Ed Troxel

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Ed Troxel
Sport(s) Football, track
Biographical details
Born (1925-11-20)November 20, 1925
Kansas, U.S.[1]
Died January 22, 2001(2001-01-22) (aged 75)
Kennewick, Washington
Alma mater Western State College (CO)
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1949–1952 Manzanola HS (CO)
1953–1954 Caldwell HS (ID)
1955–1957 College of Idaho
1958–1966 Borah HS (ID)
1967–1973 Idaho (assistant)
1974–1977 Idaho
1978–1990 Kennewick HS (WA)
1956–1958 College of Idaho
1959–1966 Borah HS (ID)
1967–1970 Idaho (assistant)
1971–1973 Idaho
Head coaching record
Overall 31–39–3 (college football)

Ed Troxel (November 20, 1925 – January 22, 2001) was a high school and college football coach in Colorado, Idaho, and eastern Washington. His most notable coaching stops were at Borah High School in Boise, the University of Idaho, and Kennewick High School.

Early life[edit]

Troxel was born in Kansas[1] in 1925 and grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado. His father died when he was eight years old, and his high school football coaches had a great influence on him, leading to his career in coaching.

Manzanola and Caldwell[edit]

After graduation from Western State College in Gunnison, his first coaching job was in 1949 in tiny Manzanola, fifty miles (80 km) east of Pueblo. In four years his football teams went 42-6 (.867) and won two state titles. He moved to Caldwell, Idaho, in 1953 to coach Caldwell High School, and his Cougar teams had a 13-3-1 record (.794) in his two years there.[2] In 1955, he moved to the College of Idaho, also in Caldwell, where he coached the Coyotes in football (15-14-0,.517),[3] boxing, and track. He was at C of I for three years, but the 16-hour days he was spending at campus forced him to find another job in 1958.[4]

Borah Lions[edit]

Borah High School, the second public high school in Boise, opened in the fall of 1958 on the southwest side of the city. Troxel was hired as its first football and track coach,[5] where he instituted a weight-training program that was far ahead of its time.[6] Troxel was at Borah for nine years, and his Lions amassed a dominating 78-6-2 record (.919) in football,[7] winning the Southern Idaho Conference (and unofficial state title) in their first six seasons and a total of eight times, settling for runner-up once (1964).[8] His Borah track teams won four consecutive state titles (1960–63).[9][10] One of his most notable football players was Steve Preece, of the class of 1965. Preece was the option quarterback of the Oregon State teams of 1967 and 1968, "The Giant Killers," and later played defensive back in the NFL for nine seasons. Following his departure in 1967, a section of the roadway on the Borah campus was named "Troxel Way."[11] Assistant coach Delane "De" Pankratz succeeded Troxel as head coach and Borah continued its dominance in football into the early 1980s.

Idaho Vandals[edit]

Troxel moved north to the University of Idaho in Moscow in early 1967[12] as an assistant coach in both football and track. In football, he served under three head coaches in seven seasons: Steve Musseau, Y C McNease, and Don Robbins. He was named the head coach for the Vandal track team in May 1970, but stepped down when he became the head coach of the football team in December 1973. Troxel had turned down the head football job in May 1970 and again in December 1973, but later accepted after persuasion from his players and concessions from the new athletic director, namely a fourth assistant coach. His annual salary for the first season in 1974 was $16,500, which was $1,500 less than his predecessor Don Robbins.[1]

One of Troxel's notable hires was his first offensive coordinator, a 27-year-old Dennis Erickson, who was hired away from Montana State and stayed for two seasons. His replacement was Jack Elway, recently at WSU, but Elway left in March after just five weeks on staff to become a Division II head coach in southern California.[13] Despite this turnover at OC before Troxel's third season in 1976, the Vandals went 7-4 (5-1 in the Big Sky), with center John Yarno selected as a Division I first-team AP All-American. At the time, it was the Vandals' second best football record in history, surpassed only by the 1971 team at 8-3. With key players lost to graduation and beset by injuries, Idaho fell to 3-8 in 1977[14][15] and five weeks later, on December 30, Troxel was requested to resign by new UI president Richard Gibb. The involuntary resignation ended Troxel's four years as head coach and 11 football seasons at the university.[3][16][17]

Kennewick Lions[edit]

In 1978 Troxel moved west to the Tri-Cities in eastern Washington to coach football at Kennewick High School,[18] a struggling football program that had just one victory in the previous two seasons. The turnaround was immediate: Kennewick lost its first game under Troxel, but then won six straight and made the AAA state playoffs. The Lions beat Gonzaga Prep 17-7 in the first round but fell by four to Lewis & Clark in the quarterfinals.[11][19] In 13 seasons he led his new Lions to a 104-33 record (.759), with four conference titles. The Lions made the state playoffs ten times and posted an 11-10 record in the post-season, advancing to the finals in 1983 (Kingbowl)[20] and the semi-finals in 1984[21] and 1989.[22][23][24] Troxel retired after the 1990 season at the age of 65, ending a coaching career that spanned more than forty years.[25]

Halls of Fame[edit]

Troxel was inducted into the high school halls of fame in both Idaho (1998) and Washington (1994)[26] and was a member of the inaugural induction class of the Tri-Cities Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.[27]

Death, memorial, and family[edit]

After a three-month battle with pancreatic and liver cancer, Troxel died at the age of 75 in Kennewick on January 22, 2001. He was survived by his wife Donna (married in 1948), daughter Melissa, and three sons: Lon, Van, & Andy. At the time, two of his sons were high school head coaches: Van Troxel of Lake City High School in Coeur d'Alene,[28] and Andy Troxel at Southridge High School in Kennewick.[4][29]

His memorial service at Kennewick High was attended by over a thousand, including many athletes and coaches from his various coaching stops. Among those was Oregon State's Dennis Erickson, Troxel's first offensive coordinator at Idaho in 1974. Also in attendance were twenty former players from his championship Borah teams of the 1960s, numerous ex-athletes from his UI football and track teams, and countless members of his Kennewick football teams.[25]

Head coaching record[edit]

College football[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
College of Idaho Coyotes (Northwest Conference) (1955–1957)
1955 College of Idaho 6–4 4–1 T–1st[30]
1956 College of Idaho 4–5 2–3 5th
1957 College of Idaho 5–5 3–2 3rd
College of Idaho: 15–14 9–6
Idaho Vandals (Big Sky Conference) (1974–1977)
1974 Idaho 2–8–1 2–2–1 3rd
1975 Idaho 4–5–2 2–2–2 5th
1976 Idaho 7–4 5–1 2nd
1977 Idaho 3–8 2–3 T–4th
Idaho: 16–25–3 11–8–3
Total: 31–39–3
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title


  1. ^ a b c Lewiston Morning Tribune - 'Trox' changes mind, accepts Vandal grid challenge - 1973-12-20 - p.17
  2. ^ Milwaukee Sentinel - Idaho college picks prep football coach - Associated Press - 1955-04-24 - p.5C
  3. ^ a b College Football Reference Archived November 23, 2015, at the Wayback Machine. - Ed Troxel - accessed 2012-03-06
  4. ^ a b Tri-City Herald - Cancer claims former Lions coach - 2001-01-24
  5. ^ Borah 1959.com - first football season & title - fall 1958 - accessed 2012-03-06
  6. ^ Tri-City Herald - Weight room boom - 1985-09-22 - p.C1
  7. ^ "Troxel to coach at Idaho". The Senator. Boise, Idaho. Borah High School. January 27, 1967. p. 4. 
  8. ^ Spokane Daily Chronicle - Boise grabs Idaho crown in last poll - 1964-11-14 - p.8
  9. ^ idhsaa.org - Track champions - through 2010
  10. ^ Idaho Statesman - Idaho coaching legend dies - 2001-01-24
  11. ^ a b Lewiston Morning Tribune - Football's fun again for Ed Troxel - 1978-10-26 - p.1B
  12. ^ Spokesman-Review - Vandals name Ed Troxel as defensive line coach - 1967-01-24 - p.12
  13. ^ Kingman (AZ) Miner - Idaho Staff adds Elway - Associated Press - 1976-02-18 - p.10
  14. ^ Spokane Daily Chronicle - Idaho, Troxel in bitter loss - 1977-11-28 p.16
  15. ^ Spokesman-Review - Vandals finish 3-8 - 1977-11-28 - p.15
  16. ^ CFB Data Warehouse - Ed Troxel - accessed 2012-03-06
  17. ^ Moscow-Pullman Daily News - Idaho football coaching legend Troxel dies at 75 - 2001-01-25 - p.2B
  18. ^ Spokesman-Review - Troxel triumph: ex-Vandals coach restores claws of Kennewick Lions - 1979-11-09 - p.27
  19. ^ Lewiston Morning Tribune - prep football - playoff results - 1978-11-88 - p.2B
  20. ^ Tri-City Herald - Kingbowl glance - 1983-12-03 - p.C1
  21. ^ Tri-City Herald - Kingbowl on the line for Kennewick, Juanita - 1984-11-24 - p.C1
  22. ^ Tri-City Herald - Lions battle for Kingbowl berth today - 1989-11-25 - p.C1
  23. ^ WIAA.com - school results
  24. ^ Tri-City Herald - Kentwood pummels Lions 43-19 - 1989-11-26 - p.C1
  25. ^ a b Tri-City Herald - Hundreds honor beloved coach - 2001-01-28
  26. ^ wascoach.org - Washington State Coaches Association - Hall of Fame - football - 1994 - Ed Troxel
  27. ^ visittri-cities.com - sports hall of fame - class of 1999
  28. ^ Spokesman-Review - Lake City's title special for Troxels - 2002-11-27 - p.C5
  29. ^ Seattle Times - High-school notebook: Troxel, 75, dies of cancer - 2001-01-26
  30. ^ nwcsports.com - NWC football history - accessed 2012-03-06