American Football Database
Robb Akey
File:Robb akey jan 2010.jpg
Akey in January 2010
Biographical details
Born (1966-07-24) July 24, 1966 (age 56)
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Alma materWeber State College
Playing career
1984–1987Weber State
Position(s)Defensive lineman,
linebacker, tight end
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Weber State (DL/ST)
Northern Arizona (ST)
Northern Arizona (DC)
Washington State (DL)
Washington State (DC)
Minnesota Vikings (ADL)
Head coaching record
College Football Data Warehouse

Robb Alan Akey (born July 24, 1966) is an American football coach, currently the assistant defensive line coach for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League.[1][2] He joined the team for the 2014 season, his first in the professional ranks.

Akey was a college football coach for 25 seasons, the last six as head coach for the Idaho Vandals of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). Akey became Idaho's fourth head coach in 37 months when he was hired on December 20, 2006, by athletic director Rob Spear. He led the Vandals to victory in their first bowl game in more than a decade, but after a 1–7 start in 2012, Akey's contract was terminated on October 21.[3] He achieved a 20–50 (.286) record while head coach at Idaho.

Early years

Akey grew up in Colorado Springs, and was a 1984 graduate of Wasson High School, where he was three-sport athlete. Akey played on the defensive line for head coach Mike Price at Weber State in Ogden, Utah, in the mid-1980s, where he was an all-conference (Big Sky) selection at defensive end in his senior season. He also earned honorable mention honors on the All-American team (Division I-AA), and was the Wildcats' career sack leader. During his college career he also played at linebacker and on the offense at tight end. The Wildcats were 10–3 in his senior season of 1987, advancing to the I-AA quarterfinals.

Assistant coach

Akey was a college assistant coach for 19 seasons, the last eight at neighboring Washington State, eight miles (13 km) to the west on the Palouse. He was hired as a defensive line coach under WSU head coach Mike Price following the 1998 season, and added the defensive coordinator duties in 2003 under new head Bill Doba, who was the defensive coordinator for Price.

Before moving to Pullman for the 1999 season, Akey was an assistant coach for 11 seasons in the Big Sky Conference in Division I-AA. He was at Northern Arizona in Flagstaff for four seasons (1995–98), after seven at his alma mater, Weber State (1988–94).

Break with ties

Akey was the first Idaho head coach since Jerry Davitch (1978–81) without previous ties to the Vandals, either as a former player or assistant coach.[4] But Akey had familiarity with the program, as he lived eight miles from the Moscow campus for eight seasons, with Idaho as an opponent in each of those seasons. In addition, Akey either played or coached against the Vandals for a dozen seasons (1984–95), while a player and assistant coach in the Big Sky.

Akey succeeded Dennis Erickson, who left his second stint at Idaho after just ten months for Arizona State of the Pac-10. Erickson was preceded by Nick Holt, who voluntarily departed after only two seasons, compiling nine losses in each. Tom Cable was fired in late 2003, after four disappointing seasons (11–35, .239).

Akey's tenure as Vandals head coach ended in 2012 on October 21, when Idaho fired him following a 70–28 loss to Louisiana Tech, moving the team's overall record to 1–7 for the season.[5]


On February 22, 2007, the Idaho State Board of Education approved a five-year, $1.2 million contract for Akey, or $240,000 per year; $155,000 in base salary and $85,000 for media/public appearances. This was the largest contract in Vandals' history and included a $1 million buyout clause if Akey left before January 2, 2009.[6]

The buyout clause was pro-rated; the figure dropped to $750,000 if he left before January 1, 2010, and $500,000 for the remainder of the five-year deal. The large buyout was the result of the departure former coach Dennis Erickson; he left for Arizona State after one season in 2006 and faced only a nominal $150,000 buyout.

Incentive bonuses included $5,000 for conference coach of the year; $5,000 for academic achievement and team behavior; 1/13th of annual salary ($11,923.20) for a Top 25 ranking; and 1/13th of annual salary for a conference championship or bowl game appearance.

Following the 2009 winning season and bowl victory, Akey was awarded with a new five-year contract in June 2010. It maintains a constant annual base salary of $165,796.80 with annual media payments beginning at $190,000 per year and increasing by $10,000 each year of the contract. There are seven performance-based contingencies in the salary agreement, which could boost his annual compensation to as much as $514,057.60 in 2011 to $544,057.60 in 2014. The base salary is from state funds; the remainder comes through private fund-raising efforts such as the "Coaching Excellence Fund." [7]

Akey was relieved as head coach in October 2012, but his contract runs through December 2014, and the university owes him his base salary of $165,796.80 until then.[3]

The WSU game

When hired as the Vandals' new head coach, Akey stated that he was opposed to holding the Battle of the Palouse rivalry game with Washington State every year. He said he preferred it as a "once-in-a-while thing," to minimize possible "off-field" problems between rival programs only eight miles apart.[8] The annual game was revived in 1998 and played for ten consecutive years; it was last played in Akey's first season of 2007 and was renewed for a game in 2013.[9]

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Idaho Vandals (Western Athletic Conference) (2007–present)
2007 Idaho 1–11 0–8 9th
2008 Idaho 2–10 1–7 9th
2009 Idaho 8–5 4–4 4th W Humanitarian
2010 Idaho 6–7 3–5 6th
2011 Idaho 2–10 1–6 8th
2012 Idaho 1–7 1–2
Idaho: 20–50 10–32
Total: 20–50
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
#Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.


  1. "Vikings announce 2014 coaching staff". Minnesota Vikings. February 6, 2014. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
  2. Wilson, Aaron (February 6, 2014). "Vikings finalize coaching staff". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Murphy, Brian (October 21, 2012). "Vandals fire Akey after 1–7 start". Idaho Statesman. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  4. Meehan, Jim (December 21, 2006). "Akey a change of pace". The Spokesman-Review: p. C1. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
  5. Coleman, Scott (October 21, 2012). "Robb Akey 'relieved of his duties', Jason Gesser interim coach". Retrieved October 26, 2012.
  6. The Idaho Statesman – Akey's contract approved – 23-Feb-2007
  7. Go – Regents approve Akey's contract – 2010-06-17 – accessed 2011-10-28
  8. The Seattle Times – Akey talks of commitment – 21-Dec-2006
  9. "Cougars add Idaho to 2013 football schedule". Washington State University Athletics. May 1, 2012. Retrieved August 16, 2012.

External links