Wyoming’s Un-Sweet 16: No. 4 Frank Arnold vs. No. 5 Larry Eustachy
LARAMIE -- There's a few things that can land you on a list like this one.
Beating Wyoming with regularity certainly makes you a thorn in the side. Making stupid decisions will also draw the ire of fans. Being an all-round jerk will do it, too.
This is our version of the Un-Sweet 16, pitting the biggest villains in Wyoming Cowboys basketball history against one another and eventually crowning the worst of the worst. This won't be our opinion, it's yours. You can vote for who will advance to the next round by clicking on the box at the bottom of this page.
We did our best to round up the ultimate enemy of the Cowboy State. We reached out to people in the know, from different decades of UW hoops. Don't be surprised to see plenty of rivals on this list.
Here's today's matchup:
No. 4 Frank Arnold vs. No. 5 Larry Eustachy
One word landed Frank Arnold on this list -- Despicable.
That's what BYU's head coach called the Wyoming fanbase in 1981 after the Cowboys knocked off the No. 15 Cougars 86-84 in double overtime inside the War Memorial Stadium Fieldhouse.
Here is an excerpt from a Deseret News article titled "Harassment reaches high, fans stoop low."
"The biggest perpetrators - at least as far as BYU is concerned - are the Wyoming fans. In the old Wyoming basketball arena, the court was mounted on a dirt rodeo floor, lending an air of recklessness to the proceedings. Fans chanted anti-BYU obscenities en masse whenever the Cougars came to town.
Of course, nobody had more talent at attracting abuse than former BYU coach Frank Arnold. Arnold would call time out and glare into the crowd, attempting to point out to security officials which fan was throwing things at him. The moment he'd turn back, the abuse rose to the next level. Fans would hold pennies with tweezers, heating them up until they were red hot and then flip them at the BYU bench. Players were also pelted with rotten fruit, game programs and other materials.
Arnold became so disgusted with the behavior of Wyoming's fans, he termed the crowd "despicable." For years after Arnold left BYU, the Wyoming crowd would gleefully chant "We're despicable!" whenever BYU came to town."
Was Arnold loathed? You bet.
The Ogden, Utah native coached in Provo from 1975-83, winning 137 games. He led the Cougars to the NCAA Tournament three times, including during that '81 season when Danny Ainge sank a last-second shot to knock off Notre Dame to advance to the Elite Eight.
In 16 meetings with the Cowboys, Arnold featured a 10-6 record. Arnold's contract was not renewed after BYU finished just a game over .500 during the 1982-83 season. He eventually took the head coaching job at Hawaii in '85. In two seasons on the islands, Arnold racked up an 11-45 record.
Wyoming beat the Rainbow Warriors in all four meetings.
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Larry Eustachy coached at Utah, Utah State and Colorado State during his near four decades on the sidelines.
That alone will land you on this list.
Eustachy can coach. He won 523 games during his career and took USU, Iowa State, Southern Miss and CSU to the NCAA Tournament. He won numerous Coach of the Year Awards, too, including claiming the Mountain West version in 2017 when he led the Rams to a 24-12 overall record -- 13-5 in league play -- and berth in the National Invitational Tournament.
Eustachy knew what to do on gameday.
It was the other days of the week that made him a lightning rod.
In 2003, he was photographed kissing co-ed's at a party near the campus of the University of Missouri. If that wasn't bad enough, Eustasy's Cyclones had just lost to the Tigers just hours earlier. The Des Moines Register also reported Eustachy had done something similar in Manhattan, Kan., after a road loss at Kansas State.
The NCAA also cited the head coach for rules violations. He allegedly paid players for making free throws.
Iowa State wanted to drop the axe on Eustachy but he later resigned after apologizing and telling the world he had entered treatment for alcoholism.
Southern Miss obviously wasn't fazed. The school hired Eustachy a year later. After leading the Golden Eagles to the Big Dance in 2012, CSU poached the coach.
Trouble, once again, followed.
After a trip to the tourney in Year 1 -- mostly thanks to Tim Miles' recruits -- the Rams were an up-and-down program over a tumultuous five-year span. The local newspaper, The Coloradoan, revealed that in 2014, CSU launched an internal investigation into Eustachy for "creating a culture of fear and intimidation." Eustachy was required to undergo anger management and apologize to his team. There was also a new zero-tolerance policy included, meaning no cursing at players or throwing objects -- like Diet Coke cans, allegedly.
CSU placed Eustachy on administrative leave in February of 2018. Another inquiry was underway, again, because of the coach's behavior. He resigned at the end of the month.
Eustachy and the Cowboys faced off 12 times. Wyoming won six of those.
WYOMING'S UN-SWEET 16 SERIES:
Monday: No. 1 Reid Family vs. No. 16 Paco Larsen (Reid Family moves on with 95.5% of the vote)
Tuesday: No. 2 Danny Ainge vs. No. 15 Antonio Davis (Ainge moves on with 93.4% of the vote)
Wednesday: No. 3 Rick Majerus vs. No. 14 David Turcotte (Majerus moves on with 92% of the vote)
Thursday: No. 4 Frank Arnold vs. No. 13 Lee Cummard (Arnold moves on with 74.8% of the vote)
Friday: No. 5 Larry Eustachy vs. No. 12 Joe Scott (Eustachy moves on with 58.1% of the vote)
Monday: No. 6 Michael Smith vs. No. 11 Norm Ellenberger (Smith moves on with 61.4% of the vote)
Tuesday: No. 7 Rafael Araujo vs. No. 10 Petie Gibson (Araujo moves on with 94.8% of the vote)
Wednesday: No. 8 Key Injuries vs. No. 9 MW Officials (Key Injuries moves on with 72% of the vote)
Thursday: No. 1 Reid Family vs. No. 8 Key Injuries (Reid Family moves on with 57.4% of the vote)
Friday: No. 2 Danny Ainge vs. No. 7 Rafael Araujo (Ainge moves on with 80.1% of the vote)
Monday: No. 3 Rick Majerus vs. No. 6 Michael Smith (Majerus moves on with 80% of the vote)