American Football Database

Coordinates: 46°43′34″N 117°01′05″W / 46.726°N 117.018°W / 46.726; -117.018

1976 Idaho Vandals football
ConferenceBig Sky Conference
1976 record7–4 (5–1 Big Sky)
Head coachEd Troxel (3rd season)
Offensive coordinatorJohn McMahon (1st season)
Offensive schemeVeer
Defensive coordinatorAndy Christoff (3rd season)
Base defense5–2 [1]
CaptainBarry Hopkins (SS)
CaptainJohn Kirtland (LB)
CaptainWil Overgaard (OT)[2]
Home stadiumKibbie Dome
← 1975
1977 →

Template:1976 Big Sky football standings The 1976 Idaho Vandals football team represented the University of Idaho in the 1976 NCAA Division I football season. The Vandals were led by third-year head coach Ed Troxel and were members of the Big Sky Conference, then in Division II. They played their home games at the Kibbie Dome, an indoor facility on campus in Moscow, Idaho.


With quarterbacks Rocky Tuttle and Craig Juntunen running the veer offense,[3][4] the Vandals were 7–4 overall and 5–1 in the Big Sky.[5][6] The only conference loss was to Montana State in Bozeman;[7] the Bobcats went undefeated in the Big Sky and won the Division II national championship.[8]

The season opened with a road win over Boise State,[9][10] the three-time defending conference champions, in the debut of Jim Criner as head coach of the Broncos.[11] Originally scheduled for November 27, it was moved to the opener at BSU's request, so as not to interfere with the Division II playoffs.[12] In the Battle of the Palouse, the Vandals suffered a ninth straight loss to neighbor Washington State of the Pac-8, falling 45–6 at Martin Stadium in Pullman on October 2. The Cougars were led by quarterback Jack Thompson and fullback Dan Doornink.[13]

Outside of the 1971 season (8–3), the Vandals' 7–4 record in 1976 was the best since 1938 (6–3–1).[5] It was Troxel's only winning season as head coach; Idaho slipped to 3–8 in 1977 and he was fired in late December.

Notable players

Center John Yarno of Spokane was selected to the AP All-American team,[14] which included a prime-time appearance on Bob Hope's Christmas show on NBC on Monday, December 13.[15][16][17] The All-America team was headlined by Heisman Trophy winner Tony Dorsett of Pittsburgh.[18] Yarno was also selected to play in the East–West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl.[19] His number 56 was retired the following year.[20][21] Selected in the fourth round of the 1977 NFL Draft, he played six seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, the last five as a starter.

Future actor Bill Fagerbakke of Rupert was a sophomore defensive lineman and was ticketed to redshirt, but was called into action in the fourth game.[22] Head coach Troxel planned on moving him to the offensive line in 1977,[23] but a knee injury in spring drills ended Fagerbakke's athletic career, which turned his focus to theater.[24]

Division I

Through 1977, the Big Sky was a Division II conference for football, except for Division I member Idaho, which moved down to I-AA in 1978. Idaho maintained its upper division status in the NCAA by playing Division I non-conference opponents (and was ineligible for the Division II postseason).


Sep 116:30 pmat Boise StateW 16–920,549
Sep 187:30 pmat Pacific*
W 31–2811,769
Sep 2511:30 amat Ohio*L 0–3513,710
Oct 021:30 pmat Washington State*L 6–4520,000
Oct 098:00 pmNew Mexico State*W 33–610,166
Oct 168:00 pmWeber Statedagger
  • Kibbie Dome
  • Moscow, Idaho
W 45–1715,607
Oct 2312:30 pmat Montana State
  • Reno H. Sales Stadium
  • Bozeman, Montana [7]
L 14–295,400
Oct 307:00 pmat Idaho State
  • ISU Minidome
  • Pocatello, Idaho
W 6–39,625
Nov 0612:00 pmat Colorado State*L 14–3117,535
Nov 138:00 pmMontana
W 28–199,396
Nov 208:00 pmNorthern Arizona
  • Kibbie Dome
  • Moscow, Idaho [5][6]
W 31–147,160


1976 Idaho Vandals football team roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Name Class
SE 6 Loveall, RonRon Loveall
SE 11 Taylor, JeffJeff Taylor
QB 12 Tuttle, RockyRocky Tuttle So
QB 14 Juntunen, CraigCraig Juntunen Jr
SE 18 Allen, KirkKirk Allen So
SE, P 21 Cox, PaulPaul Cox Sr
SE 23 Imelia, DaveDave Imelia
RB 25 Brooks, RobertRobert Brooks Jr
RB 30 Lappano, TimTim Lappano So
RB 31 Hubbard, LanceLance Hubbard
SE 34 Pothetes, NickNick Pothetes
RB 35 Ford, GlennGlenn Ford
RB 40 Taylor, RobertRobert Taylor Jr
TE 44 Meyer, DanDan Meyer
FB 45 McAfee, KevinKevin McAfee Sr
C 50 Clark, MikeMike Clark
C 53 Pearson, DaveDave Pearson
C 56 Yarno, JohnJohn Yarno Sr
RG 61 Wilkin, DickDick Wilkin
OL 64 Gisselberg, DougDoug Gisselberg
LG 65 Dahlin, JoeJoe Dahlin Jr
OL 66 Koch, PeterPeter Koch
RG 68 Hough, ClarenceClarence Hough Sr
OL 69 Coombs, LarryLarry Coombs Fr
OL 71 McNeal, MarkMark McNeal Fr
LG 74 Wiggum, DaveDave Wiggum Jr
RT 76 Kittrell, GregGreg Kittrell Sr
OL 77 Randel, TomTom Randel So
LT 78 Overgaard, WilWil Overgaard (C) Sr
SE 80 Davidson, DanDan Davidson
TE 84 Mayfield, RickRick Mayfield So
FL 88 Hagadone, MikeMike Hagadone So
Pos. # Name Class
DB 20 Dangerfield, DanDan Dangerfield
DB 22 O'Bard, RonRon O'Bard
FS 24 Linehan, RickRick Linehan So
CB 26 Coman, GregGreg Coman Jr
DB 33 Frost, ChrisChris Frost
DB 36 Stewart, GregGreg Stewart
SS 37 Hopkins, BarryBarry Hopkins (C) Sr
DB 38 Simmon, EricEric Simmon
DB 41 May, DougDoug May
CB 42 Clark, BillBill Clark Jr
CB 43 Charles, BrianBrian Charles Jr
LB 47 Jacksha, TomTom Jacksha
DE 51 Eads, ChrisChris Eads Fr
LB 52 Cafferty, BobBob Cafferty So
LB 54 Kelleher, TomTom Kelleher
DE 55 Phister, JeffJeff Phister Sr
LB 57 Marshall, MartyMarty Marshall
LB 58 Kiilsgaard, KjelKjel Kiilsgaard Sr
LB 59 Kirtland, JohnJohn Kirtland (C) Sr
NG 62 Sanford, TimTim Sanford Jr
DL 63 Whipps, ScottScott Whipps
DL 67 Shelby, MikeMike Shelby
DL 70 Collins, PatPat Collins
DL 72 Hayes, PatPat Hayes
DT 72 Pellegrini, JoeJoe Pellegrini Jr
NG, DT 73 Eilertson, TomTom Eilertson Jr
DT 75 Rice, LynnLynn Rice
DL 79 Fagerbakke, BillBill Fagerbakke So
LB 81 Hunt, RichRich Hunt
DL 82 Ralph, RandyRandy Ralph
DL 83 Vance, PhilPhil Vance Fr
DE 85 Tormey, ChrisChris Tormey Jr
DL 86 Mooney, JeffJeff Mooney
DL 89 Collins, RobertRobert Collins
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
PK 7 Filippini, ChuckChuck Filippini Sr
PK, P 10 Lowe, RalphRalph Lowe Jr
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches

  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • Injured Injured
  • Redshirt Redshirt


Senior center John Yarno was the Big Sky offensive player of the year and one of six Vandals selected to the all-conference team. The other three on offense were running back Robert Brooks, guard Clarence Hough, and tackle Wil Overgaard. The two defensive players were linebacker Kjel Kiilsgaard and end Chris Tormey, a future Vandal head coach (199599). Second team selections were tackle Greg Kittrell, noseguard Tim Sanford, and linebacker John Kirtland.[29][30]

NFL Draft

One Vandal was selected in the 1977 NFL Draft, which lasted twelve rounds (335 selections).

Player Position Round Overall Franchise
John Yarno Center 4th 87 Seattle Seahawks


  1. "Troxel claims defense key at Idaho". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Associated Press ((Washington)): p. 42. September 7, 1977.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Payne, Bob (September 10, 1976). "Idaho goes with Tuttle". Spokesman-Review ((Spokane, Washington)): p. 29.
  3. "Vandals vs. Cougars: probable starters". Spokesman-Review ((Spokane, Washington)): p. 13. October 2, 1976.
  4. "Aggies vs. Vandals: probable starters". Spokesman-Review ((Spokane, Washington)): p. 13. October 9, 1976.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Payne, Bob (November 21, 1976). "Vandals clobber Northern Arizona". Spokesman-Review ((Spokane, Washington)): p. 1D.
  6. 6.0 6.1 English, Sue (November 22, 1976). "Year tabbed "great" by Idaho grid boss". Spokane Daily Chronicle ((Washington)): p. 31.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Payne, Bob (October 24, 1976). "Dennehy inspires Bobcats". Spokesman-Review ((Spokane, Washington)): p. D1.
  8. "Montana State wins title". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Associated Press ((Idaho)): p. 4B. December 12, 1976.
  9. Payne, Bob (September 12, 1976). "Vandals win opener". Spokesman-Review ((Spokane, Washington)): p. D1.
  10. English, Sue (September 13, 1976). "Vandals tame Broncos". Spokane Daily Chronicle ((Washington)): p. 17.
  11. "Idaho team underdog against Boise squad". Spokane Daily Chronicle ((Washington)): p. 23. September 10, 1976.
  12. Kirtland, Bill (September 10, 1976). "An interesting evening in Boise...". Idaho Argonaut. (University of Idaho) ((Moscow)): p. 7.
  13. Payne, Bob (October 3, 1976). "Thompson unloads on Idaho". Spokesman-Review ((Spokane, Washington)).
  14. Brown, Butch (July 29, 1977). "John Yarno learns enthusiastically". Spokesman-Review ((Spokane, Washington)): p. 17.
  15. "Yarno named All-American". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Associated Press ((Washington)): p. 39. December 2, 1976.,655164&dq=yarno&hl=en.
  16. "Contracts please Yarno". Spokesman-Review ((Spokane, Washington)): p. 44. May 26, 1977.,4350315.
  17. Payne, Bob (December 3, 1976). "John Yarno:'Hard to believe'". Spokesman-Review ((Spokane, Washington)): p. 33.
  18. "Dorsett heads AP's All-America team". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Associated Press ((Idaho)): p. 1B. December 3, 1976.
  19. "Selection shocks Yarno". Lewiston Morning Tribune ((Idaho)): p. 1B. December 3, 1976.
  20. "Hall of Famers arrive on campus". University of Idaho Athletics. September 6, 2007.
  21. "John Yarno named first team All-American". Gem of the Mountains, University of Idaho yearbook. 1977. p. 44.
  22. "Bad news for Idaho: Joe Pellegrini lost". Spokesman-Review ((Spokane, Washington)): p. 16. October 5, 1976.,1948547&dq=fagerbakke&hl=en.
  23. Payne, Bob (November 28, 1976). "Vandals on the rise?". Spokesman-Review ((Spokane, Washington)): p. D5.,5000101&dq=bill+fagerbakke&hl=en.
  24. White, Vera (July 31, 1997). "Football not enough for Fagerbakke". Moscow-Pullman Daily News ((Idaho-Washington)): p. 1C.,2811965.
  25. "Leaky Vandals yield again; Hawaii rolls to 46-25 win". Spokesman-Review ((Spokane, Washington)): p. 15. September 26, 1977.
  26. "Rosters". Spokesman-Review ((Spokane, Washington)): p. 13. October 2, 1976.
  27. "Rosters". Spokesman-Review ((Spokane, Washington)): p. 15. October 16, 1976.
  28. "Rosters". Spokesman-Review ((Spokane, Washington)): p. 15. November 13, 1976.
  29. "Big Sky all-stars". Spokesman-Review ((Spokane, Washington)): p. 27. November 25, 1976.
  30. "Six Vandals on Sky stars". Spokane Daily Chronicle ((Washington)): p. 112. November 25, 1976.

External links