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(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)
COACH AND PROGRAM
Idaho State has been an equal-opportunity career wrecker for head coaches. The last four that tried to build this program have either resigned or been fired. Doug Oliver was the latest casualty, resigning last year after finishing 88-144 in eight seasons. Oliver was a noted assistant coach at Stanford before deciding to take a job in the mountain region's coaching graveyard.
Now it's Joe O'Brien's turn. As with previous ISU coaches, O'Brien comes to the university with fine credentials. He posted an excellent 313-177 record in 13 seasons as a junior college and Division II head coach. He's also one of only three coaches to win three JUCO national championships, all at Southeast (Iowa) Community College.
He didn't coach last season, and last work in Division I as an assistant at Florida International in 2004-05. Like other Bengal coaches before him, he brings optimism, a track record, recruiting cache, and a desire to take over a downtrodden program. Will that be enough? As always, time will tell, and he'll have his work cut out for him. The Bengals finished tied for last in the Big Sky Conference last season, winning 13 games overall, including only four in conference play.