By Brian Murphy
Idaho football coach Robb Akey has been fired, the school announced Sunday afternoon.
“The President (Duane Nellis) and I believe it is important to make this move now so we can immediately begin the process of hiring a new coach for the 2013 season,” Athletic Director Rob Spear said in a statement. “We appreciate Coach Akey’s enthusiasm and dedication to the University of Idaho but this is the right move at this time.”
Akey was 20-50 in five-plus seasons with the Vandals. Idaho is 1-7 this season after Saturday's 70-28 loss at Louisiana Tech. Akey led the Vandals to a victory in the 2009 Humanitarian Bowl in Boise, just the second bowl win in program history. It was Idaho's only winning season under Akey.
Offensive coordinator Jason Gesser will serve as interim coach.
Spear said a search for Akey’s replacement will begin immediately.
Akey’s contract, which expires in December 2014, has a base salary of $165,796. The school must pay Akey his base salary until the end of the contract or it must pay the difference between the base salary and Akey's new salary if he is hired elsewhere.
He was scheduled to earn an additional $210,000 for media programs and public appearances from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013.
Idaho will play the 2013 season as a Football Bowl Subdivision independent. The Vandals announced their schedule on Friday. The WAC, the Vandals' current league, will not sponsor football in 2013.
Gesser, a former Washington State quarterback, is in his second season as a college football assistant coach, both with Idaho.