Gesser named running backs coach at Idaho

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Former Washington State and Tennessee Titans quarterback Jason Gesser has joined the Idaho football coaching staff, head coach Robb Akey announced Thursday. Gesser quarterbacked the Cougars during Akey’s time on WSU’s staff during the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.

“I’m very excited about adding Jason to our staff,” Akey said. “He’s got great leadership ability. He started his coaching career and he’s one of the greatest competitors that I’ve ever seen. If even a little bit of that rubs off on our players it will go a long way.”

Gesser was most recently the head football coach and associate director of athletics at Eastside Catholic High School in Sammamish, Wash., where his 2010 squad went 6-4 and broke 11 school records.

“It really is a dream come true working for a guy like that,” Gesser said of Akey. “I’ve been trying for the last handful of years to see if he’d let me join his staff and I finally got him to bite. I’ve seen his kids grow in front of my eyes and I’m very close with his family. I’ve spent a lot of time with him not only as a player but since he’s been coaching at Idaho.”

Gesser, a native of Hawai`i, will coach Idaho’s running backs, as well as recruit in the northwest and Hawai`i.

“He’ll have some influence recruiting in Hawai’i as well as the Seattle area where he is a household name, and all over the northwest,” Akey said. “And obviously he will be a leader and a mentor to not just the running backs but all the guys on our team as well.”

“The biggest thing I’m looking forward to is getting to know the players,” Gesser said. “I’m a big personal type of a guy, and I’m big on building personal relationships with the players. I’m really looking forward to building that personal relationship and trust.”

While at Washington State from 1998-2002, Gesser was a first-team All-American and Pac-10 Offensive MVP. He led the Cougars to the program’s first back-to-back 10-win seasons and in 2002 he finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy voting.

Gesser played for the NFL’s Tennessee Titans from 2003-05 before quarterbacking the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampede from 2005-06. He then played for the Arena Football League’s Utah Blaze from 2005-08.

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.

“I’m looking forward to becoming one of the best recruiters in the west,” Gesser said. “I’m highly involved with a lot of guys in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and being from Hawai`i, I have an influence in the Islands as well.”