Idaho fired football coach Robb Akey with the team 1-7 and coming off a blowout loss.
The school announced the move Sunday and promoted offensive coordinator Jason Gesser to interim coach. Gesser, a former Washington State quarterback, has been on the Idaho staff for two seasons.
Akey was 20-50 at Idaho since taking over in 2007. He had one winning season with the Vandals, going 8-5 in 2009 and beating Bowling Green 43-42 in the Humanitarian Bowl.
Idaho lost 70-28 to Louisiana Tech and allowed 839 yards Saturday.
"The president (Duane Nellis) and I believe it is important to make this move now so we can immediately begin the process of hiring a new coach for the 2013 season," athletic director Rob Spear said. "We appreciate Coach Akey's enthusiasm and dedication to the University of Idaho, but this is the right move at this time."Akey's contract runs through the 2014 season.
Idaho is a member of the Western Athletic Conference, which won't have enough members to compete in football beyond this season. The school already has plans to play as an independent starting next season.