Boise State Tribute to Idaho Football

Today, we feature Idaho in BroncoCountry's tribute to WAC schools. The Moscow school has a long history of producing thrilling offenses and tenacious defenses. Idaho is one of the most respected academic schools in the West and does a great job serving its mission for students in all 50 states and several foreign countries.

(Editor's Note:  This is part of a continuing series of tributes to WAC schools as Boise State completes its final season in the conference.  The series is meant to spread good will throughout the conference, highlight the rich heritage at member schools and to thank the WAC members for having Boise State in their conference for the last ten years.)

The University of Idaho is the state's oldest public university, located in the rural city of Moscow (population 21,700) in the northern portion of the state. As a land-grant university, UI is nestled in the rolling hills of the Palouse region at 2600 feet above sea level.

The territorial legislature of Idaho formed the school on January 30, 1889 and the first graduating class of 1896 consisted of two men and two women. The College of Agriculture was established in 1901 and the Department of Domestic Science (later Home Economics) was the first of its kind in the Pacific Northwest in 1902. The College of Engineering was established in cooperation with the College of Mines in 1907.

href="" target="_blank">The Administration Building, with its 80-foot clock tower was built from 1907-09 and has become an icon of the university. The building holds classrooms, an auditorium, and administrative offices, including the offices of the President and Provost. A north wing was added in 1912, the south wing in 1916 (extended in 1936), and an annex in 1950, displaced by the Albertson addition in 2002. A library was also housed in the Admin. Building until 1957, when a separate structure was completed.

The original Administration Building, with a single tall spire reaching to 163 feet was constructed in the 1890's and ultimately finished in 1899. However, it burned to the ground in 1906. Arson was suspected but never proven. After the fire, there was debate whether to rebuild from the remains or start from scratch; the remaining structure was eventually deemed infeasible to recover and was demolished with dynamite. The original building's steps were saved and currently climb the small hill immediately southeast of the south wing.

President Theodore Roosevelt spoke at the new Administration Building on April 9, 1911 (two years after leaving office) on a platform built of Palouse wheat. The 1909 Administration Building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

The master plan for the UI campus was originally designed in 1908 by the Olmsted Brothers, the firm that designed the U.S. Capitol grounds, Central Park in New York City, and other notable college campuses.

In 1920, Idaho's School of Education was established. Idaho is best known for its law school, which was established in 1909 and accredited by the American Bar Association in 1925. The College of Mines building was completed in 1961. The UI Wilderness Research Center was established at Taylor Ranch field station, located in the Idaho Primitive Area (now the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness). In 1971, the College of Forestry Building was completed, which is now known as Natural Resources Building. In 1973, the College of Law Building was completed, renamed "Menard" in 1984.

There are currently over 11,000 students at the U. of I. The university offers 142 degree programs, from accountancy to wildlife resources, including bachelor's, master's, doctoral and specialists' degrees. The campus now includes 1,585 acres including 253 buildings, 22 computer labs, an 18-hole golf course, 80 acres of arboreta and 860 acres of farms.

"Hello Walk" is one of the best-known and traveled pathways on the Idaho campus. It navigates through a rich history of statues, landmarks and traditions. The Hello Walk includes Presidential Grove, where historical figures, such as Teddy Roosevelt and his wife, planted trees; the Spanish War memorial statue who had his hands cut off but was reconstructed by a handless sculptor and Administration Lawn that was designed by the same brothers who designed Central Park in New York City.

The walk was named after Alfred Upham, the president of the university in the 1920s. Upham insisted on saying "hello" to all those he passed on his walk from his house — now where the Campus Christian Center is — to the Administration Building where his office was. He then insisted that this act of kindness be required of all students and faculty on campus, which is how the walk acquired its name.

Referred to as "Tree City" or "The Arb" by UI students, the Arboretum is a 65-acre site adjacent to the golf course which features ponds, display gardens and a wide variety of trees and plants from throughout North America, Asia and Europe.

Rare Camperdown elms line the walkway between the Music building, Child Development Center and Administration Building. These "upside-down" trees have been greeting students for over 80 years and are among few of their kind in the Northwest.

The University of Idaho has granted 71,599 bachelor's degrees, 19,028 master's degrees, 2,270 doctoral degrees, 222 honorary degrees, 917 specialist degrees, and 3,157 law degrees from 1894 through the fall of 2006.

Here are some additional facts about the University of Idaho:

U.S. News & World Report ranks UI, nationally, as a tier 3 school.

Idaho Gem, the world's first cloned equine (a mule), was created by researchers at the University of Idaho and Utah State University.

University of Idaho Master of Architecture program is internationally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, and Also National Architectural Accrediting Board.

Notable alumni of the University of Idaho:

Kristin Armstrong, professional road bicycle racer; won the 2008 Olympics Women's Time Trials gold medal; medaled in the World Championships in 2005, 2006 and 2007, winning the 2006 Championship.

Jeffrey Ashby, astronaut & naval aviator, veteran of three space shuttle missions, including Columbia in 1999.

Terrell Bell, former U.S. Secretary of Education under President Reagan.

Carol Ryrie Brink, author, winner of the 1936 John Newbery Medal for her book Caddie Woodlawn.

Lawrence H. Chamberlain, Dean of Columbia University in 1950, Vice President of Columbia in 1962.

Larry Craig, United States Senator from Idaho.

Bill Fagerbakke, actor, notably of Coach, also the voice of Patrick Star on the SpongeBob SquarePants series.

W. Mark Felt, former top official of the FBI and "Deep Throat", the source that Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein used to investigate the Watergate scandal.

John Friesz, 2006 College Football Hall of Fame inductee and NFL quarterback from 1990-2000.

Philip Habib, diplomat, special presidential envoy to the Middle East under President Reagan.

Dirk Kempthorne, Secretary of the Interior under President George W. Bush; former Governor of Idaho, U.S. Senator and Mayor of Boise.

Jerry Kramer, NFL guard for the Green Bay Packers. Kramer helped the Packer win five NFL titles and the first two Super Bowls. Kramer was an All-Pro in 1960, 1962, 1963, 1966 and 1967.

Jack Lemley, construction manager for Europe's Channel Tunnel, the undersea rail tube linking England and France.

Jim McClure, United States Senator from Idaho.

Dan Monson, current head men's basketball coach at the University of Minnesota.

Dan O'Brien, 1996 Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon. O'Brien was alaso a three-time World Champion (1991, 1993 and 1995) and five-time National Chlampion Decathlete.

Sarah Palin, former Governor of Alaska and 2008 Vice Presidential candidate

Jim Risch, Governor of Idaho and currently United States Senator.

Mark Schlereth, NFL offensive lineman; winner of three Super Bowl championship rings; ESPN commentator.

Frank Shrontz, past chairman and CEO of Boeing.

E.E. "Doc" Smith, science fiction author who wrote the Lensman series and the Skylark series, among others.

Bill Stoneman, Major League Baseball pitcher for the Chicago Cubs, Montreal Expos and California Angels.

Steve Symms, United States Senator from Idaho.

Linda Copple Trout, Idaho Supreme Court Justice; former Chief Justice from 1997-2004.

Wayne Walker, NFL linebacker for the Detroit Lions and sportscaster.

In 1922, the University of Idaho joined the Pacific Coast Conference and remained a member until 1959 when the league disbanded. In 1936, Neale Stadium was completed, an earthen horseshoe with wood bleachers. The Stadium used to be in the exact location where the Kibbie Dome is today. The PCC schools formed the Pac-8 in 1959 but did not invite Idaho. For four years, the school was an independent. The University of Idaho was a charter member of the Big Sky Conference and retained university (later Division I) status with its non-conference schedule through 1977.

In 1969, Neale Stadium was condemned prior to the start of the football season, the result of arson. The Vandals played its two Palouse home games at Washington State's Rogers Field. A new concrete football stadium opened in 1971 that was enclosed in 1975 to become the Kibbie Dome. In 1978, the football program descended to Division I-AA with the Big Sky moving up from Division II.

Dennis Erickson began his coaching career in 1982 and the beginnings of the most successful run in school history. Although Erickson soon left in 1985, the success he built continued for several more years. Idaho returned to Division I-A in 1996 when they joined the Big West Conference. In 1998, the Vandal football team captured its first Division I-A conference title and bowl game. When the Big West dropped football after the 2000 season, UI became a "football only" member of the Sun Belt Conference from 2001-2004.

Idaho joined the Western Athletic Conference in 2005. In 2009, Idaho defeated Bowling Green to win the Humanitarian Bowl.

The university has sent over 60 players into the NFL over the years.

Guard Rick DeMulling was drafted in the 7th Round of the 2001 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. DeMulling logged 53 starts from 2001-2007 for Indianapolis, Detroit and Washington.

Tackle Spencer Folau had 43 starts from 1997-2004 with the Baltimore Colts, Miami and New Orleans.

Quarterback John Friesz hit 311-502 (62%) for 3,677 yards and 28 scores in 1987, followed that up by hitting 220-of-397 passes (55.4%) for 2,874 yards and 18 TD's as a junior and was 260-425 for 4,041 yards and 31 touchdowns in 1989. Friesz was a 2nd-Team I-AA All-American in 1987 and a 1st-Team choice in both 1988 and 1989. He is one of a handful of players who earned All-Big Sky in three seasons (1987-1989) and one of a select few who earned Offensive Player of the Year in three seasons. Friesz played in the East-West Shrine Game and the Blue-Grey Game following his senior year.

Friesz had 446 passing yards against Nevada in 1989 for his top game. He owns school records for completions (311) and attempts (502) in 1987 and passing yards (4,041) in 1989. Friesz was red-hot as a sophomore, going over 300 yards in 10 consecutive games. He hit 801-1,350 in his career, both school records, for 10,697 yards and 77 touchdowns.

Friesz was selected in the 6th Round of the 1990 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers. Friesz earned 38 career starts, including during the entire 1991 season. That year, John completed 262-of-487 passes for 2,896 yards and 12 touchdowns. He ranked 9th in the NFL in completions. Friesz also played with Washington, Seattle and New England. In his career, Friesz connected on 745-1,364 passes (54.6%) for 8,699 yards and 45 touchdowns.

Wide receiver Jerry Hendren was as smooth as they come. Hendren had great hands and ran perfect routes. Jerry had 49 receptions for 526 yards and a touchdown in 1967 as a sophomore. He was one of the top receivers in the nation in both 1968 and 1969. Hendren had 86 catches for 1,457 yards (16.9 avg.) and 14 TD's as a junior and snared 95 passes for 1,452 yards (15.3 avg.) and 12 touchdowns in 1969.

Hendren owns four of the top six receiving games in school history. He destroyed Idaho State with 257 yards in 1969 and went over 200 yards 5 times in his career. He set the school record against Southern Mississippi in 1969 when had had 17 receptions in that game.

Hendren was selected as an All-Big Sky and All-American performer in 1969 and played in the Senior Bowl, the Coaches All-American Bowl and the College All-Star Game. He was chosen in the 4th Round of the 1970 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos but only played one season and did not record any statistics.

Quarterback Ken Hobart also was an expert runner and improved his passing ability while at Moscow. He carried the ball 209 times for 827 yards and 7 TD's in 1980. Hobart hit 89-of-145 passes for 1,083 yards and 11 touchdowns his freshman season. In 1981, Hobart connected on 81-of-179 passes for 1,541 yards and 12 touchdowns. In 1982, Ken was 221-418 for 3,058 yards and 24 TD's and was 268-477 for 3,618 yards and 32 touchdowns as a senior. Hobart was an All-Big Sky and I-AA All-American in both 1982 and 1983. He was also selected as Big Sky Offensive Player of the Year both seasons.

Hobart's top game was 522 passing yards against Southern Colorado in 1983. He hit 629-of-1,259 yards for 9,300 yards and 79 touchdowns in his collegiate career.

Placekicker Mike Hollis hit field goals of 55 and 56 yards in 1993 for Idaho. He was a reliable kicker for the Jacksonville Jaguars from 1995-2001 and spent his final season in Buffalo. Hollis had a good strong leg and was successful on 13-of-19 field career field goal tries from 50 yards and over. Hollis was never under 74% accuracy and most years was in the 80's or higher, including an amazing 24-26 (92.3%) in 2000. Mike was also 31-36 (86.1%) and scored a league-leading134 points in his Pro Bowl campaign of 1997 and hit 30-36 field goals (83.3%) and scored 117 points (10th in the NFL) in 1996. Hollis scored 130 points in 1999, fourth in the league.

Hollis' career extra point percentage of 98.94% (279-282) still ranks 29th all-time in the NFL, his career field goal percentage of 80% is 30th all-time and his 200 career field goals is 50th.

Guard Mike Iupati was a Consensus All-American his senior year. He was a finalist for the Outland Trophy, given annually to the nation's top collegiate lineman, and played in three college all-star games: the Senior Bowl, the East-West Shrine and the Texas vs. U.S. game. Iupati was selected in the 1st Round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49'ers.

Guard Jerry Kramer was an All-American in 1957 and played in both the Senior Bowl and the East-West Shrine Game following his senior season in Moscow. Kramer was chosen in the 4th Round of the 1958 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers, who he played for his entire career. Jerry played in 130 games from 1958-1968, a reliable rock in the Packer offensive line for one of the NFL's storied teams of all-time. He was selected to play in the Pro Bowl in 1962, 1963 and 1967. Kramer was occasionally called upon to be the Packers' placekicker, hitting 29-54 field goals and 90-95 extra points. He scored 91 points in the 1963 season, 9th in the NFL.

Guard David Loverne was selected in the 3rd Round of the 2000 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. He was traded to Washington in 2002 and started 11 games for the Redskins. He then went to St. Louis in 2003 and Detroit in 2004, where he finished up his career with 13 starts.

Running back Ray McDonald had 86 carries for 426 yards and 4 touchdowns as a sophomore in 1964. He burst onto the scene with 213 carries for 1,002 yards (4.7 avg.) and 15 touchdowns his junior year and exceeded that with 259 carries for 1,329 yards (5.1 avg.) and 14 TD's as a senior. In 1966, Ray set the school record by averaging 132.9 yards per game. McDonald was an All-Big Sky Conference and All-American in both 1965 and 1966 and played in both the Senior Bowl and East-West Shrine Game in 1966. McDonald was chosen in the 1st Round (13th overall pick) of the 1967 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. He ran 52 times for 223 yards (4.3 avg.) and 4 touchdowns his rookie season but only played through 1968.

Linebacker Sam Merriman led the Vandals with 111 tackles in 1980, 145 in 1981 and 125 as a senior in 1982. He played in the East-West Shrine Game following his senior year. Merriman was chosen in the 7th Round of the 1983 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. Sam played with Seattle through 1987 and recorded two career sacks.

Wide receiver Yo Murphy had 68 catches for 1,156 yards and 9 TD's, earning I-AA All-America honors in 1992. Yo found a spot with Tampa Bay, St. Louis and Minnesota from 1999-2002, mostly as a return specialist. Murphy had 18 kickoff returns for a 21.5 average in his rookie season and finished with 27 returns for a career average of 21.6. He also had three punt returns and 9 receptions for 51 yards in the NFL.

Quarterback Doug Nussmeier hit 125-204 (61.3%) for 1,536 yards and 11 touchdowns his freshman season. Doug hit 230-of-384 passes (59.9%) for 3,300 yards and 25 TD's in 1991 and hit 206-333 passes (61.9%) for 3,028 yards and 22 scores as a junior. In 1993, Nussmeier ;hit 185-304 (60.9%) for 2,960 yards, a school record 33 TD's and a school record 175.2 passing rating. He was an All-Big Sky selection and Offensive Player of the Year in 1992 and a I-AA All-American as well as the Walter Payton Player of the Year in 1993.

Nussmeier hit 746-1,205 passes for a school record 10,824 yards and 91 touchdowns in his college career. Doug was drafted in the 4th Round of the 1994 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints. He was 46-82 (56.1%) for 455 yards and a touchdown in two NFL seasons.

Linebacker Ryan Phillips was selected in the 3rd Round of the 1997 NFL Draft by the New York Giants and played through 2000 with the Giants before ending his career in 2001 with Indianapolis. Phillips started 31 games in 1999 and 2000 and recorded 130 career tackles, 3.5 sacks, 4 interceptions and a forced fumble.

Linebacker Jeff Robinson was an All-Big Sky choice in 1990, 1991 and 1992 and earned I-AA All-America in both 1991 and 1992. He was a constant threat to blitz from his linebacker spot, and led the team with 16 in 1990, 20 in 1991 and 13.5 in 1992. Robinson was the Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year in both 1992 and 1994 and played in the Senior Bowl.

Robinson was chosen in the 4th Round of the 1993 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. He proved to be a 17-year NFL veteran playing with Denver, St. Louis, Dallas and Seattle.. Jeff played in 202 games (27th in NFL history), earning 17 starts. He recorded 28 career receptions for 278 yards and 8 touchdowns. He also played considerably on defense and was credited with 6.5 sacks and 4 fumble recoveries in his career.

Lineman Jake Scott was chosen in the 5th Round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. He started 57 games for the Colts and has now started 32 with his current team, the Tennessee Titans. Offensive lineman Mark Schlereth was a 2nd-Team I-AA All-American in 1988. He was selected in the 10th Round of the 1989 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. Schlereth started 140 NFL games for Washington and Denver in his 12-year career. Mark was chosen to participate in the 1991 and 1998 Pro Bowls.

Offensive lineman Bob Van Duyne was chosen in the 10th Round of the 1974 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Colts. He served mostly as a backup, but did earn 12 starts in the 1978 season and 17 in his career. Linebacker Wayne Walker played in the East-West Shrine Game following his senior year. He was taken in the 4th Round of the 1958 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. Walker played in 200 NFL games through 1972. Wayne had 14 interceptions, 15 fumble recoveries and a safety. He also did placekicking, hitting 53-131 field goals and 172-174 extra points in his career. Walker was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1963, 1964 and 1965.

Defensive lineman Marvin Washington is another of the all-time Idaho greats. He earned All-Big Sky Conference honors in 1988 when he harassed league quarterbacks in racking up 14.5 sacks. Washington was the 6th-Round choice of the New York Jets in the 1989 NFL Draft. He played with the Jets, San Francisco and Denver in his 11-year career. Marvin was one of the best sack men of his time, earning 40.5 in his career, including 8.5 in 1992 and 6 each in 1991 and 1995. He had 386 career tackles, 10 forced fumbles and an interception.

Halfback Jerry Williams was selected in the 7th Round of the 1949 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams and also played for Philadelphia before calling it quits in 1954. Williams had 172 career rushes for 910 yards and 10 touchdowns and 91 receptions for 1,278 yards and 5 touchdowns in his NFL career. He hauled in 44 catches his final season, good for 8th in the league. Jerry also had 51 punt returns for a 5.4 average and 20 kickoff returns for a 23.8 average. He also played defensive back for the Rams, recording 15 interceptions that he returned for 175 yards and 2 touchdowns and 6 fumble recoveries.

Center John Yarno was an All-Big Sky, Big Sky Offensive Player of the Year (rare for a center) and All-American in 1976 and played in the Senior Bowl and the East-West Shrine Game. Yarno was chosen in the 4th Round of the 1977 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. He played with Seattle through 1982.

Idaho has a great history of both academic and athletic success. Vandal students past, present and future, you have a lot to be proud of! U of I--we salute you for your tremendous accomplishments through the years and wish you the best of luck in the future!

Bronco Country Top Stories