Robb Akey knew his Idaho coaching staff needed a pick-me-up after Saturdays 70-28 loss to Louisiana Tech.
So he scheduled a staff meeting for Sunday afternoon to suggest some changes, highlight bright spots and review recruiting plans during the bye week.
Before he got to that meeting, however, Idaho Athletic Director Rob Spear fired Akey.
I didnt expect it in the middle of the season. I knew we needed to win more games. We needed to win more and that was an ugly game on top of it, Akey told the Idaho Statesman on Tuesday. I expected to be able to finish the season.
Idaho is 1-7 this season. Akey went 20-50 in five-plus seasons with the Vandals, including an 8-5 bowl season in 2009 the programs only winning season since 1999.
By firing him midseason, Idaho saved $105,000 of his $365,797 salary, Akey said. Idaho owes Akey his base salary of $165,797 through Dec. 2014.
He said the past few days have been painful and the pain was evident in his normally booming voice. Its been miserable. Ive never been fired before," he said. Thats been hard.
Supportive calls, texts and visits from players and coaches have made it better, he said.
I was happy to see they weren't throwing a party I was leaving, Akey said. I told each one of them that they've made a hard situation a heck of a lot better. It meant the world to see and hear from those kids.
Akey and wife Molly have two sons at Moscow High. Jack is a sophomore starting wide receiver for the playoff-bound Bears. Daniel is a freshman. Both play basketball. Akey said the family might stick around Moscow.
They looked at me and said, What? Dad, youre not going to be any fun to be around, Akey said. Ill see what I might be able to get into. By noon yesterday, I was going crazy.