and Dan Hawkins did after compiling huge winning percentages at Boise State? As we all know now, Koetter barely won 50% of his games at ASU before being canned and Hawkins is far, far below 50% at Colorado and just might be fired after this year too! Granted, Petersen is another guy and should be judged on his own but Koetter and Hawkins didn't help him one bit. Now, I personally think Petersen would be crazed to take any other job WITH THE EXCEPTION of Notre Dame. Notre Dame IS college football (or it was). Just he history alone sets it far and above any other coaching job. But with that job comes sometimes unbearable pressure and I'm not sure Petersen wants that kind of pressure and expections. He doesn't impress me as that kind of guy. I personally think he's the kind of guy that just might be perfectly happy making a million plus a year and living in Boise, Idaho where is is loved and honored -- but not to worry, Notre Dame may put him on a short list but that jobs going to someone else. (Like Brian Kelly)

Akey? Well sorry Vandal fans, he's gone. He'll take ANY job offered because very frankly the Idaho head coaching job is near the very bottom in the country (I am really sorry about that -- but it's just a fact) UNLV for Akey? Sure!! He'll make 5 times the money for starters! Bye Rob, it was fun.

Akey shouldn't go.

The mere fact that he has made conference contenders out of the Idaho team is a testament to his coaching skill. But, the reality is that the U of Idaho doesn't have the recruiting that a lot of other teams have. I mean, they have Boise State south of them, and Washington State to the West (being a PAC-10 team does give them better recruiting regardless of how bad WSU is). By this time next year, the Vandals will only have 1 or 2 losses (one to Boise State), and will be in another Bowl game. Akey is doing great things there, but would only leave to increase the level of talent of the available players.

Pretenders, not contenders

Idaho ran up a good conference record early by squeezing past the bottom half of the league. They are 0-3 against the top 3 in the WAC and gave up 164 points in those three losses. They are in no way contenders.

They also caught lightning in a bottle this year and lose a lot of starters. They'll be fortunate to have a winning season next year, let alone have just one or two losses.

........sorry but Akey IS gone. Bye coach.

First of all, recruiting players to Idaho has very little to do with WSU and Boise State. All three schools (including Idaho) recruit the west -- and then some. Granted, BSU has a large number of Idaho players but the majority of those are invited 'walk-on' players who have earned scholarships. That's one thing BSU does very well - invite local players to walk-on. Washington State's roster is filled with players from California as is Boise States' and Idaho has a large number as well. The state of Washington turns out great players (Kellen and Kirby Moore) and the large majority of the Washington players go to Washington or WSU and a few to USC and others. So recruiting really has little to do with the schools location. It has EVERYTHING to do with the sales ablility of the coaches. Sorry, but recruiting is selling. Period. The better staffs recruit the better players. Does the institution matter? Yes and that hurts Idaho and even Boise State but not to the degree that it hurts Idaho. Each program (head coach) develops a 'profile of player' that he wants his staff to recruit. Clearly BSU has a profile of players that fits their system. They've done a great job of finding those key players that fit their style well. Successful programs find players that fit the system. Idaho has been hurt by the revolving door of coaches with each bringing his own profiles of players. Some existing players will fit and some don't. Just look at how many players Washington State lost when they hired their new coach (soon out the door if they don't start to win). A large number of WSU's roster bailed when the new guy showed up. Either the coach didn't think they were going to fit and told them so, or the players didn't think they would fit the new system. Happens all the time.

The Vandals will have more than one or two loses at this time next year. Sorry. It takes new coaches some time to develop their systems and at this time next year a new coach will be putting his together. Bye, bye coach Akey. It's been fun.

liked the spokesman article

i posted this bit earlier but it is worthy of another laugh.
"Then athletic director Rob Spear drew a line in the Tarmac and walked off a Horizon Air plane dolled up in Broncos blue and orange – pique we’ll know is sincere as long as no voucher gets submitted for his mileage to Spokane to catch an alternative flight. But as boycotts go, that’s small potatoes.
Because the Vandals themselves have taken a stand against victory over the Broncos that’s lasted 11 years now, with no end in sight."
petersen to notre dame? not feelin it. why would he do that? prestigious job with massive expectations. in boise he is revered, has done a marvelous job and is on the cusp of history.
akey movin on? probably but i'm not certain unlv would be the place. truth could be stranger than fiction with him replacing erickson at asu. they would probably seek a bigger name. akey may just go back to wsu.

Joe Montana

It wouldn't have mattered if Joe was your QB, the result would have been the same. One descent QB doesn not make a team. Boise State is all team. That is why we are great, that is why we will always be great and that is why Idaho will never win again. NEVER!

never is long time

but i do hope we dominate forever. disclaimer: broncos 81 & bronco 24=no relation. i graduated in 81.

I think if Edward

I think if Edward Scissorhands was quarterback, Pettis would still be able to catch the football. That guys has some amazing hands.


How would Edward Scissorhands being the QB make the ball harder to catch, other than being flat? Dude - set down the bong...

I would hate to be the center though!!

You don't get it

In the movie "Necessary Roughness" a college football coach jokes his quarterback throws like Edward Scissorhands. It's from the early 90's. Maybe too far back for you.

And hypothetically I'm thinking if someone DID have scissors for hands they would have a hard time getting a grip on the football consequently causing errant throws. This is where Austin Pettis comes in. He could catch the ball anyway.

So by all means, Dude, how about you "set down the bong."


is funny

Screwed up priorities????

I read a piece last week in the USA Today Newspaper about the amount of money major college coaches are earning. The article also included a database of all D-I football program coaches salaries. What struck me odd and conflicted with my values is the fact that college coaches are the highest paid public officials in every State. It bothered me that Coach Pete (I really like him a lot) makes 5 times more money than our gov or other elected officials. After contemplating on this article and salaries being paid I'm having second thoughts about my ability to continue being an avid fan of college football.


Theres no question these coaches, as they make millions, seems maddening. However, college athletics (football in general) make revenue of millions of dollars for their university. Coach Pete has said numerous times hes embarrassed by the amount now being offered and yet the Statesman says hes around "the middle of the D1 coaches." Its the going rate and just like any job ''you get paid what the world thinks your worth." I believe a lot of the money is paid by private donations and contracts through Nike etc...
If you are considering not being a College Football fan based on this info than thats a sad thing. Give yourself a few more years. The amount being paid to college coaches will continue to rise. Just wait until Notre Dame pays Charlie Weis 18 million to walk away and then hire a new coach at 7 million a year.

Petersen is worth more than Otter!!

Petersen is paid more than Otter because he is worth more! I haven't seen Otter do much since he pranced into the governor's office in his cowboy boots. Petersen on the other hand HAS done something. Like earn the University system millions. Gee, maybe coach Pete will run for governor when he's done coaching! That would be refreshing! I like it!

Definitely agree...

our priorities are out of whack and I am a huge college sports fan. But I would agree, that the importance they have placed on athletics through the money they spend on coaches, recruiting, travel, etc. is out of line. As for college football, I would love to see them implement a rule that no coach can make more money than the coach with the most wins in history. This would be Coach Paterno and the last I saw he was making $500,000 per year. Still nothing to sneeze at. And if you are going to go hog wild with how much money sports bring into a university to justify the coaches salaries then you should be fair and give college/university Presidents credit for ALL the money that comes into a university through research grants, student tuition and fees, etc. etc. Then pay the Presidents accordingly. Most of them work just as hard if not harder than coaches do and I would venture to guess that most Presidents have much better educations and credentials (i.e., PhDs that were actually earned) than the coaches. Young people should see that education pays off and be encouraged to put as much energy into their education as they do athletics, but if I were a young person now and had some athletic ability and/or coaching ability I would definitely see a much bigger benefit in spending my time in the athletic realm rather than in the academic realm. And as you pointed out, that is screwed up priorities. That said, I will now step down from my soapbox and watch things go on as usual.

looking ahead

Bronco24 said: One descent QB doesn not make a team
Although that's true I have noticed a sizable drop off when Moore is pulled. Part of it is some of the other starters getting a break too, but I hope Kellen stays healthy.
I see us going to a BCS game (two non-auto qualifiers, who'da thunk it?) and really having a shot at major success next year!
If we go undefeated next year (boy, talking about getting the cart before the horse) I can't see ANY voters overlooking the Broncos. Especially after beating the Big 10 in the Fiesta Bowl in January!

Coach Akey knows what he has for talent next year

better than anyone on this board. If he sees a drop off in talent looming next year due to losing a bunch of starters (4/5 of OL will be gone)and another opportunity comes along he will jump ship quickly, his stock will not be any higher than it is right now, next year the bubble will burst. The good news for Vandals is if he does not go this year he will be around for awhile because the opportunities to go elsewhere will be pretty slim after next season.


I agree, Akey's O-line is going and it's basicly a good O-line that makes a good running offense. That's BSU biggest weakness this year. The running game would be much better and we'd be a more complete team if our o-line were stronger. Idaho's runner wouldn't have had as much yardage if it hadn't been for the 0-line.


you have to condition yourself to not be alarmed at coaching salaries. football & basketball(revenue sports) fund everything else or at least they are expected to(in terms of other athletics). beyond that, a successful program also can be counted on to bump general contributions as a result of a "feel good" atmosphere. whatever they are making(with a few top end exceptions) they are more than recouping.
patriotgop-isn't it impossible to forecast what the opportunities will be for next season until it actually plays out?

:Petersen vs Otter

Methinks that any close, fair examination of the two men's abilities would result in Petersen being given another raise.

A couple of thoughts....

Idaho is not a conference contender. They are an improved team but they are far from a team that could win a championship. The Idaho coaching job cannot be a desired position. Bad facilities, a cash strapped program, low pay, and most importantly, a recruiting nightmare. Imagine going to So cal and asking some nice recievers to come up and play for a program that will hasve very few winning seasons, is cold, is small, and is right next to hayden lake. North Idaho is not exactly a haven for multicultrual athletes.
That is where the gap will and probably always will be for UI and BSU. You can play in a tin roof barn or a top 10 team with a legitimate shot to contend for at least a BCS bowl every year, be surrounded by other top players and coaches and be in a realatively nice place to live as a college kid. I don't see this gap closing significantly ever. It isn't UI's fault, nor thier leadership, nor thier fans and boosters. But what is thier fault is thier inablility to deal with the reality.
But that O line was awesome, they were coached well and it was noticable.

I agree...

that it is a bit more difficult to sell Moscow, ID to potential college students over bigger "cities" with more things to do and more "highlights" and "razzle and dazzle" to see, but there are a number of great things to sell. It is one of the nicest campuses I have seen (and I've been to a number of colleges/universities), especially in the Northwest. It really is a "college" town where you can truly have a college experience. The people are very accepting to people of different colors and cultures (regardless of popular opinin and "Hayden Lake"-which has been way overblown). The education available is top notch and will help whether the person's athletic dreams are achieved or not. Also, from an athletes competitive point of view, it would definitely be cool to take a team like Idaho and make them a competitive team not only in conference, but overall compared to being part of a team that is always competitive and you just keep it that way. Also, your opportunity to start and shine is much better at a place like the U of I, compared to BSU, etc. If you are a potential star quarterback and sign with BSU you have pretty much zero chance to start for the next two years and your playing time will be next to zero. Whereas if you go to Idaho or similar places, you have a much better shot and can actually play the games you are wanting to play. Anyway, again, I agree with the premise of your post, but believe Idaho is not stuck forever with problems and poor performance. they can have success at this level. It has been done, is being done, and will continue to be done in the future.


"The people are very accepting to people of different colors and cultures (regardless of popular opinin and "Hayden Lake"-which has been way overblown)."

Wrong. Walk around Moscow with me and count how many times I'm told to get my butt back to the reservation. Also note that virtually no black athletes stay in Moscow after their careers are over, unless they're on the coaching staffs. It's a lily-white town - and there's a reason for it.

I'm sorry...

your experience has been so bad. My experience in Moscow (went to school there for five years and lived there for seven years) was a very positive one and I saw people of many different races and cultures (i.e., black, Indian, Middle Eastern, Russian, African, etc.)accepted and treated very well. Unfortunately, I'm sure I missed a lot of poor treatment and there were some very highlighted incidents involving some minorities (black, Middle Eastern, and gay students) that I recall, but I would venture to guess those incidents sadly occur in all towns and on all campuses, not to excuse them, but it is unfortunately a sad fact in our society. I can't disagree that Moscow is predominantly a white community, but when I went to school there I was struck by the diversity and the amount of students from all around the world. Probably because I came from a smaller, "lily-white" town. Anyway, I will not attempt to take anything away from your experience and it is unexcusable to treat anyone in the manner you have been treated. I was just going from my experience in Moscow and the friendships I witnessed and the treatment of others I witnessed in my years in Moscow. I was impressed with the inclusiveness and the ability for people from many different walks of life to get along as well as I witness and to learn and work together as effectively as I witnessed. Apparently, I missed some bad things. Overall, I would recommend the University of Idaho to any student and student/athlete and believe it is a postive envrionment and can still be made more positive. Sadly, there will be jerks everywhere we go. Maybe the next generation will figure out how to get rid of the jerks. Here's hoping. As for the black athletes staying in Moscow after their careers, I can't speak for them, but I would imagine that the difficulty finding employment might be a hinderance as well. Especially with Spokane, Coeur d' Alene, Boise, etc. being close and having many more opportunities for a young college graduate. That is one of the difficulties with Moscow. The post-graduate opportunities are not as great as they are in bigger cities. It is still a great college town, however.

I also think

We will be in the Fiesta. But what worries me is the defeatist attitude that may not get fans fired up about it. Too bad BM that you are part of the lackluster attitude in this town that you bemoaned a couple of weeks ago.


I think the fans will be fired up but my concern is that because of the economic situation that we won't travel as well as we did before.


The issue is how many tickets do the BCS bowls think Boise State will sell this year. Period. That and the 'eyeballs' they bring to TV ratings. This is going to be a serious issue (tickets and ratings potential) for BSU. Just because they traveled well to the Fiesta in 2007 doesn't mean they will this time around. NOTE: If BSU does get lucky and recieve an invite, then the pressure is really going to be on the area to travel to the game because the next time around the bowls will look VERY CAREFULLY at how many tickets were sold by BSU. Remember my friends, it IS all about the money!!

Coach Petersen has been very

Coach Petersen has been very clear on his stance on moving to a larger program, if only people would listen. He appreciates the fact that he has a solid job in a great town in which he is happy to raise his kids. He knows that any move to a different school is a gamble. He seems to enjoy coaching BSU and pushing the program and players to be as successful as possible. Might he enjoy "larger" success at a bigger school? Maybe. Might he roll the dice and get snake eyes? Maybe. That's why I think Coach Petersen will stay right here at BSU. If you listen carefully to what he says, you'll here him saying the same thing.

I agree...

Coach Petersen is not going anywhere. He would be a fool to leave and he does not appear to be a fool. He knows how much more difficult things would be for him if he were to "step up" to a bigger program or bigger conference. He would only likely leave if the support for the football program disappears (not likely-he is the most powerful man in Idaho)or the opportunity is too great to pass up for him and his family (i.e., the money is too great and the university is in a city/town that would be a very good fit for him and his family), so that leaves places like USC, UCLA,UNLV, etc. off the list. Notre Dame could be a very intriguing job for Petersen and may be a difficult to pass on because of the tradition, the support he could likely get, the atmosphere, etc., however, job security has to come into play and he would not be more secure by any stretch if he goes to one of those programs. Also, he would not be the most powerful man on campus, otherwise the entire state. So, in the end, he is flattered to be nominated, but stays right where he is.

Notre Damm

Screw them. They can want all they want. Like if they hint at an offer, all coaches will come to them on their knees. They are has been.

The gameplan was to LET them run?

Don't buy it for a second. No gameplan EVER will be designed to give the other team 5-6-7 yards every time they run the ball as long as they don't hit 1 or 2 deep passes over the course of the game.

Give the Woolridge kid and Idaho's O-Line credit. The Vandals didn't do much right on Saturday, but they did a nice job running the ball.

I can see it all now.....

Akey will be given the WAC Coach of the Year Award - also known as the June Jones Memorial Award - and run away from Moscow! Additional news flash - Colin Kaepernick, WAC Player of the Year! All in keeping with the polictical correctness of rewarding good efforts.

Akey won't...

receive the WAC Coach of the Year award. If Idaho has beaten either Nevada, Fresno, or BSU then I believe he would definitely have been the front runner, but since they lost and lost decisively in those games, his coach of the year award went away with those losses. He has still done a great job at getting Idaho bowl eligible and getting them to win the games they should win, but coach of the year is gone. If anyone gets coach of the year in the WAC it will go to Nevada's coach, especially if they get by BSU (I know, I know...they won't), but just saying. Anyway, as for him going away from Moscow, sadly there is probably a good chance. If so, I hope they learn from BSU's methods and hire from within (i.e., their offensive coordinator) to keep some stability and stick with a program that is showing some promising results. For Akey's job security he should stay in Moscow. They will be much more patient with him, especially if they continue to have winning seasons and he could stay around for years. Where if he goes to another university, especially for a lot more money, they will not be so patient and he could be an assistant again very quickly.

Larry Gebert

I don't read the Statesman all the time so not sure if this has been reported and I'm not even sure if this is true, but here is a letter to the editor that appeared in the Moscow-Pullman Daily News. If this is indeed true, action should be taken.

Broadcaster should apologize

I would like to see Larry Gebert, meteorologist for NBC's Boise affiliate KTVB, publicly apologize for an offensive remark that he made during the television broadcast of Saturday's Idaho-Boise State football game. During the broadcast, Gebert jokingly referred to an Idaho Vandal fan as "special needs." Mr. Gebert needs to understand that an individual in position of public influence must not make such distasteful and hurtful comments.

Jeff Young, Portland

Don't see it?

Why would they come after Pete? According to all the college football experts who troll these pages BSU is a weak team in a weak conference and shouldn’t be ranked! Making Pete a weak coach?

I’m just going by all the loud mouths who feel BSU shouldn’t be considered a BCS contender, therefore Coach Pete won’t be considered for other jobs.

Unless those loud mouth idiots are just wrong? Oh wait they are!


Coach Peteresen has done a great job of sustaining success at a program, which is definitely something to be impressed with. However, it is likely he won't have the same success at a "bigger" program in a BCS conference (i.e, Nutt, Koetter, Hawkins). Therefore, if you are a "bigger" program in a BCS conference you may want to look at a coach or coaches that have been successful at that level with similar programs, which could hurt Petersen in a coaching hunt, not that I believe it will or would. Anyway, just some thoughts.

Write a story when it isn't an overcooked rumor anymore.

Story is older than Nostradamus, however you spell it.

Like a midair collision with a tugboat