Cougs great Gesser hired as Vandals offensive coordinator
Jason Gesser made a name for himself running a high-powered offense on the field at Washington State University. Now, Gesser has the opportunity to run the offense from a different perspective. Gesser, who spent the 2011 football season as Idaho’s running backs coach, has been hired as Idaho’s next offensive coordinator, head football coach Robb Akey announced Thursday.
“He’s very capable, he’s a good coach,” Akey said of Gesser. “He knows exactly what we want done. He’s played it at a high level – both in college and at a professional level. The thing about your quarterback is he has been in those game-plan meetings. He’s made those checks at the line of scrimmage. He’s been able to build an offense as a coach and call it. I’m going to count on Jason to pull it all together and to be aggressive in the course of a ballgame.”
Gesser will call the plays for Idaho, and will also make the shift from coaching Idaho’s running backs to coaching the quarterbacks. Gesser quarterbacked Washington State during Akey’s tenure on WSU’s staff during the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.
After earning first-team All-America and Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year honors in 2002, Gesser spent six seasons playing professionally, including three years in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans.
“He played that game, he’s able to teach it,” Akey said. “I expect him to be an even better teacher at the quarterback position than he was at the running back position. He hasn’t maybe called games from the press box or the sideline in college, but he’s done it in college and at the professional level on the field, and that’s under duress with those guys coming after you. There are some years of experience in regards to that that do apply. That’s why I feel comfortable with him in the play-calling situation.”
Earlier this month Gesser was recognized by Scout/FoxSportNext as the Western Athletic Conference Recruiter of the Year, as Idaho’s signing class was ranked No. 1 in the WAC by Scout.com.
Gesser was hired at Idaho in June 30, 2011 after spending the 2010 football season as head coach and associate athletics director at Eastside Catholic High School in Sammamish, Wash., where his 2010 team went 6-4 and broke 11 school records.
He will fill the position left by Steve Axman, who was Idaho’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for five seasons before retiring after the 2011 season.
In 2008 Gesser founded Jason Gesser Elite Sports, which hosted 280 attendees at the 2010 Nike Northwest Elite Football Camp, and 135 at the 2009 Northwest Elite Football Camp. The company has also held multiple quarterback skills camps throughout the northwest.