The College of Idaho will welcome football back to its campus, a move that also establishes the only small college football program in the state of Idaho.
The Board of Trustees approved the reinstatement of the College’s football team at its May 10-11 meeting and the team is expected to begin play during the fall 2014 season. The Board stressed the desirability of conference affiliation in its vote, and President Marv Henberg and Athletic Director Marty Holly have been invited to a June meeting of Frontier Conference Presidents and Athletic Directors to pursue an application as an associate member to the conference, where C of I would compete in football only.
"Reinstating the College’s football program is an opportunity for us to extend our mission of providing an outstanding liberal arts education,” Henberg said. “There are many high school football players who want to continue playing at the collegiate level while they receive a high quality education. That is exactly what The College of Idaho offers.”
Meetings were held with the College’s students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends during the spring semester to gather feedback. Henberg said a variety of factors were weighed by the board in making its final decision, including the impact on student life, alumni engagement, revenue and College-community relations.
The College will launch immediately an intensive fundraising campaign to defray capital expenses and startup costs associated with football.
“We believe that football is going to be a shot of adrenaline for The College of Idaho and for the Treasure Valley,” Henberg said. “Football games and the associated activities will bring our students, alumni and staff together in celebration, and offer Treasure Valley residents a new opportunity to watch small college football. I believe that fundraising for football will be successful and complementary to the other aspirations in our comprehensive Advance The Legacy Campaign, which has to date produced $134 million toward our 2016 campaign goal of $175 million.”
Athletics Director Marty Holly noted that there is a wealth of talented high school football players in Idaho and neighboring states.
“There are many smart, young student-athletes who want to play football and would love a chance to play near their families and get an education that will set them up for a lifetime of success,” Holly said. “Our student-athletes thrive in the classroom and in competition, and we’re committed to doing the same with football.”
The C of I football team anticipates playing in Simplot Stadium near campus and would add to the current 19 men’s and women’s varsity teams competing in the NAIA and USCSA. The College had a football program for more than 60 years before it was disbanded in the late 1970s and has sent four of its alumni to the NFL.
Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state’s oldest private liberal arts college. It has a century-old tradition of educating some of the most accomplished graduates in Idaho, including six Rhodes Scholars, three Marshall Scholars, and another 11 Truman and Goldwater Scholars. The College is located on a beautiful campus in Caldwell, Idaho. Its distinctive PEAK curriculum challenges students to attain competencies in the four knowledge peaks of the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field, enabling them to graduate with an academic major and three minors in four years. For more information on The College of Idaho, visit www.collegeofidaho.edu.