Vandals crash Sun Belt Conference Media Day

NEW ORLEANS, La. - Idaho's Vandals won't be playing football in the Sun Belt Conference until 2014 but that doesn't mean members of the league's media outlets didn't have plenty of questions for first-year coach Paul Petrino.

Petrino, along with the Sun Belt's other head football coaches, addressed the media at the annual event at the New Orleans Superdome Monday. Questions for Petrino centered around his return to Idaho, his first head coaching post, the Vandals' conference membership, and what would it have been like to face his brother, Bobby, as a head coach.

As for his first head coaching role, he said he is excited to be back in Moscow where he once was an assistant coach.

"I remember the passion of the fans," he said of his Moscow memories. "The Kibbie Dome would get so loud and be so crazy."

His mission - and goal, is to return that atmosphere to the Idaho campus. The way to do it, he says, is hard work and perseverance.
"We're working hard," he said. "Our players are doing a great job of going out and grinding every day and improving every day. They're learning how to work hard."

The ultimate goal come 2014 is a league title and a bowl bid.
"It was real big for helping us for the future," Petrino said of Idaho's returning to the Sun Belt in 2014 after one season as an independent. "It's good motivation for our team. It's nice to have a conference."

Petrino said he was pleased with how the Vandals performed during spring ball and noted the big roles the offensive and defensive lines have to perform for Idaho to re-establish itself on the field.

What won't happen - and what was a possibility when Idaho joined the Sun Belt, was a Petrino vs. Petrino showdown. Paul's brother Bobby is the head coach at Western Kentucky, a Sun Belt member this year but a Conference-USA member in 2014. Other than noon-ball basketball games, it would have been a first for the two coaching brothers to square off against one another.

"It would have been fun to play each other," he said. Instead, they'll be settling for off-season film and strategy sessions.

"What we try to do is get together for a couple days and really watch tape and share ideas," Petrino said. "One of the biggest things he is always talking about is believing in the process and staying the course. Out-work everybody. That gives you a chance to win."