American Football Database

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

1986 Idaho Vandals football
ConferenceBig Sky Conference
1986 record8–4 (5–2 Big Sky)
Head coachKeith Gilbertson
(1st season)
Offensive coordinatorBill Diedrick (1st season)
Defensive coordinatorKent Baer (1st season)
Home stadiumKibbie Dome
← 1985
1987 →

Template:1986 Big Sky football standings The 1986 Idaho Vandals football team represented the University of Idaho in the 1986 NCAA Division I-AA football season. The Vandals, led by first-year head coach Keith Gilbertson, were members of the Big Sky Conference and played their home games at the Kibbie Dome, an indoor facility on campus in Moscow, Idaho.

Continuing upon the success of the previous four seasons under Dennis Erickson, the Vandals were defending conference champions and finished the regular season at 8–3 and 5–2 in the Big Sky, tied for second. Led by senior quarterback Scott Linehan, Idaho qualified for the I-AA playoffs for the second straight season.[1]

Notable games

The Vandals defeated rival Boise State for the fifth consecutive year, the fifth of twelve straight over the Broncos, but lost twice to nemesis Nevada-Reno, who were top-ranked in I-AA and undefeated in the regular season.[2] Uncommon for a playoff team, the Vandals were shut out at home 24–0 by Northern Arizona in late October.[3]

Division I-AA playoffs

The I-AA playoffs were expanded from 12 to 16 teams in 1986, eliminating the first round bye for the top four seeds. Idaho and Big Sky champion Nevada-Reno were the only two teams selected from the West, and were paired up in the first round in Reno two days after Thanksgiving. In mid-October the teams played a close defensive game, and the Vandals came up short by four points.[4] The rematch in the post-season was not close as the Wolf Pack prevailed 27–7,[2] improving their record over Idaho to 8–1 since joining the Big Sky in 1979.

Notable players

The 1986 team included two future NFL head coaches: quarterback Scott Linehan[5] and offensive lineman Tom Cable. Future NFL players with lengthy pro careers included guard Mark Schlereth (redshirt sophomore) and redshirt freshman John Friesz, a future collegiate hall of fame quarterback was Linehan's back-up in 1986. Friesz was a three-year starter (198789) and defeated Nevada-Reno all three seasons, including the first-ever victory in Reno in 1988.


September 66:30 pmPortland State (Div. II)*W 42–10
September 1310:00 amat Central Michigan (Div. I-A)*
  • Perry Shorts Stadium
  • Mount Pleasant, Michigan
L 21–34
September 201:00 pmCal State Fullerton (Div. I-A)*dagger
  • Kibbie Dome
  • Moscow, Idaho [6]
W 25–1712,500
September 271:00 pmat No. 6 Eastern Washington*W 27–107,835
October 46:30 pmIdaho StateNo. 17
  • Kibbie Dome
  • Moscow, Idaho
W 38–269,500
October 181:00 pmat No. 1 Nevada-RenoNo. 12L 17–2313,825
October 256:30 pmNorthern ArizonaNo. 15
  • Kibbie Dome
  • Moscow, Idaho
L 0–24
November 112:00 pmat Montana
W 38–31
November 86:30 pmMontana State
  • Kibbie Dome
  • Moscow, Idaho
W 44–17
November 156:30 pmWeber State
  • Kibbie Dome
  • Moscow, Idaho
W 31–17
November 2212:30 pmat Boise StateNo. 20
W 21–1421,275
November 2912:00 pmat No. 1 Nevada-Reno*No. 16
L 7–2713,715
  • *Non-conference game
  • daggerHomecoming
  • Rankings from NCAA (Div. I-AA)
  • All times are in Pacific time



1986 Idaho Vandals football team roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Name Class
QB 10 Linehan, ScottScott Linehan Sr
QB 17 Friesz, JohnJohn Friesz Fr
RB Lloyd, FreddieFreddie Lloyd Sr
RB Hoiness, ToddTodd Hoiness So
RB 32 Jackson, SteveSteve Jackson Sr
WR 33 Bengen, BrantBrant Bengen Sr
TE Robinson, CraigCraig Robinson Jr
TE Slater, ChrisChris Slater So
TE, LB Wilkins, PetePete Wilkins Jr
T Taggert, PaulPaul Taggert Sr
G Katz, ScottScott Katz Jr
C Benson, PhilPhil Benson Jr
G Wright, TroyTroy Wright Fr
T Hale, GregGreg Hale So
Pos. # Name Class
SS 13 Able, ChrisChris Able So
FS 16 Tidd, MarkMark Tidd Sr
CB 29 Paulson, VirgilVirgil Paulson Jr
SS McCanna, DanDan McCanna Jr
LB 38 Hennessey, TomTom Hennessey Sr
DE, LB Harper, NolanNolan Harper Sr
LB Cox, MikeMike Cox Sr
LB Parker, DaveDave Parker Sr
LB Nilsson, ShawnShawn Nilsson Sr
DT, OL 60 Schlereth, MarkMark Schlereth So
DT Dowdy, CraigCraig Dowdy
DE Smith, KordKord Smith Jr
DE Ballard, TroyTroy Ballard Sr
DT Porter, CharlieCharlie Porter Fr
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
K Decicio, BrianBrian Decicio So
P 7 Magnuson, DarinDarin Magnuson Sr
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches

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


Linebacker Tom Hennessey was a repeat selection to the all-conference team.[9][10] Eight Vandals were included on the second team: safety Mark Tidd, linebacker Nolan Harper, defensive end Kord Smith, quarterback Scott Linehan, running back Steve Jackson, wide receiver Brant Bengen, and tackles Paul Taggert and Greg Hale.[9]


  1. Boling, Dave (December 3, 1986). "Dennis who?". Spokane Chronicle ((Washington)): p. D1.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Stoffer, Jeff (December 1, 1986). "UI no obstruction for top-rated Reno". Idahonian ((Moscow)): p. 9.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Idaho 1985-89".
  4. Boling, Dave (October 19, 1986). "Idaho fumbles a chance to beat Reno, 17-13". Spokesman-Review ((Spokane, Washington)): p. D1.
  5. "Hennessey again on first team". Idahonian. Associated Press (Moscow): p. 8. December 3, 1986.
  6. "Idaho 25, CS Fullerton 17". The Los Angeles Times: p. III-19. September 21, 1986. access
  7. "Starting line-ups". Lewiston Morning Tribune ((Idaho)): p. 4B. September 20, 1986.
  8. "Starting line-ups". Lewiston Morning Tribune ((Idaho)): p. 3B. September 27, 1986.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Hennessey honored in Sky". Spokane Chronicle ((Washington)): p. D3. December 3, 1986.
  10. "Hennessey again on first team". Idahonian. Associated Press ((Moscow)): p. 8. December 3, 1986.

External links