Ken Hobart’s legacy as a field general for Idaho football came from an unlikely beginning. Originally a baseball player at nearby Lewis-Clark State College, he ended up “butting heads” with legendary Coach Ed Cheff, then deciding to transfer to Moscow and play for the Vandal baseball team.
Two weeks in, the baseball program was cut, so he walked on to the Vandal football team as the seventh string quarterback. At the beginning of the 1980 season as a redshirt freshman season, Hobart started in the spring game in and was pulled after just a quarter and a half. Coach Jerry Davitch had seen enough, and named Hobart the starter for the fall. Hobart went on to record 9,300 yards of total offense and score 79 touchdowns, leading Idaho to an appearance in the NCAA I-AA quarterfinals in 1982, as well as being named Big Sky Offensive Player of the Year and an All-American. Hobart is seen as a major contributor to the introduction of the powerhouse program that became the Idaho Vandals in the 1980s and 1990s. Eventual successor John Friesz stated that Hobart “should take as much credit as anybody. We were sort of carrying the torch, and it was easier to keep it going than spark the fire."