Thirty-six years have passed since College of Idaho players broke a huddle, strut to the line of scrimmage and snarled at an opponent. But the tackling dummies are wheeled out of storage, the cob webs are swept off the helmets and the pigskins have come out of the attic.
The Coyotes football program is back.
And there’s a significant amount of business to be conducted before the first kickoff sails into the Caldwell sky at Simplot Stadium, which is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 30, 2014 vs. Eastern Oregon.
Slowly, there’s an infrastructure molding, and it all started when C of I athletic director Marty Holly hired coach Mike Moroski, an ex-NFL player who inherits the architectural chore of establishing a blue print for the future.
“Adding football is a daunting task for a college,” said Moroski, who was hired in January as the 17th coach in Coyotes football history and the first since 1977. “It’s a very precise business plan.
“There’s a lot to do, especially in the first couple of years.”
Weekly meetings between the C of I braintrust touch a variety of topics, from the refurbishing of bathrooms at Simplot Stadium, to sorting through bids for a synthetic FieldTurf surface. That involves communication with a host of companies, the city of Caldwell and Canyon County.
Another aspect of the business plan? Assessing the dollar amounts associated with scholarships. The NAIA allows 24 — but the C of I has a budget for 16 for the entire program.
More hot topics include the number of helmets to purchase — 60-65 players will arrive by September, but 100-120 for the first game in 2014 — and, they’re also in the stages of ironing ideas for a logo and jerseys to proudly represent the Coyotes’ purple, gold and black colors.
“I don’t think we’ll be the University of Oregon with 27 different uniform combinations,” Moroski says. “We’ll go more with the SEC style, with a classic look.”
The Coyotes will join the Frontier Conference as a football-only member in fall 2014, following a vote of the conference’s council of presidents, conference commissioner Kent Paulson announced in June 2012.
“I think we’re valuable to them, and they’re valuable to us,” Moroski says. “The city of Boise and the Treasure Valley is by far the biggest population center in the conference.”
Meanwhile, the tasks are endless and Moroski plays an important role: meeting donors to talk about the program, to answer specifics, to help raise funds. His coaching staff lists one employee — offensive coordinator Tim Keane, who meets with him a few times a week to diagram the infant stages of a playbook.
The blue print is being established, and Moroski’s fingerprints are all over it.
If the C of I football program is the equivalent of building a house — from the foundation, to the slabs, to the walls …
“We’re not even to the walls yet. We’re still at the foundational level,” Moroski says. “You have to build slow, you have to build well, you have to build carefully, you have to be precise.
“As in many building projects, you make minor adjustments to the blueprint. There’s more infrastructure stuff that’s going on.
“It’s a five-year plan, really” he continued. “It’s a lengthy plan, and there’s lots to do, and to do it well, I think the worst thing you can do is rush into it.”