Akey and Idaho ink new 4-year contract

Patient Vandal fans can take comfort in that Idaho and Robb Akey have a new contract with new incentives and major raise in salary.

Despite the chaos of conference realignment the past couple of weeks, the University of Idaho Athletic Department signed Head Football Coach Robb Akey to a new contract, which, today, was approved by the Idaho State Board of Education (SBOE).

The new contract marks the first time in at least a decade that Idaho has signed a current football coach to a new contract. In another first, it includes a significant raise, a significant extension, and new (or additional) performance incentives.

Akey had one year left on the previous contract, and one of the milestones is that Idaho tears up the old contract and replaces it with a new four-year deal that is valued at approximately $2.5 million dollars. Idaho had a tradition - of sorts - to just let coaches move on after a few years when they were typically lured away to bigger schools for more money … money that Idaho was unable or unwilling to pay.

The new contract for Idaho's head football coach marks new territory for Idaho Athletic Director Rob Spear, in that the Vandals offered additional money to a coach before he was lured to another school. That same new territory includes incentives that were unheard of when Robb Akey was hired in 2006.

Annual salary jumps 48% and starts at $355,000 without incentives. Raises of $10,000 per year are included until the contract expires in December of 2014. If all incentives were satisfied, the total for Akey's first year would be over $500,000.

The usual incentives are included. Among them, if Robb Akey is selected the national coach of the year, he will receive $10,000, and another $5,000 if he becomes the Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year. If the Vandals play in a BCS bowl game, Akey would be entitled to a $100,000 bonus.

Robb Akey's new contract comes after a very successful and historical season where the Vandals attained a record of 8-4 and won the 2009 Humanitarian Bowl with a dramatic victory over Bowling Green on national television.

At the conclusion of a half-time interview with ESPN, Akey uttered the now famous phrase: "Watch the second half, you're gonna love it!" Idaho went on to victory and became a fixture on ESPN highlights for much of the remainder of the bowl season with their 43-42 come-from-behind touchdown and two-point conversion in the final seconds of the game.

Robb Akey's second contract helps solidify something that Idaho fans are quickly starting to appreciate – Coach Akey's continued success on the recruiting trail and on the sidelines coaching for the Vandals.

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