One game, two Vandal bowl-winning coaches - Coeur d'Alene Press: Sports

One game, two Vandal bowl-winning coaches

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Posted: Thursday, September 20, 2012 12:00 am

Robb Akey and Chris Tormey have one thing in common - they're the only two coaches to guide the Idaho Vandals to a bowl game.

Tormey coached Idaho to a Humanitarian Bowl victory in 1998. Eleven years later, you might remember, Akey and the Vandals also won the Hum Bowl.

Saturday, both will be working in the Kibbie Dome as Wyoming (0-3) visits Idaho (0-3).

Tormey, also a former Idaho player and assistant coach, is in his first season as defensive coordinator/secondary coach for Wyoming.

It won't be the first time Akey and Tormey have coached against each other, most recently in 2009 and 2010 when Tormey was coaching safeties and special teams at Hawaii.

He was linebackers coach at Washington State in 2011.

"We've coached against each other number of times," said Akey, in his sixth season as Idaho's head coach. "We've recruited against each other an awful lot, for a lot of years. I've got a lot of respect for what he's done."

A little better each week: To be clear, Akey is not happy being 0-3. Moral victories don't mean a whole lot to him. But amidst the losses, he said he has seen improvement each week.

The Vandals didn't respond to adversity in their season-opening 20-3 loss to Eastern Washington, Akey said. They played much better in a 21-13 loss at Bowling Green. And before the LSU game got out of hand, there was a time when the Vandals trailed only 21-14 late in the first half, stopped the Tigers and got the ball back with a chance to tie the game before the half.

But Idaho turned the ball over, LSU turned it into six points, and went on to win 63-14.

In defeat, Akey liked the way his team battled against LSU, and the way they prepared to take on a team that good.

"If we can do it against these guys some of the time, we ought to be able to do it all of the time if we get our minds right as we get to playing people that are like opponents," Akey said.

And Wyoming, which has also lost to a FCS (Cal Poly) opponent, a Mid-American Conference opponent (Toledo) and a BCS opponent (Texas), would appear to fit the bill of a “like” opponent.

“I look at it this way — our football team is ready to make something happen,” Akey said. “We have grown. We’re better, and it’s time for this football team to play the way we’re capable of playing.

“Certainly it’s a little aggravating to be going into your fourth football game and be without a win, but I want to pay attention to what we can do. We want to get a streak started.”

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