|1956 Idaho Vandals football|
|Conference||Pacific Coast Conference|
|1956 record||4–5 (0–4 PCC)|
|Home stadium||Neale Stadium|
|1956 Pacific Coast Conference football standings|
|No. 10 Oregon State $||6||–||1||–||1||7||–||3||–||1|
|No. 18 USC||5||–||2||–||0||8||–||2||–||0|
Rankings from AP Poll
The 1956 Idaho Vandals football team represented the University of Idaho in the 1956 NCAA University Division football season. The Vandals were led by third-year head coach Skip Stahley and were members of the Pacific Coast Conference. Home games were played on campus at Neale Stadium in Moscow, with one home game in Boise at old Bronco Stadium at Boise Junior College. Idaho compiled a 4–5 overall record but were 0–4 in the PCC. After four losses to open, the Vandals won three straight, then split the final two games.
After road losses to Washington and Oregon, the Vandals suffered a second straight loss in the Battle of the Palouse with neighbor Washington State, falling 19–33 at home on October 6. Following the game, skirmishes between student factions provoked the Moscow city police to use tear gas to control the situation. The following week, Idaho was depleted by injuries and came out on the short end of a 41-point homecoming shutout by Arizona State.
The most recent winning season for Idaho football was 18 years earlier in 1938, and the Vandals were a win shy in 1956. The streak was broken seven years later in 1963.
This Vandal team had several players who went on to extended careers in professional football. Jerry Kramer of Sandpoint played eleven seasons at right guard with the Green Bay Packers and won five NFL titles (and the first two Super Bowls) under head coach Vince Lombardi. He was an All-Pro five times and was the lead blocker on the famous Packers sweep. Kramer made the NFL's all-decade team for the 1960s and was the last member of the NFL's 50th anniversary team to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, at age 82 in 2018.
Wayne Walker of Boise played fifteen seasons with the Detroit Lions as an outside linebacker and was named All-Pro three times. Both were juniors in 1956 and were selected in the fourth round of the 1958 NFL Draft; Kramer was 39th overall and Walker 45th, and both were periodic placekickers as pros. (As Vandals, Kramer was the kicker and Walker was the long snapper.)
Jim Prestel of Indianapolis was a defensive tackle for eight seasons in the NFL, primarily with the expansion Minnesota Vikings. A sophomore in 1956, he missed most of the following season due to his mother's terminal illness. Selected in the sixth round of the 1959 NFL Draft, 70th overall, he was granted another year of eligibility and played for Idaho in 1959 and began his pro career with the Cleveland Browns in 1960. Prestel was also a standout player on the Vandal basketball team. He played in his final game at Idaho in the Battle of the Palouse in late October with a broken foot, then was sidelined and missed the basketball season.
|September 22||2:00 pm||at Washington||L 21–53||25,185|
|September 29||1:30 pm||at Oregon||L 14–21||13,000|
|October 6||2:00 pm||Washington State||L 19–33||16,300|
|October 13||2:00 pm||Arizona State*||L 0–41||6,500|
|October 27||1:00 pm||at Utah*||W 27–21||11,520|
|November 3||8:00 pm||at Fresno State*||W 24–12|
|November 10||1:00 pm||Utah State*||W 42–20|
|November 17||1:30 pm||Oregon State||L 10–14||5,000|
|November 22||1:00 pm||Montana*||W 14–0||3,000|
No Vandals were on the All-PCC team or the second team. Honorable mention were quarterback Gary Johnson, tackle Dick Foster, guard Jerry Kramer, and center Wayne Walker.
One Vandal was selected in the 1957 NFL Draft:
|Dick Foster||T||11th||129||Washington Redskins|
Five juniors were selected in the 1958 NFL Draft:
|Jerry Kramer||G||4th||39||Green Bay Packers|
|Wayne Walker||C||4th||45||Detroit Lions|
|Larry Aldrich||E||11th||127||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Wade Patterson||E||16th||183||Chicago Cardinals|
|Alvin Johnson||T||18th||216||Cleveland Browns|
One sophomore was selected in the 1959 NFL Draft:
|Jim Prestel ^||T||6th||70||Cleveland Browns|
^ Prestel was granted another year of eligibility and played for Idaho in 1959.