American Football Database

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

1978 Idaho Vandals football
ConferenceBig Sky Conference
1978 record2–9 (2–4 Big Sky)
Head coachJerry Davitch (1st season)
Offensive coordinatorBill Tripp (1st season)
Offensive schemeVeer
Defensive coordinatorGreg McMackin
(2nd season)
Base defense5–2
Home stadiumKibbie Dome
← 1977
1979 →

Template:1978 Big Sky football standings The 1978 Idaho Vandals football team represented the University of Idaho in the 1978 NCAA Division I-AA football season. The Vandals were led by new head coach Jerry Davitch and were members of the Big Sky Conference. They played their home games at the Kibbie Dome, an indoor facility on campus in Moscow, Idaho. Davitch was previously an assistant at the Air Force Academy for five seasons under longtime head coach Ben Martin, preceded by four years as a high school head coach in Tucson, Arizona.

With sophomore quarterbacks Jay Goodenbour and Mike McCurdy running the veer offense,[1][2] the Vandals were 2–9 overall and 2–4 in the Big Sky in 1978.[3][4] Projected starter Rocky Tuttle injured an ankle in the final scrimmage and redshirted; as a fifth-year senior in 1979, he started as a running back and receiver.

The final win was an unplayed forfeit by Idaho State for a scheduled night game in Moscow in November. Flying from Pocatello to the Palouse on the afternoon of the game because of unavailable lodging, one of ISU's two chartered Convair 440 aircraft had carburetor problems soon after takeoff and had to land. It carried the defensive players; the other with the offense landed safely at the Moscow-Pullman airport two hours later.[5][6] After difficulties in arranging a viable makeup date, a forfeit win was awarded to the Vandals.[7][8] It was the conference finale for both teams,[9] and Idaho State finished winless in the Big Sky.

This was the first season for the newly created Division I-AA,[10] which the Big Sky joined. It was previously a Division II conference for football, except for Division I member Idaho, which moved down to I-AA this season. Idaho had maintained its upper division status in the NCAA by playing Division I non-conference opponents.


September 97:00 pmat San Jose State (Div. I-A)*
L 14–3110,011
September 161:00 pmat Washington State (Div. I-A)*L 0–2816,950
September 23at Wichita State (Div. I-A)*
L 6–28
September 307:00 pmNo. 9 Northern ArizonaL 29–348,200
October 77:30 pmat UNLV (Div. I-A)*
L 14–5318,944
October 141:00 pmat MontanaW 34–308,286
October 217:00 pmNo. 1 Montana State
  • Kibbie Dome
  • Moscow, ID
L 21–579,000
October 282:00 pmWeber Statedagger
  • Kibbie Dome
  • Moscow, ID
L 6–5113,500
November 412:30 pmat Boise State
L 10–4820,235
November 117:00 pmIdaho State
  • Kibbie Dome
  • Moscow, ID
W 1–0Forfeit
November 187:00 pmFresno State (Div. I-A)*
  • Kibbie Dome
  • Moscow, ID
L 28–415,600
  • *Non-conference game
  • daggerHomecoming
  • Rankings from AP poll (Div. I-AA), top ten only
  • All times are in Pacific time


1978 Idaho Vandals football team roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Name Class
FL 1 Taylor, JettJett Taylor
SE 7 Klein, JackJack Klein So
QB 10 Goodenbour, JayJay Goodenbour So
QB 11 McCurdy, MikeMike McCurdy So
QB 12 Tuttle, RockyRocky Tuttle Injured File:Redshirt.svg Sr
SE 18 Allen, KirkKirk Allen Sr
RB Brooks, RobertRobert Brooks Sr
RB Davis, RussellRussell Davis Fr
RB 30 Lappano, TimTim Lappano Injured File:Redshirt.svg Sr
RB 32 White, GlenGlen White So
RB 33 Idler, TerryTerry Idler Fr
RB 35 Ford, GlennGlenn Ford So
RB 40 Davenport, RandyRandy Davenport So
LG 58 Cozzetto, DanDan Cozzetto Sr
RG 61 Wilkin, DickDick Wilkin Sr
RT 68 Zimmermann, BryanBryan Zimmermann Sr
C 69 Coombs, LarryLarry Coombs Jr
OL 69 Riddell, KyleKyle Riddell Jr
OL 77 Randel, TomTom Randel Sr
TE 84 Mayfield, RickRick Mayfield Sr
TE Swenson, AlAl Swenson Fr
FL, TE 88 Hagadone, MikeMike Hagadone Injured File:Redshirt.svg Sr
Pos. # Name Class
FS 4 Powell, RonRon Powell So
CB 20 Jessie, RonRon Jessie Jr
SS 24 Linehan, RickRick Linehan Sr
CB 35 Keough, MikeMike Keough So
DE 42 Rekofke, BrianBrian Rekofke Sr
LB 43 Barker, LarryLarry Barker So
LB 51 Eads, ChrisChris Eads Jr
LB 52 Cafferty, BobBob Cafferty Sr
LB 53 Grimes, KellyKelly Grimes Jr
DT 71 McNeal, MarkMark McNeal Jr
NG 75 Elder, MontyMonty Elder So
DT 78 Parker, SteveSteve Parker Jr
LB 83 Vance, PhilPhil Vance Jr
DE Hayes, JayJay Hayes Fr
DE Williamson, LloydLloyd Williamson Fr
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
P 2 Jergo, DionDion Jergo Fr
PK 5 Wellmann, JeffJeff Wellmann
P 6 O'Brien, PetePete O'Brien
Head coach
  • Jerry Davitch
Coordinators/assistant coaches
  • Bill Tripp (OC)
  • Greg McMackin (DC)

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


No Vandals were chosen for All-Big Sky first team, but seven were selected for the second team; the two picks on offense were tackle Kyle Riddell and center Larry Coombs. The five on the defense were linebacker Brian Rekofke, defensive linemen Mark McNeal and Steve Parker, and defensive backs Rick Linehan and Ron Jessie.[13][14]

NFL Draft

No Vandals were selected in the 1979 NFL Draft, which lasted twelve rounds (330 selections).

One Vandal junior was later selected in the 1980 NFL Draft,[15][16] also twelve rounds (333 selections).

Player Position Round Overall Franchise
Mark McNeal DE 6th 153 Seattle Seahawks


  1. Stewart, Chuck (September 11, 1978). "'Future' arrives fast for young Vandal QB". Spokane Daily Chronicle (Washington): p. 21.
  2. "McCurdy snares quarterback job". Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Washington): p. 17. September 26, 1978.
  3. Barrows, Bob (November 20, 1978). "Idaho football". Lewiston Morning Tribune (Idaho): p. 1B.
  4. Payne, Bob (November 26, 1978). "Vandals kiss this sort of season goodbye". Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Washington): p. C5.
  5. Barrows, Bob (November 12, 1978). "No Vandal game, ISU can't make it". Lewiston Morning Tribune (Idaho): p. 1B.
  6. "One platoon arrived, one did not – sorry". Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Washington): p. C2. November 12, 1978.
  7. "Bengals forfeit to Idaho". Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Washington): p. 15. November 14, 1978.
  8. Drosendahl, Glenn (November 12, 1978). "Vandals claim a forfeit". Lewiston Morning Tribune (Idaho): p. 1B.
  9. Barrows, Bob (November 11, 1978). "Vandals, Idaho State try to salvage something". Lewiston Morning Tribune (Idaho): p. 3B.
  10. "Big schools win battle". St. Petersburg Independent. Associated Press (Florida): p. 5C. January 13, 1978.,2458519.
  11. "Rosters". Spokesman-Review ((Spokane, Washington)): p. 21. September 16, 1978.
  12. Payne, Bob (November 17, 1978). "Vandals to end frustrating season". Spokesman-Review ((Spokane, Washington)): p. 35.
  13. "All Big Sky (offense)". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Associated Press ((Idaho)): p. 3B. November 21, 1978.
  14. "Big Sky Defensive teams named". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Associated Press ((Idaho)): p. 3B. November 24, 1978.
  15. "NFL Draft: Two Palouse players go in early rounds". Lewiston Morning Tribune ((Idaho)): p. 1B. April 30, 1980.
  16. "Patera: We got the best". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press ((Spokane, Washington)): p. C2. April 30, 1980.

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