46°43′34″N 117°01′05″W / 46.726, -117.018

1988 [[Script error]]
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Big Sky champion
ConferenceBig Sky Conference
DivisionScript error
CoachesNo. 1 (Nov 22)
1988 record11–2 (7–1 Big Sky)
Head coachKeith Gilbertson
(3rd season)
Offensive coordinatorBill Diedrick (3rd season)
Defensive coordinatorBarry Lamb (2nd season)
Home stadiumKibbie Dome
← 1987
1989 →
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Template:1988 Big Sky football standings The 1988 Idaho Vandals football team represented the University of Idaho in the 1988 NCAA Division I-AA football season. The Vandals, led by third-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.

The Vandals won their third conference title in four seasons, and made the I-AA playoffs for the fourth consecutive season. Led by redshirt junior quarterback John Friesz, Idaho finished the regular season at 9–1 and 7–1 in the Big Sky.[1][2] The Vandals scheduled only ten regular season games for the first time since 1969.[3] Idaho played only ten regular season games again in 1995, their final year the Big Sky.

The shortened regular season was beneficial in 1988, as the Vandals played three post-season games, falling on the road in the national semifinals in Gilbertson's final game as the Vandals' head coach. He left for an assistant's position in the Pac-10 in Seattle, as offensive line coach under head coach Don James at Washington.

Notable gamesEdit

Following a sole loss on the road to conference rival Montana, Idaho won its final seven games of the regular season. The Vandals defeated Nevada-Reno for a second consecutive year,[4] only the third time in the eleven meetings since the Wolf Pack joined the Big Sky in 1979. The Vandals defeated rival Boise State for the seventh consecutive year,[1][2] the seventh of twelve straight over the Broncos. Idaho entered the post-season with the top ranking in Division I-AA.[5][6]

Division I-AA playoffsEdit

For the fourth consecutive season, Idaho returned to the I-AA playoffs. In the first round, the Vandals hosted conference foe Montana, who had handed the Vandals their only defeat. The Vandals won the rematch 38–19 at the Kibbie Dome two days after Thanksgiving.[7][8] Idaho also hosted in the quarterfinals, and defeated Northwestern State (La.) 38–30, but lost quarterback John Friesz with an ankle sprain in the third quarter.[9]

In the semifinals Idaho was eliminated 38–7 on the road at Furman in Greenville, South Carolina, ending the Vandals' season at 11–2. With their third-string quarterback and many other reserves playing against the top-ranked defense in Division I-AA, the Vandals were only down 10–0 at the half, but the score mounted to 38–0 before the Vandals scored. The Vandal defense gave up 320 rushing yards to the Paladins.[10] Furman went on to win the I-AA title the following week.

Notable playersEdit

The 1988 team included three future NFL players with lengthy pro careers: defensive end Marvin Washington, guard Mark Schlereth, and junior John Friesz, the future collegiate hall of fame quarterback was a three-year starter (1987–89). Washington was on a basketball scholarship and this was his only season of Vandal football.


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1988 Idaho Vandals football team roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Name Class
WR Allen, LeeLee Allen Jr
WR Dunn, KaseyKasey Dunn Fr
WR Jake, JohnJohn Jake Sr
QB Nolan, SteveSteve Nolan So
QB 17 Friesz, JohnJohn Friesz Jr
QB Beitia, AndyAndy Beitia Fr
RB Daniels, DamonDamon Daniels So
RB Harris, BruceBruce Harris So
RB Pearce, DevonDevon Pearce Fr
TE 94 Slater, ChrisChris Slater Sr
T 70 Hale, GregGreg Hale Sr
G 63 Wright, TroyTroy Wright Jr
G Hoff, ChrisChris Hoff
C Unger, SteveSteve Unger Jr
G 60 Schlereth, MarkMark Schlereth Sr
T Neu, ToddTodd Neu Jr
Pos. # Name Class
CB 1 Carey, RichardRichard Carey Sr
CB Oliver, CharlieCharlie Oliver So
FS Pleas, JohnJohn Pleas Sr
SS Smith, BrianBrian Smith Sr
LB Medved, JerryJerry Medved Sr
LB Medved, JimJim Medved Sr
LB Cecil, RogerRoger Cecil So
DE Routos, JimJim Routos So
DT Zeller, MikeMike Zeller Jr
DT Smith, KordKord Smith Jr
DE 90 Washington, MarvinMarvin Washington Sr
DE Robinson, JeffJeff Robinson 10px Fr
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
K Doyle, ThaneThane Doyle
P Pleas, JohnJohn Pleas Sr
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches
  • Bill Diedrick (OC)
  • Barry Lamb (DC)

  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • Cruz Roja.svg Injured
  • Redshirt.svg Redshirt


Quarterback John Friesz and tackle Greg Hale returned to the all-conference team as unanimous selections. Also on the first team were wide receiver John Jake, center Steve Unger, defensive end Marvin Washington, and safety Brian Smith. Vandals on the second team were tackle Todd Neu, guard Mark Schlereth, cornerback Richard Carey, and linebackers Roger Cecil and Jerry Medved. Honorable mention were wide receiver Lee Allen, guard Troy Wright, running back Bruce Harris, placekicker Thayne Doyle, and defensive linemen Kord Smith, Jim Routos, and Mike Zeller.[5][6][7][8]

Friesz repeated as the Big Sky's outstanding offensive player, and was a first-team Kodak All-American in Division I-AA.[9][10]

NFL DraftEdit

Two Vandal seniors were selected in the 1989 NFL Draft, which lasted twelve rounds (335 selections).

Player Position Round Overall Franchise
Marvin Washington DE 6th 151 New York Jets
Mark Schlereth G 10th 263 Washington Redskins

One Vandal junior was selected in the following year's draft in 1990, also twelve rounds (332 selections).

Player Position Round Overall Franchise
John Friesz QB 6th 138 San Diego Chargers


  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named pandgn
  2. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named ntmre
  3. "Idaho at Boise State: probable starting lineups". Lewiston Morning Tribune ((Idaho)): p. 4B. November 19, 1988.
  4. "Montana at Idaho: probable starting lineups". Lewiston Morning Tribune ((Idaho)): p. 4B. November 26, 1988.
  5. "All-BSC: Six Vandals make first team". Idahonian. staff and wire report ((Moscow)): p. 6A. November 30, 1988.
  6. "UI's Friesz named Big Sky first-team quarterback". Lewiston Morning Tribune. staff and wire reports ((Idaho)): p. 1B. November 30, 1988.
  7. "Friesz and Hale unanimous picks". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press ((Spokane, Washington)): p. D1. November 30, 1988.
  8. "Dozen Vandals land on Big Sky all-stars". Spokane Chronicle. staff and wire reports ((Washington)): p. C1. November 30, 1988.
  9. "Surprised Friesz gains more awards". Idahonian. staff and wire reports ((Moscow)): p. 1B. December 2, 1988.
  10. "Friesz named All-American, MVP". Spokesman-Review. staff and wire reports ((Spokane, Washington)): p. C1. December 2, 1988.

External linksEdit

Template:Big Sky Conference football champions

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