Gesser Steps to the Mic For First News Conference - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Idaho Vandals Football

Gesser Steps to the Mic For First News Conference in Post-Akey Era

Updated:
© Jason Gesser wore his emotions on his sleeve Monday as he addressed the media as the Vandals' interim head coach (Photo: SWX) © Jason Gesser wore his emotions on his sleeve Monday as he addressed the media as the Vandals' interim head coach (Photo: SWX)
MOSCOW, Idaho -

Monday's news conference was an emotional one for former Washington State quarterback-turned interim head coach Jason Gesser.

Gesser, named the temporary head coach at he University of Idaho after the firing of Rob Akey, shed a tear or two before the cameras in Moscow. After all, it was Akey who gave Gesser his start with Idaho as a running backs coach.

"Akey has been everything for me, the guy means a lot," said Gesser as he fought back the emotions. "He's the one who gave me opportunity to be here."

The former WSU quarterback told the media that one of the last things Coach Akey said to the team is, "it's not about what happens to you, but about how you respond when those things happen."

Those are both words the new interim coach and the team will take with them moving forward.

Gesser will continue to be the play caller for the Vandals, but will now move down to the field rather than up in the box. He hopes the move will be a permanent one, and was given at least an indication he is on the list of potential hires for the program. In any case, he plans to take full advantage of the opportunity.

"Yes, this is an interim job, but hey, this may be the only time I'm a head coach," said Gesser, after saying boldly it is his ultimate goal to become a permanent head coach in college football.

Athletic Director Rob Spear said the decision was made to fire Akey eight games into the season to give the program enough time to find a suitable candidate. However, the decision was apparently a long time coming.

"We have been evaluating the program the entire season," said Spear. "It was all about the performance on the field."

Akey was 20-50 during his career at Idaho. The Vandals are 1-7 this season – their last season as a football member of the ailing WAC. Spear added the decision to fire AKey was made simply because of his win-loss record, and because he wanted to give the current staff a chance to win before a more permanent decision was made.

Spear said he already had a list of candidates he would like to pursue, but he didn't get into naming names for obvious reasons.

"I would love to have someone board sooner than later," said Spear. "I'm not going to lock myself into a timeline, but obviously this is going to give us the time we need."

In the meantime, the Vandals will in some ways start over, even though the season is nearly over. Younger players will get more reps in practice, which could lead to more playing time in the final four games of the year.

"We'll go out there to clear the air a little bit and let guys take everything in," said Gesser about practices this week. "But I truly hope that our leaders step forward."

The Vandals have a bye week this week, followed by a game against San Jose State at the Kibbie Dome on Nov. 3. They travel to BYU on Nov. 10, return to Moscow on Nov. 17 against UT-San Antonio and finish the season Nov. 24 at Utah State.

  • College SportsCollegeMore>>

  • Dialed In: Christian Caple on UW Football

    Dialed In: Christian Caple on UW Football

    SWX's Neil Stover got dialed in with the University of Washington beat writer for the Tacoma News Tribune, to talk Husky football on Thursday, April 17.Caple gives SWX an inside look on the state of UW football as they enter into a new era with head coach Chris Petersen...>>
    SWX's Neil Stover got dialed in with the University of Washington beat writer for the Tacoma News Tribune, to talk Husky football on Thursday, April 17.Caple gives SWX an inside look on the state of UW football as they enter into a new era with head coach Chris Petersen...>>
  • Zags Sign Arvydas Sabonis' Son to NLI

    Zags Sign Arvydas Sabonis' Son to NLI

    Domantas Sabonis, son of NBA Naismith Hall of Famer and Portland Trail Blazers great Arvydas Sabonis, has signed a letter-of-intent to attend Gonzaga University this fall, Bulldog head coach Mark Few said Thursday.>>
    Domantas Sabonis, son of NBA Naismith Hall of Famer and Portland Trail Blazers great Arvydas Sabonis, has signed a letter-of-intent to attend Gonzaga University this fall, Bulldog head coach Mark Few said Thursday.>>
  • Cougar Baseball Falls 11-1 to Oregon

    Cougar Baseball Falls 11-1 to Oregon

    Tommy Thorpe tossed seven shutout innings and No. 10 Oregon defeated Washington State 11-1 in the opener of a three-game Pac-12 Conference baseball series at PK Park.>>
    Tommy Thorpe tossed seven shutout innings and No. 10 Oregon defeated Washington State 11-1 in the opener of a three-game Pac-12 Conference baseball series at PK Park.>>
  • IdahoIdahoMore>>

  • Vandal Women Sign Australian Corrigan to NLI

    Vandal Women Sign Australian Corrigan to NLI

    The University of Idaho women’s basketball program signed one player to a National Letter of Intent on Wednesday head coach Jon Newlee announced.Tayla Corrigan (Adelaide, Australia/Mineral Area College) will join the Vandals for the 2014-15 season.>>
    The University of Idaho women’s basketball program signed one player to a National Letter of Intent on Wednesday head coach Jon Newlee announced.Tayla Corrigan (Adelaide, Australia/Mineral Area College) will join the Vandals for the 2014-15 season.>>
  • Idaho Football Completes Second Spring Scrimmage

    Idaho Football Completes Second Spring Scrimmage

    There were more gaudy numbers by the University of Idaho but in the ebb and flow of the Vandals’ second scrimmage of the spring, coach Paul Petrino saw some highlights from the defense as well.>>
    There were more gaudy numbers by the University of Idaho but in the ebb and flow of the Vandals’ second scrimmage of the spring, coach Paul Petrino saw some highlights from the defense as well.>>
  • Vandals Prep for Second Scrimmage

    Vandals Prep for Second Scrimmage

    Scrimmage No. 2 is only hours away for the University of Idaho football team and coach Paul Petrino heads into it with a good feeling after the first scrimmage last weekend and two solid practices in the books this week.>>
    Scrimmage No. 2 is only hours away for the University of Idaho football team and coach Paul Petrino heads into it with a good feeling after the first scrimmage last weekend and two solid practices in the books this week.>>