Wyoming Cowboys football

The Wyoming Cowboys are a college football team that represents the University of Wyoming. They compete in the Mountain West Conference of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of NCAA Division I and have won 15 conference titles.[3] The head coach is Craig Bohl, who entered his first season in 2014.

The Cowboy football program has been among the most notable of "stepping stone" programs due to the success of its former coaches. Coaches such as Bowden Wyatt, Bob Devaney, Fred Akers, Pat Dye, Dennis Erickson and Joe Tiller were at Wyoming immediately prior to gaining notoriety at bigger football powerhouses.

Wyoming Cowboys football
2019 Wyoming Cowboys football team
Wyoming Athletics logo
First season1892
Athletic directorTom Burman
Head coachCraig Bohl
5th season, 28–35 (.444)
StadiumWar Memorial Stadium
(Capacity: 29,181)
Field surfaceArtificial turf
LocationLaramie, Wyoming
ConferenceMountain West
DivisionMountain
All-time record534–573–28 (.483)
Bowl record7–8 (.467)
Conference titles14
Division titles2
RivalriesColorado State (rivalry)
Hawai'i (rivalry)
Utah State (rivalry)
Consensus All-Americans4[1]
Current uniform
MWC-Uniform-UW
ColorsBrown and Gold[2]
         
Fight songRagtime Cowboy Joe
MascotCowboy Joe
Marching bandWestern Thunder
Websitegowyo.com

Conference affiliations

Conference championships

Wyoming has won fourteen conference championships, ten outright and four shared.

Season Conference Coach Overall Record Conference Record
1949 Mountain States Conference Bowden Wyatt 9–1 5–0
1950 Mountain States Conference Bowden Wyatt 10–0 5–0
1956 Mountain States Conference Phil Dickens 10–0 7–0
1958 Mountain States Conference Bob Devaney 8–3 6–1
1959 Mountain States Conference Bob Devaney 9–1 7–0
1960 Mountain States Conference Bob Devaney 8–2 6–1
1961 Mountain States Conference Bob Devaney 6–1–2 5–0–1
1966 Western Athletic Conference Lloyd Eaton 10–1 5–0
1967 Western Athletic Conference Lloyd Eaton 10–1 5–0
1968 Western Athletic Conference Lloyd Eaton 7–3 6–1
1976 Western Athletic Conference Fred Akers 8–4 6–1
1987 Western Athletic Conference Paul Roach 10–3 8–0
1988 Western Athletic Conference Paul Roach 11–2 8–0
1993 Western Athletic Conference Joe Tiller 8–4 6–2

† Co-champion

Head coaches

Tenure Coach Seasons Record Pct.
1893–1894, 1898 Fred Hess 3 4–4 .500
1894–1897, 1899 J.F. Soule 5 8–1–1 .850
1900–1906 William McMurray 7 16–11–1 .589
1907–1908 Robert Ehlman 2 3–3 .500
1909–1911 Harold I. Dean 3 11–12–1 .479
1912 L.C. Exelby 1 2–7 .222
1913–1914 Ralph W. Thacker 2 1–10 .091
1915–1923 John Corbett 7 15–44–3 .266
1924–1926 W.H. Dietz 4 14–18–2 .441
1927–1929 George McLaren 2 3–14 .176
1930–1932 John Rhodes 3 10–15–2 .407
1933–1938 Willard Witte 6 16–30–3 .357
1939 Joel Hunt 1 0–7–1 .063
1940 Okie Blanchard 1 1–7–1 .167
1941–1946 Bernard Oakes 3 6–20–2 .250
1947–1952 Bowden Wyatt 6 39–17–1 .693
1953–1956 Phil Dickens 4 29–11–1 .720
1957–1961 Bob Devaney 5 35–10–5 .750
1962–1970 Lloyd Eaton 9 57–33–2 .630
1971–1974 Fritz Shurmur 4 15–29 .341
1975–1976 Fred Akers 2 10–13 .435
1977–1979 Bill Lewis 3 14–20–1 .414
1980 Pat Dye 1 6–5 .545
1981–1985 Al Kincaid 5 29–29 .500
1986 Dennis Erickson 1 6–6 .500
1987–1990 Paul Roach 4 35–15 .700
1991–1996 Joe Tiller 6 39–30–1 .564
1997–1999 Dana Dimel 3 23–12 .657
2000–2002 Vic Koenning 3 5–29 .147
2003–2008 Joe Glenn 6 30–41 .423
2009–2013 Dave Christensen 5 27–35 .435
2014–present Craig Bohl 5 28–35 .444

Bowl games

2004LVBowl
Wyoming defeated UCLA in the 2004 Las Vegas Bowl to end their six bowl game losing streak.[4]

The Cowboys have appeared in fifteen bowl games and have a record of seven wins and eight losses (7–8). Their most recent bowl appearance came in their 37–14 win over Central Michigan in the 2017 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.[5] Wyoming has participated in 15 bowl games, with the Cowboys garnering a record of 7–8.

Season Coach Bowl Opponent Result
1950 Bowden Wyatt Gator Bowl Washington & Lee W 20–7
1955 Phil Dickens Sun Bowl Texas Tech W 21–14
1958 Bob Devaney Sun Bowl Hardin-Simmons W 14–7
1966 Lloyd Eaton Sun Bowl Florida State W 28–20
1967 Lloyd Eaton Sugar Bowl LSU L 13–20
1976 Fred Akers Fiesta Bowl Oklahoma L 7–41
1987 Paul Roach Holiday Bowl Iowa L 19–20
1988 Paul Roach Holiday Bowl Oklahoma State L 14–62
1990 Paul Roach Copper Bowl California L 15–17
1993 Joe Tiller Copper Bowl Kansas State L 17–52
2004 Joe Glenn Las Vegas Bowl UCLA W 24–21
2009 Dave Christensen New Mexico Bowl Fresno State W 35–28 2OT
2011 Dave Christensen New Mexico Bowl Temple L 15–37
2016 Craig Bohl Poinsettia Bowl BYU L 21–24
2017 Craig Bohl Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Central Michigan W 37–14

Stadiums

War Memorial Stadium was built in 1950 with an original capacity of 20,000 fans; the current capacity is 29,181 after the completion of 2009-2010 stadium upgrades.[6]

It is the highest Division I FBS football stadium in the nation; the elevation of its playing field exceeds 7,200 feet (2,195 m) above sea level. The playing surface was natural grass until 2005, when infilled artificial turf was installed.

Prior to War Memorial Stadium, the Cowboys played at Corbett Field, a small field located southeast of Half Acre Gym where the Business Building and the Student Union parking lot now sit. It was named for John J. Corbett, longtime all-sport coach and director of physical education at the school. The field was the first official stadium for the Cowboys; previously they had played on Prexy's Pasture, the main green of the school.[7]

Rivalries

Colorado State

The Bronze Boot is awarded to the winner of the college football game between Wyoming and Colorado State , in nearby Fort Collins. The annual game has evolved into one of the most bitterly contested rivalries in college football. The teams have waged the "Border War" one hundred times since the schools began playing in 1899, playing every year except 1901, 1902, 1906, 1907, 1918, 1924, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1943, 1944, and 1945. This is one of the oldest interstate rivalries west of the Mississippi River, and the oldest west of Lawrence, Kansas. The series is the oldest rivalry for both schools and the "Border War" has been played in three different centuries.[8]

Hawai'i

The Paniolo Trophy is awarded to the winner of the college football games played between Wyoming and Hawai'i. This rivalry started in 1979 when Hawai'i joined the WAC conference and was played annually until 1997, shortly before Wyoming joined the newly formed Mountain West Conference. Hawai'i joined the MWC as a football-only affiliate member in 2012, renewing the rivalry.

Utah State

Bridger's Battle is the name for the college football games played between Wyoming and Utah State, the winner of which is awarded the trophy of the rivalry, a .50 caliber Rocky Mountain Hawken rifle. The rivalry started in 1903, and renewed as an annual game in 2013 when Utah State joined the Mountain West Conference.

Notable players

  • Mike Dirks - tackle - part of one of college football's best defenses in 1966 and 1967. He was selected as an All-American and All-Western Athletic Conference performer. He co-captained Wyoming's 1967 WAC Championship football team that finished fifth in the nation. Led the Cowboys to a 10-1 record and berth in the 1968 Sugar Bowl. He was part of the Cowboys line that was the nation's best rushing defense for two consecutive seasons. No team in the nation has since allowed fewer rushing yards than the 1966 and 1967 Wyoming defenses. Dirks produced 71 tackles, 30 unassisted tackles, and 26 tackles for a loss. He was inducted into the Wyoming Cowboys Athletic Hall of Fame on October 29, 1993.
  • Adam Goldberg (born 1980), NFL offensive tackle. He became only the third junior in University of Wyoming football history to be elected a team captain when he was voted a captain by his teammates in the spring of 2001. He was Honorable Mention All-America and two-time First-team All-Mountain West Conference. He started 44 of 45 career games.
  • Jerry Hill (born 1939) - running back - was selected as Wyoming's Football Player of the Century during fan balloting in 1992.[9] He was selected as an All-Skyline Conference running back in 1959 and 1960. In those two seasons, Hill was Wyoming's leading rusher. During his career, the Cowboys posted a 25-6 record. Hill was a member of the club that won the 1958 Sun Bowl.[9] His career would finish with 1,374 rushing yards on 288 carries. He was inducted in the Wyoming Cowboys Athletic Hall of Fame on October 29, 1993.
  • Jim Kiick (born 1946) - running back - Wyoming's leading rusher for each of his three seasons, 1965-67. He totalled 1,714 yards and ten touchdowns on 431 carries, and 561 yards and five touchdowns on 52 pass receptions. He was the first player ever to earn first-team All-Western Athletic Conference honors three times. Kiick was co-captain of the team as a senior. He was named the Most Valuable Player in the 1966 Sun Bowl victory over Florida State, rushing 25 times for 135 yards and two touchdowns, and catching four passes for 42 yards. He also played in the 1968 Sugar Bowl against LSU, rushing 19 times for 75 yards and a touchdown, and catching five passes for 48 yards. Kiick played in the 1968 Senior Bowl, and was selected to play in the 1968 College All-Star Game.
  • Jay Novacek (born 1962) - tight end - was a two sport All-American at Wyoming, also excelling in track. He was the Wyoming record holder in the decathlon and pole vault. As a football player, he was selected to the Kodak All-American football team in 1984.[9] The selection was attributed to setting an NCAA record for receiving yards per receptions by a tight end. Novacek finished his Cowboys career with 83 career receptions for 1,536 yards and 10 touchdowns as a tight end. He was inducted in the Wyoming Cowboys Athletic Hall of Fame on October 29, 1993. He was also inducted to the College Football Hall of Fame on July 19, 2009.[10]
  • Josh Allen (born 1996) - quarterback - a late recruit in 2015, Allen led the team to two bowl games, receiving All-Mountain West honors. He finished his Wyoming career with 5,066 passing yards, 44 passing touchdowns, and 56 overall touchdowns, which rank in the top five for Wyoming Cowboys passing statistics. He was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 2018, becoming the highest drafted player in Wyoming Cowboys history.

Honors and awards

  • Mike Dirks, First Team All-Western Athletic Conference, 1967
  • Mike Dirks, Football writers of America, Look Magazine, Newspaper Enterprise Association All-American, 1967
  • Mike Dirks, Team Co-Captain on NCAA record setting defense
  • Marcus Harris, Fred Biletnikoff Award[11]
  • Marcus Harris, inducted into the Wyoming Athletics Hall of Fame on September 24, 2004.[12]
  • Jerry Hill, First Team All-Skyline Conference, 1959, 1960
  • Jerry Hill, Selected Wyoming Football Player of the Century, 1992
  • Jerry Hill, Honorable Mention All-American, 1959, 1960
  • Jerry Hill, Admiral Emory S. Land Award Winner
  • Jim Kiick, Tailback, Most Valuable Player, 1966 Sun Bowl
  • Leonard Kucewski, Guard, Most Valuable Player, 1958 Sun Bowl
  • Jay Novacek, First Team All-Western Athletic Conference & Football All-American, 1984

Future non-conference opponents

Announced schedules as of June 28, 2019.[13]

2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027
Missouri Weber State Montana State Tulsa Texas Tech at Arizona State at Utah North Texas Central Michigan
at Texas State at Texas Tech at Northern Illinois Northern Colorado Portland State New Mexico State at Central Michigan
Idaho Utah Ball State at Illinois Appalachian State BYU
at Tulsa at Ball State at Clemson at BYU at North Texas

Controversy and documentary

In 1969, fourteen black team members wore black armbands to a practice, intending to protest the racism they had been victims of at their last game with an upcoming opponent, the Brigham Young Cougars. Coach Lloyd Eaton threw them off the team, "triggering an uproar that consumed the rest of the football season and much of everything else in the tiny college town of Laramie, Wyoming."

In 2018, filmmaker Darius Monroe released a documentary short about the athletes: Black 14. The short "uses only archival footage to tell the story, mostly from local ABC and NBC affiliates in Wyoming, letting the principals – from the students, to the coach, to the school president and even the state’s governor – speak for themselves."[14]

References

  1. ^ "NCAA Football Award Winners" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. 2014. pp. 13–18. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  2. ^ University of Wyoming Athletics Style Guide (PDF). August 22, 2017. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  3. ^ "Wyoming Cowboys at CFB Data Warehouse".
  4. ^ "Bramlett guides fourth-quarter comeback". ESPN.com. Associated Press. December 23, 2004. Retrieved December 18, 2011.
  5. ^ "Williams runs for 210 yards, TD in BYU's Poinsettia Bowl win". ESPN.com. Associated Press. December 21, 2016. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
  6. ^ "Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium". wyomingathletics.com.
  7. ^ "Films of UW Football and Basketball Games Now Accessible Online" County10.com, accessed September 3, 2015
  8. ^ Wyoming Athletics.com - Bronze Boot
  9. ^ a b c "University of Wyoming Official Athletic Site - Traditions". wyomingathletics.com.
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved July 24, 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "University of Wyoming Official Athletic Site - Traditions". cstv.com.
  13. ^ "Wyoming Cowboys Football Future Schedules". FBSchedules.com. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  14. ^ Lartey, Jamiles (March 10, 2018). "Wyoming's Black 14 matter more than ever in post-Kaepernick America". The Guardian. Nearly 50 years after a group of black Wyoming football players were kicked off the team for even contemplating a protest, a new documentary gives their courage an overdue spotlight.

External links

1955 Wyoming Cowboys football team

The 1955 Wyoming Cowboys football team represented the University of Wyoming in the 1955 college football season. It was the Cowboys' 60th season and they competed as a member of the Skyline Conference. The team was led by head coach Phil Dickens, in his third year, and played their home games at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie, Wyoming. They finished with a record of eight wins and three losses (8–3, 5–2 Skyline) and with a win over Texas Tech in the 1956 Sun Bowl. The Cowboys offense scored 225 points, while the defense allowed 137 points.

1958 Wyoming Cowboys football team

The 1958 Wyoming Cowboys football team represented the University of Wyoming in the 1958 NCAA University Division football season. It was the Cowboys' 63rd season and they competed as a member of the Skyline Conference. The team was led by head coach Bob Devaney, in his second year, and played their home games at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie, Wyoming. They finished with a record of eight wins and three losses (8–3, 6–1 Skyline) and with a win over Hardin–Simmons in the Sun Bowl. The Cowboys offense scored 205 points while the defense allowed 136 points.

1960 Wyoming Cowboys football team

The 1960 Wyoming Cowboys football team represented the University of Wyoming in the 1960 college football season. The Cowboys offense scored 212 points while the defense allowed 71 points. Led by head coach Bob Devaney, the Cowboys finished the season with eight wins and two losses. Running back Jerry Hill was in his final season and finished his Cowboys career with 1,374 rushing yards on 288 carries.

1961 Wyoming Cowboys football team

The 1961 Wyoming Cowboys football team represented the University of Wyoming in the Skyline Conference during the 1961 college football season. In their fifth season under head coach Bob Devaney, the Cowboys compiled a 6–1–2 record (5–0–1 against Skyline opponents), tied for the Skyline Conference championship, and outscored all opponents by a total of 171 to 74.The team's statistical leaders included Andy Melosky with 464 passing yards, Chuck Lamson with 451 rushing yards, and Mike Walker with 468 receiving yards and 30 points scored.

1965 Wyoming Cowboys football team

The 1965 Wyoming Cowboys football team represented the University of Wyoming in the 1965 college football season. Led by fourth-year head coach Lloyd Eaton, they were members of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) and played their home games on campus at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie.

The Cowboys outscored their opponents 201 to 182 and finished with a 6–4 record.

1966 Wyoming Cowboys football team

The 1966 Wyoming Cowboys football team represented the University of Wyoming in the 1966 college football season. Led by fifth-year head coach Lloyd Eaton, they were members of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) and played their home games on campus at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie.

The Cowboys were 10–1, won the first of three consecutive conference titles, outscored their opponents 355 to 89, and had the nation's best rushing defense.Led on offense by senior quarterback Rick Egloff and junior running back Jim Kiick, Wyoming defeated Florida State 24–16 in the Sun Bowl at El Paso, Texas; Defensive tackle Ron Billingsley was a first round pick in the 1967 NFL/AFL Draft, the fourteenth overall selection.

1967 Wyoming Cowboys football team

The 1967 Wyoming Cowboys football team represented the University of Wyoming in the 1967 college football season. Led by sixth-year head coach Lloyd Eaton, they were members of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) and played their home games on campus at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie.

Wyoming won all ten games in the regular season, had the nation's best rushing defense, and was invited to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on New Year's Day. On a fourteen-game winning streak, underdog Wyoming led unranked LSU 13–0 at halftime, but were outscored 20–0 in the second half.

The Cowboys outscored their opponents 289 to 119; they were led on offense by quarterback Paul Toscano and running back Jim Kiick.

1968 Wyoming Cowboys football team

The 1968 Wyoming Cowboys football team represented the University of Wyoming in the 1968 college football season. Led by seventh-year head coach Lloyd Eaton, they were members of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) and played their home games on campus at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie.

The Cowboys had a record of 7–3, won a third consecutive WAC title, and outscored their opponents 242 to 118.

1976 Wyoming Cowboys football team

The 1976 Wyoming Cowboys football team represented the University of Wyoming during the 1976 NCAA Division I football season. In their second and final season under head coach Fred Akers, the Cowboys were members of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) and played their home games on campus at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie.

Wyoming compiled an 8–4 record, tied for the WAC championship (6–1), lost to Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, and outscored their opponents 278 to 250. The team's statistical leaders included Don Clayton with 409 passing yards, Robbie Wright with 718 rushing yards, Walter Howard with 305 receiving yards, and Dan Christopulos with 53 points scored.It was Wyoming's first winning season since 1969 and first bowl appearance since the Sugar Bowl in January 1968. Akers soon departed for the University of Texas and the Cowboys' next winning season was in 1980; the next bowl appearance was in December 1987.

1984 Wyoming Cowboys football team

The 1984 Wyoming Cowboys football team represented the University of Wyoming in the 1984 NCAA Division I-A football season. Led by head coach Al Kincaid, the Cowboys finished the season with a record of 6–6. The Cowboys offense scored 201 points while the defense allowed 182 points. Jay Novacek was in his senior season with the Cowboys. Novacek finished his Cowboys career with 83 career receptions for 1,536 yards and 10 touchdowns as a tight end.

1986 Wyoming Cowboys football team

The 1986 Wyoming Cowboys football team represented the University of Wyoming in the 1986 NCAA Division I-A football season. A charter member of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), Wyoming played its home games in War Memorial Stadium, an outdoor facility on campus in Laramie, Wyoming.

The Cowboys were led by head coach Dennis Erickson, in his only season at Wyoming, and finished with a record of six wins and six losses (6–6, 4–4 WAC). The Cowboys' offense scored 299 points while the defense allowed 272 points.

1987 Wyoming Cowboys football team

The 1987 Wyoming Cowboys football team represented the University of Wyoming in the 1987 NCAA Division I-A football season. It was the Cowboys' 92nd season and they competed as a member of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). The team was led by head coach Paul Roach, in his first year, and played their home games at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie, Wyoming. They finished with a record of ten wins and three losses (10–3, 8–0 WAC), as WAC Champions and with a loss against Iowa in the Holiday Bowl. The Cowboys offense scored 426 points, while the defense allowed 271 points.

1988 Wyoming Cowboys football team

The 1988 Wyoming Cowboys football team represented the University of Wyoming in the 1988 NCAA Division I-A football season. It was the Cowboys' 93rd season and they competed as a member of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). The team was led by head coach Paul Roach, in his second year, and played their home games at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie, Wyoming. They finished with a record of eleven wins and two losses (11–2, 8–0 WAC), as WAC Champions and with a loss against Oklahoma State in the Holiday Bowl. The Cowboys offense scored 511 points, while the defense allowed 280 points.

1993 Wyoming Cowboys football team

The 1993 Wyoming Cowboys football team represented the University of Wyoming in the 1993 NCAA Division I-A football season. It was the Cowboys' 97th season and they competed as a member of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). The team was led by head coach Joe Tiller, in his third year, and played their home games at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie, Wyoming. They finished with a record of eight wins and four losses (8–4, 6–2 WAC), as WAC Co–Champions with BYU and Fresno State and with a loss in the Copper Bowl. The Cowboys offense scored 357 points, while the defense allowed 329 points.

1999 Wyoming Cowboys football team

The 1999 Wyoming Cowboys football team represented the University of Wyoming in the 1999 NCAA Division I-A football season. The Cowboys offense scored 302 points, while the defense allowed 270 points.

2000 Wyoming Cowboys football team

The 2000 Wyoming Cowboys football team represented the University of Wyoming in the 2000 NCAA Division I-A football season. The Cowboys offense scored 170 points, while the defense allowed 393 points.

2002 Wyoming Cowboys football team

The 2002 Wyoming Cowboys football team represented the University of Wyoming in the 2002 NCAA Division I-A football season. The team's head coach was Vic Koenning, who was fired after the regular season. They played their home games at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie, Wyoming, and competed in the Mountain West Conference.

2004 Wyoming Cowboys football team

The 2004 Wyoming Cowboys football team represented the University of Wyoming in the 2004 NCAA Division I-A football season. The Cowboys offense scored 318 points while the defense allowed 297 points. Led by head coach Joe Glenn, the Cowboys competed in the Las Vegas Bowl.

2006 Wyoming Cowboys football team

The 2006 Wyoming Cowboys football team represented the University of Wyoming in the 2006 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The team's head coach was Joe Glenn, who was in his fourth year at Wyoming. They played their home games at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie, Wyoming, and competed in the Mountain West Conference.

2009 Wyoming Cowboys football team

The 2009 Wyoming Cowboys football team represented the University of Wyoming in the 2009 NCAA Division I FBS college football season. The Cowboys were led by first-year head coach Dave Christensen and played their home games at War Memorial Stadium. The Cowboys finished the season 7–6, 4–4 in Mountain West play and won the New Mexico bowl, 35–28, in two overtimes against Fresno State.

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