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Idaho Vandals
University University of Idaho
Conference Western Athletic Conference
NCAA Division I
Athletics director Dr. Rob Spear
Location Moscow, ID
Varsity teams 16
Football stadium Kibbie Dome
Basketball arena Cowan Spectrum
Baseball stadium Guy Wicks
Mascot Joe Vandal
Nickname Vandals
Fight song Go, Vandals
Colors Silver and Vandal Gold



The Idaho Vandals are the intercollegiate athletic teams of the University of Idaho. The Vandals participate in the NCAA's Division I FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision, formerly I-A) in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC).

In addition to football, the intercollegiate athletic program fields two teams (men's & women's) in the following sports: basketball, golf, tennis, cross-country, and track (indoor & outdoor). Volleyball, soccer, and swimming are varsity sports offered only for women.

The university's official colors are silver & gold, honoring the state's mining tradition. Because these metallic colors in tandem are not visually complementary for athletic uniforms, black & gold are the prevalent colors for the athletic teams, with an occasional use of silver, similar to Colorado, whose official colors are also silver and gold. Under head coach (and alumnus) Chris Tormey, the football team changed from yellow gold to metallic gold in 1995, and the other teams followed. Yellow gold and black were the colors used by the most of the varsity teams from 1978-95.


Conference affiliations

UI joined the WAC in July 2005, moving from the Big West Conference, which it had joined in 1996, moving back to Division I-A after 18 years in I-AA. Because the Big West discontinued football after the 2000 season, the UI was a "football-only" member of the Sun Belt Conference for four seasons (2001-04).

Prior to July 1996, UI competed in the Big Sky Conference for 33 years; it was a charter member in 1963. The Big Sky has been a Division I-AA conference since I-AA's formation in 1978, but from 1963-77, the conference was a "college division" (later Division II) for football. Although a charter member of the Big Sky, Idaho maintained its "university division" (Division I) status, with its additional football scholarships, by playing a non-conference schedule of Division I teams. Idaho moved down to the new I-AA division in 1978 as the Big Sky moved up from Division II.

From 1922-58, Idaho competed with eight of the present Pac-10 schools as a member of the Pacific Coast Conference. The PCC disbanded in the spring of 1959; Idaho then competed as an independent for four years until the Big Sky was launched in 1963.[1]


The Kibbie Dome, home of the Idaho Vandals' football, basketball, track & field, and tennis teams.

The University of Idaho has numerous on-campus facilities for the athletic program.[2] The primary facility is the Kibbie Dome, a 18,000 seat indoor stadium for football, basketball, indoor tennis, and indoor track. Since 2001, massive black curtains have been hung around the basketball seating configuration and the arena is called the "Cowan Spectrum," with a capacity of 7,000. Underneath the football turf is a five-lane, 290 meter (317 yd) track and nine tennis courts. East end additions to the Kibbie Dome house the athletic department offices, locker rooms, weight room, and training facilities. The Kibbie Dome was built on the site of Neale Stadium (1936-68). The playing surface sits at an elevation of 2,610 feet (795 m) above sea level. [3]

The historic Memorial Gymnasium (1928) is the home for women's volleyball, and also hosts early season basketball games. South of the "Mem Gym" is the Swim Center and the P.E. Building (formerly the new "Women's Gym"), which houses practice gymnasiums. These facilities were completed in 1970. The campus' original football/baseball stadium was on these grounds, south of the Memorial Gym with the spectators on the eastern embankment. Football was played here until Neale Stadium opened in 1936; the baseball team used it for another three decades, until the construction of the College of Education building displaced the infield in the mid-1960s.
(aerial campus photo - circa 1940)

Outdoor facilities include the 18-hole championship golf course, directly south of the Kibbie Dome. The first nine holes opened in 1933 and nine more were added in 1968[4]; the original clubhouse was replaced in 1969. West of the Kibbie Dome is the 400-meter (437.4 yd) outdoor track & field stadium, opened in the early 1970s and named for newly-crowned Olympic champion decathlete Dan O'Brien in September 1996. A concrete grandstand on the south side seats approximately 1,000.

In addition, there are outdoor athletic practice fields on the grounds directly east of the Kibbie Dome. Formerly, these grass fields were for varsity football practice only. SprinTurf (similar to FieldTurf) and lighting was installed in 2005 and the fields are now available for intramurals and general recreation. Six outdoor tennis courts are east of these fields, west of the P.E. Building, and four more are on the lower Administration Lawn. At the spacious northwest corner of campus is the Guy Wicks baseball field, soccer field, and intramural fields.


Idaho’s athletic teams go by a name earned nearly a century ago by a basketball team coached by Hec Edmundson, whose teams played defense with such intensity and ferocity that sports writers said they “vandalized” their opponents. The mark made by that 1917 team went far deeper than wins and losses on the court. In 1917, Harry Lloyd "Jazz" McCarty – a writer for the student newspaper, the Argonaut – subtly tagged the team with a new nickname in a pregame write-up: "The opening game with Whitman will mark a new epoch in Idaho basketball history, for the present gang of 'Vandals' have the best material that has ever carried the 'I' into action." McCarty’s indirect suggestion stuck. By 1921, McCarty and Edward Maslin Hulme, the dean of the College of Liberal Arts, succeeded in their push to have Vandals officially adopted as the nickname for Idaho teams. [5]



Washington State

Since returning to Division I-A status for football in 1996, Idaho has rekindled its rivalry with Washington State, eight miles (13 km) to the west in Pullman. The annual game, usually played at Martin Stadium in Pullman, was renewed in 1998 after just two meetings in two decades, and is referred to as the "Battle of the Palouse." The Cougars hold an immense advantage in the series (70-18-3 .786), but the Vandals did win back-to-back meetings in 1999-2000, following 14 straight Cougar victories from 1966-98. The last game played on the Idaho side of the border in this series was in 1966, a mudbath won by WSU. This game followed consecutive Idaho victories in 1964-65, which had been preceded by nine straight Cougar wins.[6] Two of the recent games played in Pullman (1999 & 2001) were designated as Idaho "home games" to help reach existing NCAA minimum attendance requirements. The 2004 game was a designated Idaho home game for revenue purposes.[7] The 2003 game was played in Seattle at Seahawks Stadium. The three games played in Pullman from 2005-07 were all WSU home games.

The last game in the series was played in 2007, a 45-28 WSU victory, their seventh straight over the Vandals. At the request of Vandals head coach Robb Akey, a former WSU assistant who became the Vandal head coach in 2007, the game will be played every four years rather than annually.

Boise State

Boise is 300 highway miles (480 km) south of Moscow, and many UI students are from the Treasure Valley (greater Boise area), the major population area of the state. Idaho has had a major in-state rivalry with Boise State since 1971; BSU joined the Big Sky in 1970 but the football teams did not meet that season. BSU & UI moved to Division I-AA in 1978 and to Division I-A in 1996, joining the Big West.

Since 2000, the Vandals' football team has a conference record of 16-47 (.254), compared to the Broncos' conference record of 65-4 (.942). During this time, the Vandals have not been competitive against BSU, losing 10 straight games by a combined margin of 453-160. Dominance in this rivalry has come in streaks, as the Vandals won 12 consecutive games over BSU from 1982-93, after the Broncos had dominated the previous decade.[8]

Both schools are currently members of the WAC; BSU joined in 2001, Idaho in 2005.


For most of its history, Idaho had an intense interstate rivalry with the University of Montana in Missoula, approximately 200 miles (320 km) east. The teams have met for football 84 times (second only to the 91 games with Washington State). Idaho and Montana first played in 1903, and played every year from 1914-95 (except during the war years of 1918 and 1943-44 when neither school had a team). Montana was also a member of the Pacific Coast Conference until 1950, and a fellow charter member of the Big Sky in 1963. Idaho leads the overall series 55-27-2 (.667), but Montana has dominated the rivalry since 1991.[9]

The teams have played just five times since Idaho moved back up to Division I-A in 1996, with the I-AA Montana Grizzlies winning the last four, the most recent meeting being in 2003. Since the departure of Idaho, Boise State, and Nevada from the Big Sky to Division I-A, the Montana Grizzlies have been the dominant I-AA program in the West. The winner of the Idaho-Montana game claims the Little Brown Stein trophy.

Idaho State

Idaho and Idaho State have enjoyed a moderate rivalry since 1963, the year ISU became a university and both schools joined the new Big Sky conference as charter members. The schools are separated by a significant distance; Pocatello in southeastern Idaho, is over 500 road miles (800 km) from Moscow. Idaho has traditionally been dominant in this rivalry, particularly in football. The football rivalry was most intense and equal in the 1970s and 1980s; the teams have played sparingly since the Vandals left the Big Sky in 1996, with Idaho winning all four contests. They last met in 2008 in Moscow, with Idaho winning 42-27. Since 1988, Idaho has won 11 of the last 12 meetings. [10]

Noted track athletes

Dan O'Brien, a hurdler on the UI track team in the late 1980s, won the gold medal in the decathlon at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, as well as multiple World Championships. He received his bachelor's degree in 1993, and the outdoor track & field stadium where O'Brien trained for these world titles was named for him in September 1996.

Joachim Olsen of Denmark, the 2004 Olympic bronze medalist in the shot put, competed for the Vandals from 1999-2003, winning the NCAA outdoor championship in 2000. He was a 10-time All-American and never finished worse than third in the shot put in eight career NCAA indoor and outdoor appearances.

Angela Whyte, Whyte was a four-time NCAA All-American and five-time Big West champion at Idaho, where she helped lead the women’s team to 2001 and 2003 Big West team championships. She also earned Big West Female Athlete of the Year honors in 2001 and Big West Female Track Athlete of the Year honors in 2003. Member of Canada's 2004 and 2008 Olympic track teams.

2008-2009 UI Basketball Season Results

Opponent Result Score Record(Conf.) Opponent Result Score Record(Conf.)
Evergreen St. (NAIA) Win 91-69 1-0 @ New Mex. St. Loss 71-74 8-9(2-2)
Michigan St. Loss 62-100 1-1 @ Louisiana Tech Loss 63-74 8-10(2-3)
@ Gonzaga Loss 46-80 1-2 New Mex. St. Win 67-57 9-10(3-3)
North Dakota St. Win 78-69 2-2 Boise St. Win 63-59 10-10(4-3)
@ E. Washington Loss 59-69 2-3 Nevada Loss 65-70 10-11(4-4)
Cal. Irvine Win 101-47 3-3 @ Hawai'i Loss 49-71 10-12(4-5)
@ Sac. State Win 72-58 4-3 Utah St. Loss 53-62 10-13(4-6)
@ Portland St. Loss 65-68 4-4 San Jose St. Win 74-66 11-13(5-6)
@ South Carolina St. Loss 59-66 4-5 @ Boise St. Win 56-54 12-13(6-6)
South Carolina St. Win 81-68 5-5 Cal. St. Northridge Win 78-75 13-13(6-6)
Texas Southern Win 67-46 6-5 @ San Jose St. Loss 64-72 13-14(6-7)
Washington St. Loss 55-41 6-6 @ Fresno St. Win 71-68 14-14(7-7)
@ Idaho St. Loss 59-61 6-7 Louisiana Tech Win 66-58 15-14(8-7)
@ Nevada Win 78-73 7-7 (1-0) Fresno St. Win 59-56 16-14(9-7)
@ Utah St. Loss 61-70 7-8(1-1) WAC Tournament(3rd seed)
Hawai'i Win 67-47 8-8(2-1) Louisiana Tech Loss 70-62 16-15 (9-8)

2009 UI Football Results and Schedule

Date Opponent Result Score Record Conf. Time
05-Sep @ New Mexico St. Win 21-6 1-0 1-0 6:00 pm MDT
12-Sep @ Washington Loss 23-42 1-1 1-0 12:30 pm PDT
19-Sep vs. San Diego St. Win 34-20 2-1 1-0 2:00 pm PDT
26-Sep @ N. Illinois Win 34-31 3-1 1-0 2:30 pm CDT
03-Oct vs. Colorado St. Win 31-29 4-1 1-0 7:30 pm PDT
10-Oct @ San José St. Win 29-25 5-1 2-0 5:00 pm PDT
17-Oct vs. Hawai'i Win 35-23 6-1 3-0 2:00 pm PDT
24-Oct @ Nevada Loss 45-70 6-2 3-1 1:00 pm PDT
31-Oct vs. La. Tech Win 35-34 7-2 4-1 2:00 pm PDT
07-Nov vs. Fresno St. Loss 21-31 7-3 4-2 7:30 pm PST
14-Nov @ Boise St. Loss 25-63 7-4 4-3 1:30 pm MST
28-Nov vs. Utah St. Loss 49-52 7-5 4-4 2:00 pm PST
30-Dec vs. Bowling Green Win 43-42 8-5 4-4 2:30 pm MST


  1. ^ Idaho Historical Data
  2. ^ Vandal Athletic Facilities - University of Idaho Athletics Official Site —
  3. ^ - topo map - UI campus - accessed 2009-09-17
  4. ^ Main_page
  5. ^ What is a Vandal?
  6. ^ Idaho Game by Game against Opponents - Wash. St. - accessed 2009-09-16
  7. ^ ESPN - Washington State 49, Idaho 8 - NCAA College Football Recap
  8. ^ Idaho Game by Game against Opponents - Boise St. - accessed 2009-09-16
  9. ^ Idaho Game by Game against Opponents - Montana - accessed 2009-09-16
  10. ^ Idaho Game by Game against Opponents - Idaho State - accessed 2009-09-16

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