It came as no surprise when news broke a few weeks ago that the College of Idaho was bringing back its football program.
After all, that area of the state has been saturated in football fever for the past few years. With a successful FBS program just a few miles down the road, it was really only a matter of time before the Coyotes brought back their own.
College of Idaho last played the sport in 1977.
The resurrection of football at C. of I. is just another step in the school’s process of reimagining itself. In October of 2007, Albertson College of Idaho dropped the name of the Boise-based, national grocery store chain and became what it is today.
The small, private school is very much capitalizing off the success of Boise State and will be able to find a lot of players from that area to come and play immediately. I can all but guarantee the Coyotes’ 2014 roster boasts a large number of kids that originate from the Boise, Ontario, Ore. and Northern Idaho areas. It will provide a fantastic opportunity for the players that get passed up by Idaho and Idaho State to get on the field.
On Wednesday word came down that College of Idaho will participate in the Frontier Conference in 2014, its first season.
“I am extremely excited to announce this morning that the Council of Presidents of the Frontier Conference has approved a request by The College of Idaho to join the league as an associate member for football,” said commissioner Kent Paulson. “The Yotes are resurrecting their program after some 35 years and will begin the process of restoring football, officially beginning play in the 2014 season.”
While the College of Idaho is using football as part of its process of reimagination, the Frontier Conference is going through a similar feat by adding Southern Oregon as another football-only member and Dickinson State in all sports.
The Coyotes will be taking on other schools such as Eastern Oregon, Montana State-Northern, Montana Tech, Rocky Mountain, Montana Western and NAIA powerhouse Carroll College.
“We will be competing against some of the top NAIA football programs in the country, which is something prospective players strongly desire, and we look forward to that challenge,” said College of Idaho athletic director Marty Holly. “National champions in football have come from the Frontier Conference and we like entering that level of competition. That’s the level of excellence we aspire to achieve.”
Here’s an interesting tidbit: College of Idaho played games against Frontier Conference members Carroll College, Eastern Oregon, Montana Tech, Montana Western, Rocky Mountain and Southern Oregon over a seven-decade span and went 32-13 against them.
That’s a tall order to hang with some of those schools nowadays, especially Carroll College. I have no idea if the Coyotes will find success or how many wins they will pick up, but I know they will have fun doing it.
I think the biggest opportunity that football brings to the many athletes who will play at the College of Idaho is the chance for a great education. The school is a fantastic academic institution to which many more Western Idaho kids will now have access. President Marv Henberg said it best.
“We are extremely pleased to join the Frontier Conference, which shares The College of Idaho’s commitment to educating student-athletes who excel in academics and athletics,” Henberg said. “This is an ideal match, and we look forward to the excitement that Yotes fans will experience as we develop rivalries with our fellow members of the conference.”
It’s a perfect fit all around, the College of Idaho and the Frontier Conference.
Don’t be surprised to see some players make their way to Idaho State. That is a definite possibility, especially with academics being a huge priority for the Bengals. Mike Kramer should build a nice relationship with whomever gets hired as the Coyotes’ head coach.
Speaking of that, the College of Idaho plans to begin a national search for its coach in September with December as the target month for making a decision.