Scott Marboe couldn’t help but tear up when he watched his son’s first collegiate football game.
“I’m a pretty emotional guy,” he said. “It was really cool watching him for the first time. Every time I see him run out there in that uniform, it’s awesome.”
Scott is the proud father of Idaho senior offensive lineman, Mike Marboe. And throughout his five-year career, Scott said he’s missed only six of his son’s games — home and away.
“It’s cool, I’m lucky to have him,” Mike said. “He loves Moscow. He comes here every weekend, every home game and just gets so pumped up … It’s just him loving the school and reliving college through me and getting to experience it again.”
Playing football for Idaho has become somewhat of a Marboe family tradition as three generations have donned the silver and gold. Scott played center for two seasons (1977-78) and his father — Mike’s grandfather — Kent, played defensive end for two seasons (1956-57), as well. Both their careers were cut short due to injuries.
Mike, however, has enjoyed great health. After redshirting in 2010, he was named starting center and hasn’t missed a game since — Saturday’s contest against South Alabama, will be his 40th straight game for the Vandals.
“I wish we would have won a few more games, but we’re on track to change that this year,” Mike said. “I’ve had a blast here, I love it … it’s been one of the best decisions of my life.”
Including Mike, nine players on Idaho’s roster had fathers play for past Vandal football teams. Idaho coach Paul Petrino, who played for his father at Carroll College, said he loves the family ties.
“I think anytime you grow up having a love for a school and kind of bleed for it, you’re going to play that much harder,” Petrino said.
The Marboe family has deep roots beyond football at the University of Idaho. Scott said his great-grandfather was on the university’s board of regents around 1932 and received an honorary doctorate degree.
Mike said his uncle and numerous cousins have attended UI, and added he won’t be the last Marboe to come through Moscow, either.
“It’s a great honor,” Mike said. “Every time you run out on the field and put on that jersey, you’re not only representing yourself but the school, too. For me, that’s extra special because of the involvement my family has had with the school.”
But it wasn’t always a predestined decision for Mike to attend UI.
Unlike his father, who grew up a diehard Vandals fan, Mike said he just loved football and never had a favorite team growing up. He said he rooted for all the northwest schools — Washington, Washington State and Idaho.
“But I was raised to hate Boise State,” he added quickly.
Back when Scott made his college decision, he said his father didn’t force him to choose Idaho, but was definitely encouraged to go there.
When Mike started his recruiting process, even though it was hard to resist, Scott said he didn’t show any favoritism to his alma mater.
“He wasn’t in my ear too much, but I knew he wanted to be,” Mike said. “Where you go to college, especially on a football scholarship, is one of the biggest decisions of your life. He saw it was an opportunity for me to grow up, be a man and decide my own future.”
Scott was convinced Mike wanted to course his own journey and choose a different school. He encouraged it, too. Thanks to Scott’s airline miles, Mike said he was fortunate to visit almost every school recruiting him.
The recruiting process took its toll and Mike said he was overwhelmed with everything. By the end of his junior year, he just wanted it to be over with.
It was the first week of his final high school football season when he finally decided. Mike remembers sitting in his living room and telling his father the news.
“It was an exciting night, it’s a night I’ll never forget,” Mike said. “My dad was really excited. He probably cried — he’s an emotional guy.”