Pittman signs contract extension
The University of Idaho announced Wednesday that soccer coach Derek Pittman had accepted a contract extension to remain with the program through 2020.
â€œWe are fortunate to have a coach of Derekâ€™s caliber and weâ€™re excited that he agreed to this most recent extension,â€ Idaho Athletic Director Rob Spear said. â€œItâ€™s important that we provide as much stability as we can in our athletic programs and this extension does just that.â€
Pittman led the Vandal soccer team through an unbeaten run of conference play, as the team finished 9-0-1 against Big Sky opponents to earn the regular season title.
â€œIâ€™m extremely excited to be able to sign an extension and continue building what weâ€™re doing here at Idaho,â€ Pittman said. â€œIâ€™m especially excited that we have our staff back, on top of my own personal situation.â€
He said the contract extension would help the Vandal soccer program recruit new members.
â€œI think itâ€™ll be huge for our recruits to know that Iâ€™m going to be here for a long time while we continue building this program into a championship contender year in and year out,â€ Pittman said.
Spear said he is impressed with the programâ€™s recent success under Pittmanâ€™s guidance.
â€œDerek has done a tremendous job of bringing in great student-athletes so far and will surely continue to do so,â€ Spear said. â€œThe future of Vandal soccer is very bright.â€
Pittman said he is dedicated to the future success of the program.
â€œMy wife and I want to be here and weâ€™re very proud to be Vandals,â€ he said. â€œWeâ€™re excited about not only what the future holds for our program but what it holds for our family here in Idaho as well.â€
Arizona Cardinals Sign Penny
Idaho running back Elijhaa Penny signed a contract with the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted free agent, following the conclusion of the 2016 NFL Draft Saturday.
Penny rushed for 1,559 yards on 245 carries for the Vandals during his senior season. The 6-foot-2-inch running back also recorded 10 touchdowns on the ground.
The move unites Penny with an NFL team that has experienced multiple injuries at the position, as the Cardinals were forced to rely on rookie David Johnson during the teamâ€™s playoff run.
Vandal linebacker Chris Edwards also announced that he would attend the Seattle Seahawks rookie mini-camp next week as a free agent.
Distance runner commits to Idaho
The Idaho track and field program announced Friday that middle distance runner Emily Wesseling had signed a letter-of-intent to join the team in the fall.
â€œWe are thrilled to add Emily to our Vandal family,â€ said Tim Cawley, Idaho director of track and field. â€œShe is a talented middle distance runner, who is pretty new to the sport.â€
The Ontario recruit has focused primarily on the 800-meter and 1500-meter events during her high school career. Wesseling has recorded personal bests of 2:14.50 and 4:38.02 in the two events respectively.
â€œWhen I came for my visit, I felt so welcomed, like I was already a part of the Vandal team,â€ Wesseling said. â€œAs I toured the campus and the city of Moscow, I could imagine myself training hard, completing my education and living there.â€
The Canadian native said she was recruited by the University of Tulsa, as well as the University of Guelph and Western University in Canada.
â€œAll four schools offered strong commitments to academics and athletics, making the decision even more difficult,â€ Wesseling said. â€œUltimately, my decision came down to a school that values academics and athletics equally, has a reputable program I am interested in, and possesses a supportive and family-like running team.â€
Wesseling said her goal this season at Milton District High School is to reach the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations Championships.
â€œThis will be my last opportunity to race against all of Ontarioâ€™s fastest runners, and I am very eager to do so,â€ she said. â€œI would also like to personal best in both of my 1500 and 800 times to end high school on a fast note.â€