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Robb Akey: The Coolest Guy In Sports

University of Idaho head football coach Robb Akey is easily the coolest guy in college football. Heck, he just might be the coolest person on the planet.

Akey jumped into the spotlight last year after leading the Vandals to their best record in more than a decade (they finished the year 8-5). They were the second most improved team in the country, behind only Southern Methodist University. Idaho capped the year with a thrilling 43-42 win in the Humanitarian Bowl, going for a two point conversion in the final seconds of regulation for the win.

That’s when Akey’s celebrity really took off on a national level. In a halftime interview with ESPN’s Heather Cox, Akey told viewers, “Watch the second half, you’re gonna love it.” He didn’t disappoint. The two teams combined for 57 points after the break, and Idaho’s decision to go for two was the most thrilling moment of the bowl season.

After the victory, Akey stayed on the field with the mobs of Idaho fans that rushed the field to celebrate. He finally decided to head back to the locker room, but I still needed to interview him before my sportscast that night. I cut him off as he was walking off the field. Many coaches would look right through me, but Akey took the time to answer my questions. When we were finished, Akey grabbed on to me, gave me a bear hug, and thanked me for being there. I beg you to name another college football coach that would do something like that. You can’t.

To really know Robb Akey, you have to listen to him talk (some might actually call it a bark). That’s why I’ve attached the following video. You don’t have to watch the entire interview (you can if you want to), but you have to at least hear him for the rest of this to make sense:

Some have compared his voice to fictional Cleveland Indians manager Lou Brown (R.I.P) from Major League (sorry I couldn’t find a less annoying video), while others think he sounds more like Nick Nolte from 48 Hours. What do you think?

Anyone who knows Robb Akey has tried to impersonate the guy. I know I’m guilty. Thanks to @fauxrobbakey, I can even look like him now. Idaho quarterback Nathan Enderle and tight end Daniel Hardy shared their imitations for us last year, and it’s obvious they had plenty of practice before we put them on camera. They aren’t quite as good as Matt Damon impersonating Matthew McConaughey, but they’re pretty darn hilarious.

In the end, you can’t really impersonate Akey. He’s one-of-a-kind. He refers to everyone as “Bubba”, he named his kids Jack and Daniel after…you guessed it…Jack Daniel’s, and he loves the military. His fan club is even called “Akey’s Army”. The guy just fits at Idaho. I can’t imagine him coaching anywhere else now.

There are several jerks I have to deal with throughout the year (no…I won’t name any names…unless you beg really hard), but Akey is so far removed from those guys. I actually enjoy working with him. You never know what’s going to come out of his mouth. I’m not sure if he really knows what a cliche is. It’s refreshing and funny. 

Thanks to a contract extension over the offseason, Akey will coach at Idaho for the next five years. I’m hoping he’s around for 40 more seasons after that. 

Raise your glasses to another successful season of Vandals football in 2010. The more Akey everyone gets the merrier. Cheers!

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