Andrea Williams leaving Big Sky Conference to be College Football Playoff Chief Operating Officer

Andrea Willaims

Bill Hancock, Executive Director of the College Football Playoff (CFP), announced Tuesday that Andrea Williams has been named the CFP’s Chief Operating Officer.

Williams comes to the CFP from the Big Sky Conference, where she has been commissioner for two years. She has been a member of the CFP’s advisory committee and stadium operations team. Details regarding Williams’ final day with the Big sky and her replacement have not been finalized.

“Andrea has all the tools,” Hancock said in a press release. “Her deep knowledge of college football and her strong experience in administering major events make her a terrific addition to our team. She’s a leader. And she is a warm, thoughtful, caring person. She will fit right in.”

In her role, Williams primarily will be responsible for managing the national championship game and all affiliated events. She will also be the primary liaison with six bowl games that participate in the CFP arrangement, and will also manage the process for selecting sites for the championship games.

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ISU volleyball: Bengals earn AVCA academic honor

Idaho State volleyball’s student-athletes continue to excel in the classroom as evidenced by the program’s third consecutive American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award for the 2017-18 season. The Bengals are one of the record-breaking 973 teams and 163 NCAA Division I women’s programs to earn the distinction this season.

“Academic success comes down to the dedication of the student in their pursuit to achieve at a high level in the classroom,” Bengals coach Rick Reynolds said. “Our institution, the athletic department and our program work hard to create an environment where success is attainable on and off the court. It is exciting to see our women rewarded for their dedication to their academic passions.”

The AVCA Team Academic Award honors teams at the collegiate and high school levels that display excellence in the classroom by maintaining a minimum 3.30 cumulative team GPA on a 4.0 scale. It is the largest award offered in terms of schools and individuals honored. In 25 years the AVCA has recognized more than 1,000 different schools.

ISU is one of five Big Sky Conference programs to earn the award this year after posting a 3.41 team GPA. Eastern Washington, Northern Arizona, Northern Colorado and Weber State also qualified. The Bengals are the only program in the conference other than UNC (seven seasons) with an AVCA award streak of three or more seasons.

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ISU volleyball: Bengals announce 2018 schedule

Idaho State’s 2018 volleyball schedule was announced Monday by the university. The Bengals play 31 matches and appear in four tournaments while playing against a group of opponents that represent 13 conferences. Idaho State also plays 11 matches at Reed Gym, including three at the Idaho State Invitational from Aug. 31-Sept. 1.

“This is an exciting schedule for us,” Idaho State coach Rick Reynolds said. “It is important to challenge your team against different styles of play. We want to be prepared for the Big Sky season and tournament. Our goal of winning the conference starts in the preseason.”

The Bengals open their season in Atlanta at the Hyatt Regency Invitational on Aug. 24 against Georgia Tech of the ACC. Idaho State will also face Georgetown, Winthrop and Abilene Christian during the two-day tournament. On Aug. 28, the Bengals play at Utah Valley, ISU’s only nonconference match outside of tournament play this upcoming season.

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ISU football: Bengals picked 10th by media, 12th by coaches in preseason polls

Phenicie spring 18

Idaho State was picked to finish near the bottom of the Big Sky Conference standings in the preseason media and coaches polls, released Monday.

The Bengals, who finished ninth in the 13-team Big Sky at 4-7 overall and 2-6 in league play last season, were slotted 10th by the league’s media and 12th by the coaches.

Eastern Washington was picked to win the Big Sky in both polls. The Eagles earned six of 13 first-place votes in the coaches poll and 27 of 55 No. 1 votes in the media poll. Weber State was picked second in both polls, and Southern Utah finished sixth in both polls. The Wildcats and Thunderbirds are defending co-conference champions.

Eight teams garnered first-place votes in the media poll. After Eastern Washington’s 27 No. 1 votes, Weber State earned 19 and Big Sky newcomer Idaho netted three.

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ISU football: James Madison named to preseason all-conference team

James Madison Montana

Idaho State redshirt senior running back James Madison was selected to the preseason all-Big Sky Conference football team, announced Monday. The teams were voted on by select members of the media.

Madison ranked third in the league last season with 93.3 yards rushing per game and was fourth in the Big Sky with 114.6 all-purpose yards per game. The 5-foot-11, 227-pound back had the best single-game rushing performance in the Big Sky last season when he rumbled for 253 yards in ISU’s Sept. 23 loss at Northern Colorado — a single-game total that ranks fourth in ISU history and was ninth in the FCS last season.

Madison was a first-team all-Big Sky pick after the 2017 season.

Madison is Idaho State’s first preseason all-conference pick since 2015, when ISU had a league-high six selections.

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“A Quiet Place” at ISU Friday

“A Quiet Place” shows this Friday at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in the Bengal Theater.  This acclaimed movie stars Emily Blunt and John Krasinski in a tale of two parents who do what it takes to keep their children safe in a world full of creatures hunting every sound they can hear. Using sign language and taking precautions at all turns helps them get through life, but all it takes is one noise and everything can go wrong. “It is smart, it moves fast, it has a hugely satisfying ending,” writes the Associated Press, “and it deserves to attract a much broader audience than the usual horror film devotees.” (Rated PG-13) Admission is $3 for the public, $2 for ISU staff, or free for ISU students with Bengal ID.  For trailer and more information, go to

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ISU MBB: Bengals honored by NABC for academic success

For the second consecutive year, Idaho State has been honored by the National Association of Basketball Coaches for its academic success.

To earn the NABC Team Academic Excellence Award, a squad must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better for the 2017-18 season, and ISU had a 3.093 cumulative GPA this past season.

Idaho State is one of 41 Division I schools on the NABC’s list and is joined by fellow Big Sky schools Sacramento State, Eastern Washington and North Dakota State.

This is the third time in the six years that ISU has received the honor. Earlier this year, ISU had four players earn academic all-conference in Jacob McCord, Erik

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ISU XC: Bengals announce 2018 cross country schedules


By Journal Staff

The Idaho State men’s and women’s 2018 cross country schedules were released Tuesday by coach Nate Houle.

September features three meets for the Bengals, beginning Sept. 1 at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah. ISU then heads to Bozeman, Montana, on Sept. 15 for the Montana State Bozeman Running Co. Invitational. The Bengals finish the month with their lone home meet of the season, hosting the ISU Invitational at Centennial Course on Sept. 22.

In October, Idaho State competes in two regular-season meets. On Oct. 6, the Bengals head to Cedar City, Utah, for the SUU Color Country Invitational, where both ISU squads placed second a season ago. Idaho State then travels to Madison, Wisconsin, for Pre-Nationals on Oct. 13.

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