Every third Thursday of each month, Idaho Director of Athletics Dr. Rob Spear will post a new blog entry directed towards Vandal fans. Dr. Spear will use these monthly communiqués to set the record straight and talk to you – Vandal to Vandal..
An archive of previous blog entries can be accessed here.
As we head into the spring sports season, I thought it would be good to reflect back on the performance of all of our 16 intercollegiate sport programs over the past year. Thanks to your support, we are having unprecedented success as a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) institution when you review the recent combined performance of our sport programs.
The football team has won 14 games over two years which is the most since the 1998-99 seasons.
The men's basketball team has won 50 games over the past three seasons, which is the most since the 1991-92, 1992-93 and 1993-94 seasons. The team's 18 wins this season was the most since the 1994 season.
The women's basketball team participated in the Women's Basketball Invitational (WBI), which was the first post-season appearance for the women since their NIT championship run in 1986. This year the team won 14 games which is the most since the 2004-05 season. In the process, Yinka Olorunnife became the all-time leading rebounder for the University of Idaho and for the Western Athletic Conference.
Continues to maintain its competitiveness as a top tier WAC program. Participated in the semi-finals of the WAC tournament.
Had the best season in school history and Pete Showler was honored as the WAC Coach of the Year.
The women won the WAC Cross Country Championship and Wayne Phipps was honored as WAC Coach of the Year. The men's program finished fifth.
The men's program finished fourth in the WAC and women's program completed one of the most successful seasons in school history by finishing third in the WAC and participating in the West Regional. Four women golfers were honored as Division I All-American Scholars by the National Golf Coaches Association. Currently Kayla Mortellaro is the ninth-ranked amateur in the world.
For the second year in a row, the Idaho men's tennis team earned the program's highest national ranking ever, checking in at No. 57 in the most recent ITA national rankings. The Vandals are off to the best start in program history at 11-2 overall, and are 1-0 in the Western Athletic Conference. Recently the men's team defeated ranked opponents - No. 62 San Francisco and No. 59 Boise State last weekend.
Last year after putting together a 20-6 overall record, and riding a 16-match win streak for much of the season, the University of Idaho women's tennis team earned a No. 10 ranking in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Mountain region final rankings. This year the women are off to an 8-3 start.
Track & Field
Both the men and women finished third in the WAC indoor championships. During the outdoor season, the Idaho women finished second in the team standings with 175.5 points - the team's highest point total since winning the 2003 Big West Conference outdoor title. The Vandal men scored 92 points and finished fifth overall. Both the men and women's track programs were honored by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association with its Division I All-Academic Team honor. Two University of Idaho student-athletes - Jonathan Marler and Allix Lee-Painter, were recognized by the WAC as Stan Bates award winners. This is the conference's highest academic award and honors its top male and female scholar-athletes for their athletic and academic accomplishments.
The Women's swim team ended its 2010-11 season with its first winning conference meet record ever and sent a swimmer, Shana Lim, to the NCAA Swimming and Diving championships for the first time since swimming returned to campus in 2004. Seven athletes recorded times that made them eligible to be considered for the NCAA national meet and diver Paige Hunt was the first Vandal to advance to the Zone Diving Championships.
As you can see I am very excited about our Vandal Athletic program and look forward to continued success. For other Vandal Points of Pride check out this link: http://www.govandals.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=17100&ATCLID=205006367