Expansion to the growing Frontier Conference isn't over yet.
The College of Idaho 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 last week.
“We are extremely pleased to join the Frontier Conference, which shares The College of Idaho’s commitment to educating student-athletes who excel in academics and athletics,” College of Idaho President Marv Henberg said. “This is an ideal match, and we look forward to the excitement that Yotes fans will experience as we develop rivalries with our fellow members of the conference.”
The addition of the C of I will bring the Frontier Conference to nine football-playing schools. This fall, Dickinson State University will officially join the conference in all sports while Southern Oregon University enters in football only.
“I am extremely excited to announce this morning that the Council of Presidents of the Frontier Conference has approved a request by The College of Idaho to join the league as an associate member for football,” Paulson said. “The Yotes are resurrecting their program after some 35 years and will begin the process of restoring football, officially beginning play in the 2014 season.”
The College of Idaho is reviving its football program after a 35-year absence. The school’s football history is rich in tradition and boasts four players who went on to professional careers in the National Football League (NFL). The most renowned is the late R.C. Owens, who played eight years for the San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Colts and New York Giants and is famed for inventing the “Alley-Oop” pass and catch.
C of I Athletic Director Mary Holly said playing football in the Frontier Conference is an ideal fit for The College of Idaho.
“We will be competing against some of the top NAIA football programs in the country, which is something prospective players strongly desire, and we look forward to that challenge,” Holly said. “National champions in football have come from the Frontier Conference and we like entering that level of competition. That’s the level of excellence we aspire to achieve.”
During the seven decades of the College’s football program, C of I played games against Frontier Conference members Carroll College, Eastern Oregon, Montana Tech, Montana Western, Rocky Mountain and Southern Oregon. The College of Idaho compiled a 32-13 record against those teams.
“As commissioner of the Frontier Conference, I couldn’t be happier for the staff, students and the community of Caldwell,” Paulson added. “We look for a long and prosperous relationship with a school known for its high standards of academic excellence and tremendous athletic programs.”
The addition of C of I brings the Frontier one stop closer to securing multiple autmomatic bids to the NAIA playoffs.