Robb Akey to be new head coach at Idaho

UPDATED: 6:45 a.m. Robb Akey, the personable and high-octane WSU defensive coordinator, will soon be announced as the new head coach at Idaho, according to several news outlets in the Inland Empire. As for who might be the next defensive coordinator for the Cougars, head man Bill Doba could very well look to the current staff, or possibly even find the right man for the job in the mirror.

Both KXLY Radio and the Spokesman-Review were among those reporting late Tuesday afternoon Akey had accepted the job in Moscow, the Spokesman citing "multiple sources." A press conference has been scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.

Speculation will no doubt abound as to who will be the next defensive coordinator for Washington State -- and there will be no shortage of candidates, some -- if not all -- of whom already are on staff: Leon Burtnett, Ken Greene and Mike Walker.

Burtnett carries the most experience, with extensive work in both the college and pro ranks as a defensive coordinator at Wyoming, Purdue, Fresno State and others. He was head coach at Purdue and offensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts.

THERE IS ALSO ANOTHER intriguing possibility, one where Doba would become the Cougs' defensive coordinator and head coach.

Doba was the longtime d-coordinator for the Cougs (1994-2002) before assuming the head job prior to the 2003 season, and was the architect of the Palouse Posse defense in 1994 -- the No. 2 defense in the nation that year. If Doba were to take the defensive coordinator's position in addition to his head coaching duties, it would allow him to get back to some of the things a head coach often misses most after assuming the top job within a program -- the coaching.

With Christmas in a few days, a new defensive coordinator would probably not be named until -- at the earliest -- sometime next week.

Akey was named the defensive coordinator at WSU entering the 2003 season under Doba. Prior to that he shared the defensive line coaching responsibilities with Walker, and first joined the Cougar staff in 1998. Before coming to Pullman, Akey was at Northern Arizona from 1995-98, where responsibilities over his tenure included special teams, linebackers and coordinator duties. His first college coaching position was at Weber State, where Akey served from 1988-94, coaching the defensive line as well as special teams.

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