A-D

Larry Bieber

Born in Denver, Colorado in 1947, Larry was the son of a career air force officer and did lots of traveling with his parents and five brothers. When his father retired from Fairchild Air Force Base, the family stayed in Spokane Valley where Larry was educated and was a standout in baseball, basketball and tennis.  Larry graduated from West Valley High School as Student Body President in 1965. He continued playing basketball at Eastern Washington State College and graduated as a Distinguished Military Graduate in 1969 when he was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the US Army.  He served in Germany for two years where he was the physical security officer in charge of a nuclear weapons facility and later the Criminal investigations officer for the 3rd Armored Division. Once out of the military, Larry went into education. After eight years of teaching at the junior high level in Washington and Idaho where he coached football, basketball, baseball and track, he moved to Coeur d’Alene High School in 1981 where he eventually became the head coach of girls’ softball in 1993.  He then was named the head boy’s basketball coach in 1994.  Bieber guided his slow pitch softball team to the last of 13 straight championships in 1993 and then the state switched to fast pitch in 1994.  Larry guided the Coeur d’Alene Vikings to 19 state tournaments in his 21 years, winning 5 state championships and 8 runners up.  As the heads boy’s basketball coach and the head girls softball coach, Larry led both teams to the state championships in the same season in 1998.  And though this was one of the best times ever, he credits winning the very first boy’s basketball game between Lake City and Coeur d’Alene as one of his proudest moments. His record in softball was 465-153 in fast pitch and 483-155 over-all.  Retiring after the 2015season, he just couldn’t stay away so he is helping the new head coach Darren Taylor this season.  “Biebs” and his beautiful wife Eileen live across the street from the softball field and Coeur d’Alene High School and will always be “Viks Forever”

Mike Cox

A 25-year coaching veteran who has been influential in preparing many players for the NFL, Mike Cox is in his second season as the Wildcats’ linebacker coach. A 1989 graduate of the University of Idaho, Cox spent the previous three seasons as Washington’s linebackers coach and, prior to joining the Huskies, worked two seasons (2007-08) for the St. Louis Rams, coaching the secondary and linebackers.

Cox made an instant impact on the Wildcat linebackers in 2012 as he tutored three All-Big 12 performers, including All-American and Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year Arthur Brown. He also helped K-State finish first in the Big 12 in scoring defense as the Wildcats yielded 22.1 points per game and finish second in the conference and 10th in school history in fewest rushing yards allowed per game. In addition, Kansas State’s 376.5 yards allowed per game were the third-fewest in the conference.

Cox was vital to the success at Washington in his three years as he tutored Cort Dennison to All-Pac-12 honors in 2011 before coaching one of the conference’s top linebacker groups in 2010.

In his first season as the UW linebackers coach in 2009, Cox helped oversee one of the Huskies’ strongest units. Washington’s 2009 linebacker corps. Cox also helped coach a defense that made vast improvements over the previous season as opponents’ total offense was reduced by an average of 62 yards per game and opponents scored 12 fewer points per game than in 2008.

Cox, a native of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, joined the UW staff from the St. Louis Rams, where he worked for two seasons. In 2007, he was a defensive quality control/defensive line coach before moving to assistant secondary coach in 2008. After a mid-season coaching change, he became linebackers coach for the Rams. Before his time in the NFL, Cox spent four seasons as linebackers coach at Michigan State, where he was also recruiting coordinator in 2006.

Much of Cox’s coaching career has been spent on the various coaching staffs of John L. Smith. In all, Cox served 17 seasons on a Smith staff at Michigan State, Louisville, Utah State and Idaho.

He coached the linebackers for five seasons at Louisville (1998-2002), helping the Cardinals to consecutive Conference USA championships in 2000 and 2001. He coached three All-CUSA selections and, in 2000, was part of a defense that forced NCAA-best 37 turnovers. The 2002 Louisville team was 17th in the nation in rushing defense and 22nd in total defense.

From 1995-97, he was on the staff at Utah State Utah State won back-to-back Big West Conference championships in 1996 and 1997.

As an assistant at Idaho (1987-94) coaching linebackers and defensive line, Cox helped his alma mater to a combined record of 73-26 (.733) from 1987-94, winning four Big Sky Conference championships and finishing in the top 10 five times. In 1994, the Vandals led the Big Sky in rushing defense, allowing only 65.3 yards per game.

Cox earned four letters as a linebacker at Idaho from 1983-86, starting for three seasons. He played for head coaches Dennis Erickson and Keith Gilbertson. He still ranks among the Vandals’ all-time leaders with 252 career tackles.

Mike played on the undefeated State Championship Coeur d’Alene Football team which coach Herb Criner called his best team ever.  Mike rushed for 202 yards, was a standout on defense and was 25-25 on PAT attempts and kicked 8 field goals,

Cox earned a bachelor’s degree in general studies from Idaho in 1989. He and his wife, Jill, have three children, Zac, Jake and Addison.

Denny Almquist

DENNY ALMQUIST, whose nickname is Swede, taught for 44 years and coached for 39 years at the high school level in northern and southern Idaho as well as Montana. He was one of nine children born to Harry and Marge Amlquist

Swede graduated from Mullan High in 1960 where he won the school’s Outstanding Athlete Award as a senior. He walked on as a freshman on the University of Idaho football team and started all three freshmen games (at the time, freshmen could not participate at the varsity level). He earned a varsity letter as a sophomore playing offensive guard and defensive tackle, playing in two-third of each game.

He started his final two seasons at UI on the offensive and defensive lines under coach Dee Andros. In his junior year, he was the only UI player to earn All-Coast honors. As a senior, he earned lineman of the week honors in UI’s 14-12 upset win over Arizona. He was a Look Magazine honorable mention All-American selection. The team went 5-4 for its first winning record since 1938.

Following his UI career, Almquist was selected in the 11th round of the NFL draft by San Francisco, but was later released. He was then picked up by Saskatchewan in the middle of the CFL season where he played for a year. He then returned to UI to finish his education so he could get his credentials to teach and coach.

Almquist started his coaching career as an assistant coach in football, basketball and golf in 1966 at Wallace High, and then became assistant football and track coach at Twin Falls High. In 1975, he became head coach for the Bruins and spent three years there. He was named the A-1 Football Coach of the Year for District 4 in 1971.

Almquist then moved to Missoula and was a 7-8th grade basketball coach for two seasons at Hellgate Elementary before he became head football coach at Big Sky High School, which opened that year in 1980. He was head coach for three season and was assistant girls’ track coach for 30 years in the throwing events where he had numerous conference and state champions. He retired in 2010.

Among his lifetime honors, Almquist was named by the Shoshone News Press as one of the Silver Valley’s Legend of Sports.

Almquist and his wife Mary Gay, have been married for 48 years and they have two children, Guy (Heather) and Katie (Nate Laslovich), and eight grandchildren. Coaching and teaching runs in the family as between Almquist, his wife, his children and their spouses, five of the six have or are in the education field and three have been head coaches at the high school level.

Among Almquist’s many hobbies are golf, racquetball, hunting, fishing, reloading, target shooting, horseback riding in the mountains, and following his children and grandchildren.

Kathy Clark

In 25 years of service to the University of Idaho, Kathy Clark is best known as the woman who built the foundation for women’s athletics at the University of Idaho. Clark served as the Senior Associate Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator for the Idaho athletic department and also helped start the Vandal volleyball team in 1974, acting as the first head coach and leading the team to a 22-6 record in their very first season, finishing third in the NCWSA.

Steve Buratto

Steve Buratto graduated form Clarkston, WA high school in 1961. He attended Columbia Basin Jr. College the following fall and played center on an undefeated team. After just one season at the junior college he was recruited to the University of Idaho to play for Dee Andros. He was red-shirted his first year and then started every game for the remaining three years at center and nose guard. He was one of the Vandals captains’ his senior year and and also won all Big Sky honors at center.

Following graduation from Idaho in the spring of 1965 he signed with the Green Bay Packers and attended their training camp but was released before the season.

He returned to Idaho and accepted a position at Sandpoint HS to coach football, wrestling and track. He stayed just one year at Sandpoint and left to return to Green Bay to make another attempt at playing professional football. After being released by Green Bay he returned to the U of I and worked as a GA for Steve Musseau in 1967 while starting work on his masters degree, which he finished in 1971.

In 1968 he joined Norm Thomas in Twin Falls, ID HS as the defensive coordinator and was also the wrestling coach. Steve coached at Twin Falls for five years before moving on to Boise State to work for Tony Knap. He worked for coach Knap for three years in Boise and then followed him to UNLV where he coached the defense for four years.

In 1980 he moved to the Canadian Football League to coach for the first of three stays with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. In 1983 he went from Saskatchewan to Vancouver, BC to become the defensive coordinator for former teammate Don Matthews. Following a Grey Cup defeat he was named the head coach of the Calgary Stampeders and remained there for two years before returning to Vancouver to again join Don.

Steve returned to college coaching in 1990 when he accepted a position on the staff of Skip Hall at Boise State. He coached the defensive line and special teams for the Broncos thru 1992 when he returned to Saskatchewan to again join coach Matthews staff as the offensive line coach.

The following season he followed Coach Matthews to Baltimore, MD to work for the newly formed CFL franchise in the US city. In the two years at Baltimore as the offensive coordinator the team played in the Grey Cup both years and was the Grey Cup Champions in 1995.

Steve left coaching following the Grey Cup in 1995 and worked in business with his brother for the next four years.

In  2000 Steve returned to Vancouver to again work for the BC Lions. He coached the receivers for a month before being promoted to the head coaching position when the head coach resigned to move on to the XFL. The Lions finished just 8-10, but made the playoffs and had a miracle run at season’s end to win the Grey Cup by defeating the Montreal Alouettes. Steve stayed with Lions thru the 2004 season then moved on to Calgary following another Grey Cup appearance.

Steve was the offensive coordinator for the Stampeders in 2005 and 2006; seasons that saw the Stamps return to the playoffs.

In 2007 he joined an old friend, GM Adam Rita, in Toronto to work for Michael Clemons as the offensive coordinator. He held that position for two years and was special teams coordinator in his final season with Argos in 2009.

Steve spent the following season with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and finished his coaching career in 2011 by again returning to the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He coached over 500 games in a career that lasted more than 40 years.

Steve has three children, son Steve, a professor of chemistry ant UC Santa Barbara, two daughters, Jill and Dina.

Jill has a bail bonds business in Nampa, ID and Dina is a “genius” with Apple in the Boise their store. He has four grand children, William, Daniel, and Rebecca who are Steve’s children and Darion who is Jill’s son.

Steve has been married to the former Judy Beymer for 34 years and they make their home in Boise.

 

John Drager

Induction Year: 2003

Joe Dobson

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T. Hedley Dingle

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William Ted Diehl

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Jim Demers

Induction Year: 2005