Idaho AD Rob Spear: 'We'll hire the right person for this job'

By Brian Murphy
bmurphy@idahostatesman.com

Updated post with President Nellis' statement

Idaho President Duane Nellis issued the following statement to the Idaho Statesman when asked about the firing of football coach Robb Akey:

"This past week we have made a number of important decisions to ensure our university and our athletic programs are headed in the right direction for our long-term success. Some difficult decisions were made, but as the proud leader of this national university, I stand by these decisions and I am confident they will move us toward a brighter future.

"I am grateful for Coach Robb Akey’s service and the heartfelt enthusiasm he shared with his players and our fans. The impact he made on his players and the great moments we shared will not be forgotten as we begin a new chapter in the long tradition of Vandal athletics.

"We have an excellent group of coaches and staff who support our Vandal athletic programs. I am confident that through this time of transition they will seek what is best for the long-term success of our student athletes and our teams.

"I ask all Vandal fans to rally now in support of our interim head Football Coach Jason Gesser and the Vandal football team. As you know the Vandal football team has four more games, including two home games left this season. It is never easy to take over a position in the middle of the season, but Coach Gesser knows he has my full support and the support of the entire Vandal family."

Spear: 'We'll hire the right person'

Idaho Athletic Director Rob Spear said he reached his decision to fire football coach Robb Akey shortly after the Vandals' 70-28 loss to Louisiana Tech on Saturday.

Spear called Idaho President Duane Nellis and "we made that decision," he said Monday.

Idaho coaches were supposed to have Sunday off to spend time with their families. Idaho has a bye week this week. But now-interim coach Jason Gesser said he got a text message at 4:30 a.m. alerting him to a staff meeting at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Akey informed the staff that he had been fired. Spear met with the remaining staff members as a group and then individually Sunday.

"I've been evaluating this the entire season. It's all about performance on the football field. And in our last 20 games we've lost 17 of those games," Spear said. "Coach Akey has done a lot of nice things here, but at the end of the day his record was 20-50."

Spear said he was hopeful that the staff changes Akey made in the offseason would help turn the Vandals around. Idaho went 2-10 last year and is 1-7 this season.

"It became apparent that the direction of the program was not going in the right place," Spear said.

By firing Akey now instead of waiting until the end of the season, Spear said he is giving the current staff an opportunity to turn things around and get a jump on the coaching search.

"I told all the coaches yesterday that I have great respect for them. This is an opportunity for them,"" Spear said. "I have been asked, 'Why make the change now?' I want to give this staff the opportunity to see what they can do with this football program."

Spear said Gesser is a candidate for the job. Gesser said he wants the position full-time.

"I want to become the head coach. That's the goal that I do have. So it's something that I get a chance at now. I'm very grateful for that," said Gesser, who is 33 and in his second season as a college coach and first as a coordinator.

Spear outlined what he is looking for in the Vandals' next head coach — somebody from a successful program, somebody that understands the Northwest and can recruit the Northwest, someone who recruits high-character kids and someone who runs a disciplined program.

Spear said it does not necessarily have to be a current or a former head coach. He said he has a list of names already.

"I think the opportunities at the University of Idaho far outweigh the challenges," Spear said. "There's a great opportunity to come in here, make a difference and turn a program around."

Whats that on your shoes Rob

I love it when the AD take no blame for the debacle at the U of I. I hope one of the opportunities that Spear alludes to is the opening for a new AD shortly at the school. The U of I could have joined the Big Sky and set a course for excellence at that level; instead they are forced to tell kids and recruits they really have nothing to play for at the U of I for the foreseeable future.

Spear

is delusional! Assistant Coaches in D1 get more than Idaho pays their Head Coach..but maybe he can get a qualified Coach to come in for that phenomenal Independent 2013 football schedule...or maybe the difference will be that awe inspiring Quonset Hut football setting....or maybe it will be some dead beat coach on the rebound to try and uplift their resume spending a year or so around Moscow...Dennis Erickson anyone??

The coach wasn't the biggest problem

Whoever gets the football job at U of I has the deck stacked against them. Akey seemed to do a decent job. Completely agree, U of I should have joined the Big Sky when the WAC fell apart. I think the hubris of their executive leadership got in the way of making the right decision for the University and the student athletes.

Sounds like Gesser

was working behind the scenes to make this happen. Good to know because soon, he will stab Spear in the back too.

Gesser

I don't know anything about Gesser. But I doubt anyone had to stab anyone in the back. With the winning record that Idaho football has it was only a matter of time before people started losing jobs. I'm sure Akey knew it was only a matter of time before he got this news. I can't think of any coaches that would think their job was secure with a losing record.

only

a low-life character would make a statement such as your's. You get to own it...your statement will probably be on the public record forever.

not the answer

was akey really the main problem? wasn't he the 4th coach under spear as AD? I think they should look into replacing him.

Why doesnt someone ask Nellis

how Spear still keeps his job? The real issue behind all this is it isnt going to get better "real soon". Or later. Donors are pushing to stay FBS. Reasonable minds want to return to FCS. When it all fall aparts, and it will, who will be held accountable then? Spear? Nellis?

Nobody likes ADs.

Goes back to Hindenburg.

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AD

Stands for athletic director, FO.

ARE YOU SURE IT''S AD AND NOT THE COACH

SPEARS SHOULD HAVE SOME BLAME IN THIS MESS. THE NEW COACH HAS FULL DECK STACKED AGAINST THEM ALREADY. POOR FACILITIES, LACK OF INTERESTED FOR THE FAN BASE AND A TERRRIBLE INDEPENDENT SCHEDULE IN 2013. BEST OF LUCK TO ALL THAT DARE TO TAKE THE WHEEL OF THIS SINKING SHIP.

YES I AM

HINDENBURG'S AD WAS NAMED HITLER/

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Spear outlined what he is

Spear outlined what he is looking for in the Vandals' next head coach — somebody from a successful program
...

well, that eliminates Gesser.

Gesser was successful at WSU

It was the last success that program saw.

I guess that it has nothing to do with how Idaho will do then.

What did it have to do with Washington State?

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hindenburg?

and then you call out someone for posting about Washington State? you are such a two faced, hypocritical, glass house
noob

Bravo

This Jackal and his one liners....total d-bag.

Reporting to Spear???

What are the chances of finding a qualified coach willing to report to R. Spear???
Any coach with a decent resume will not agree to current reporting structure.....unless Spear is gone.

Head Coach Search?

I hear Denney E. is available, and nearby in North Idaho.
He could lead the program into the new era...

Yellow Erickson

If they go with Erickson, it will never last. As soon as his shoes get a little wet, he will abandon-ship AGAIN.

ummmm forsportn,

that was a joke. At least I hope it was, with vandals football you never can tell.

Erickson goes anywhere near the dome

Kramer will haul his arse down to the snake river canyon......

There is no right person

The greatest coaches in college football history, all of them collectively, could not fix the disaster up north.

Spear is to Idaho as ......

Lisa Love was to Arizona State -- just no sense of what makes a good Head Coach.

The right person?

4th time is the charm I guess.

If you are going to fire coaches for not winning at the UI you are going to fire every coach you hire.

Akey was the perfect coach.
Drunk
Hick
always thought the vandals could win.

gee how do you pitch that job anyway.

"Hey, we have no chance at a post season. We have no ability to recruit, we have no conference, we are going to schedule body bag games to finance this mess, and we will end up in the big sky in 2 years. So you will be the coach that took a program down a level, Want the job?"

They will hire a former vandal that has enough vandal pride to recognize all that and try to make the transition to Big Sky as smooth as possible.

On the up side you wont have to work hard.

Question why the D Coordinator still employed

I am just curiouse at how the head coach is fired and yet the D Coordinator keeps his job? Isn't his defense been the one that has been torched for 64 against LSU, 66 against UNC and 70 against LA TECH, shouldn't he be gone also? May Gesser should start cleaning house and do a complete overall on the staff mid season.

He needs someone who is desperate...

...."Coach you have a call from a candidate on line two"

"Who is it Helen?"

"The reception isn't great, sounds like they're calling from the side of the road...He said his name was Bobby something..."

And there you have it

And there you have it folks....the collective wisdom of Bronco Nation Bandwagon. Thanks for all the input. Since we all know the only thing you care about is Idaho NOT being successful, why should anyone listen to any of your dribble? And pray tell why any of you care...oh, that's right, you all feel better about yourselves when you critize what you don't understand or can't find relative to your situation. What goes around comes around.

You sound like a hypocrite...

Dont you do the same on Bronco threads every week?

And dude, its drivel. You must've got that MD from one of those "Buy your degree today" websites.

Rod Spears

The man with the plan. The man who hired the past four Coaches. The man driving the UofI Titanic. The biggest hot air in Moscow. You can blame the disaster of the vanduls on Coach Akey, but the ownership of this mess should sit right with the Man, AD Rod Spears. Spears step up, be a man, express some ownership of the mess. If you can't own your part in creating this, then what is your responsibility, what is your ownership.

harleythecoward

continues his drivel.

Harley

keep guessing the broncos to lose.

The collective wisdom of vandals....

is evident in their program.

Too Many Trolls on these....

Idaho Blogs....

Φ Ah, haha

haha!

I had the exact same reaction

It's too bad he wasn't trying to be humorous.

Φ Outnumbered and

outwitted, at every turn.

Almost like playing NMSU.

Ugly,

You do realize that you have trolled more than anyone. Right?

P2....

No....havent....

I have informed more than anyone else....basically a walking encyclopedia and a peace-maker....

In my online course of Human Psycology I am in the Chapter on Charisma....

Ugs

Did you see the Gessor/Spear press conference today?

SIF....

No I didnt see the press release....

Ill look for it today....

You're actually IN it.

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ok

thanks for letting the world know.

What is that Whoosh Sound

Rod Spears just pulled the handle on the outhouse that is the vandul program.

The firing should have started with Spears.

Karma Baby........Karma

PS. How's that AD Robbie Spears working out for you?

Coach

No matter how good a coach you are you can't coach poor players

Isn't it amazing when . . .

the 'lesser thans' of Bronco Nation spend more time posting about the Vandals, than about the Broncos.

Just as amazing is how the Bronco Athletic Association is composed of a little over 5,000 members, of which 3,000 are Vandals, and the remaining minority 2,000 are Broncos and 'others'.

Why is it that there are more Vandals that really support the BSU Bronco Fotball Team than there are Broncos supporting, supposedly, 'their own' football program.

Somehow, I think the overall support and real numbers of how many people belonging to Bronco Nation as actually representing anything connected to BSU, in any way other than buying Bronco Gear at Wally World or Costco or at the Idaho Youth Ranch or Deseret Industry, are waaaaaay overinflated.

Whatever happened to Broncos supporting the Bronco Football Team and the void that was created when their support vanished after the many years of Vandal beatdowns in the past history. The void has since been filled with Vandals supporting the Broncos.

Go Broncos.

VNDL

BAA Member # 63799

Cant have it both ways VNDL

You have complained and complained that the statesman does not care about nor cover the vandies.

Just because you may not like the news you can't blame the posters. I thought BSU was a boise team and "Idaho's" team was not getting its due. Well, here you go, enjoy.

Hey, at least it is exposure. That is not something the vandals can do with their on field play.

For three days ESPN.com has had a vandals story.

There is no such thing as bad press!

Pot,

meet kettle. Hypocrite.

Nobody believes for a second that anything you say has any basis in fact. Go away.