The remote Moscow school and it’s horde of Mighty Vandals has launched the careers of many legendary coaches.  From Hec Edmundson to Dennis Erickson, Idaho has consistently grown great coaches.  Leo Calland was no different.

Looking merely at his stats you would hardly consider him a legend.  But, digging deeper, his record at Idaho is fairly impressive.  He consistently had Vandal teams performing at a near .500 clip.  In 1932, his Idaho squad was prepared for the tough PCC schedule.  The team performed admirably, even though the win-loss column showed only one conference win (against doormat Montana).  The Vandals held UCLA to 6 points, falling 6-0.  The Vandals held arch rival WSU to 12 points, falling 12-0.  They even hung with the Golden Bears of California, falling 21-6.  He performed so well he was rumored to be interested in the Pacific head coaching position.  As it turns out, he would stay at Idaho.

After his time at Idaho, Calland went on to coach San Diego State to two conference championship and was eventually inducted into the San Diego Hall of Champions.

In typical UI/WSU fashion, there was controversy surrounding the Battle of the Palouse.  In 1931 Idaho fans had taken lime and burned a large “I” into the field in Pullman.  This year, WSU hired armed guards to keep watch over the field.

Idaho played a lot of regional games in 1932.  The Spokane game was a loss against Gonzaga and the Boise game was a victory over Utah State.  Playing Gonzaga was very beneficial to Idaho, giving the Vandals exposure in a close market.  Spokane responded by heavy media coverage and adopting the Vandals as one of their “home-town” teams.  The Vandals brought an impressive cheering section to Spokane.  On the field, the team donned white jerseys with black stripes.


About gomightyvandals

A sports fan interested in the history of Vandal Athletics
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