Former University of Idaho Interim Athletic Director Pete Isakson, 48, who spent much of his free time coaching Moscow’s youth, died Tuesday, according to a university-issued news release.
Isakson served as the interim athletic director from spring 2018 until last summer and most recently served as the senior director of development for special projects in Idaho Advancement.
After 14 years as an administrator at Washington State University, Isakson returned to the University of Idaho in February 2017 as associate athletic director, his third stint at the school. He was the assistant director for marketing and sales for two years in the mid-1990s, then returned to the school in the late ‘90s as the assistant athletic director for development, marketing and promotions.
Beyond his role at Idaho, Isakson was a familiar and passionate presence on the youth sports sidelines in Moscow, where he coached Cal Ripken baseball for many years and was founder, figurehead and coach for the Moscow Sharks, a popular AAU basketball program with teams at multiple age levels.
Sharks players and coaches host a popular annual basketball clinic in Moscow for children with disabilities.
Moscow’s Andy Kiblen coached alongside Isakson nearly every athletic season — baseball, basketball and even a year of football — the past half-dozen years.
“He was a great friend and a great mentor,” Kiblen said. “He was a real five-star guy. When he was in, he was all in. A type-A personality but always willing to help and to teach.”
Kiblen said Isakson expected his players, on the court and off, to bring a similar passion.
“Whether we were at a Moscow Bear game or a Vandal game, if we were wearing Sharks gear we were there to represent our families, our team and our community,” Kiblen said. “That was the enthusiasm he would bring every day.”
Isakson’s wife, Kelly, is the co-owner of Moscow Mountain Sport & Physical Therapy in Moscow. The Isaksons have three children, Cody, Connor and Kendall, who attend Moscow public schools.