Courtesy College of Idaho
The College of Idaho celebrated its first football victory in 37 years when it faced off against the Pacific University Boxers in Forest Grove, Ore., on Sept. 6, but it was also the Coyotes' first football game since 1977.
C of I's football program was reinstated
in May 2012, when the private liberal arts college kicked off a yearslong fundraising campaign and construction of a new athletics facility. The team held its first scrimmage
in April, and the $4 million Marty Holly Athletics Center opened in August, paving the way for the debut game against Pacific on Sept. 6, which the Coyotes' won 35-34.
According to a post-game report
from the college, C of I junior quarterback Teejay Gordan stunned the home team when he ran for 137 yards, threw for 195 and scored three touchdowns.
“To score on the first drive was key for us—we knew we belonged,” said C of I Coach Mike Moroski, a 56-year-old University of California at Davis graduate who played eight pro seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, Houston Oilers and San Francisco 49ers.
“Pacific is a really good team, so I thought our coaches did a fantastic job, and it was a lot of fun to see guys execute and make big plays at crucial times,” he said.
The decision to bring football back to the 123-year-old Caldwell campus has not been universally applauded, with some concerned that the program would dilute C of I's well-known commitment to academic excellence.
"There were, and still are in my opinion, doubts, and we have to prove that 100-something football players—or any large influx of students—can keep the same standards and keep what we love about the college the same," C of I Athletic Director Marty Holly told Boise Weekly
in August. "We've worked hard to make sure the school doesn't change negatively."
Enthusiasm for the Sept. 6 game, broadcast on KTIK AM 1350
, ran high on Facebook and Twitter, with alums sharing play-by-plays and checking in from as far away as France. The Coyotes' first home game
is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 13, at Simplot Stadium in Caldwell, when the Yotes go up against Montana Western.