LARAMIE -- Does it seem like Wyoming has gone through a lot of football coaches?

It has.

Craig Bohl became the 32nd head coach in school history in December of 2013, joining an impressive list of names to roam the sidelines in Laramie. In fact, if Bohl is still around when the 2022 season gets underway, he will join Lloyd Eaton as the longest tenured coach at UW. That mark sits at just nine seasons.

Just for fun, compare that to Air Force's Fisher DeBerry, who led the Falcons for 23 seasons. Those guys are rare.

So, why the turnover in Laramie?

Well, let's just say winning -- and losing -- does that at a mid-major program. It's not like Wyoming is alone when it comes to having its head coach poached by the big boys. Though fans around here can be a tad skittish -- and rightfully so -- when it comes to watching the head man leave for supposed brighter lights and bigger dollars, the Cowboys haven't had a coach do that since Dana Dimel bolted for Houston after the 1999 season.

Since, Vic Koenning (5-29), Joe Glenn (30-41) and Dave Christensen (27-35) have all been relieved of their duties.

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There have been plenty of other coaches, though, who have made a pitstop in Laramie only to go on and become national names.

There was Bowden Wyatt, who left for Arkansas and eventually Tennessee after spending six seasons at UW. He compiled a 39-17-1 record and a Gator Bowl championship during his stint. His predecessor, Phil Dickens, left Laramie for Bloomington, Indiana after four short seasons and a Sun Bowl victory.

Bob Devaney was next in line.

He went 35-10-1 in five seasons on the high plains, also claiming a Sun Bowl title. He headed east for the University of Nebraska, where he turned a sleeping giant into a college football powerhouse almost immediately, winning 47 games in his first five seasons in Lincoln. Devaney's Huskers claimed two national championships in 1970 and '71. Nebraska also won three consecutive Orange Bowls.

Eaton tumultuous tenure came next. He won 57 games at UW, including a Sun Bowl. He also led the Pokes to arguably their best season in 1967, finishing 10-0 in the regular season before falling to LSU 20-13 in the Sugar Bowl.

Then, the Black 14 incident took place two years later. Eaton kicked all 14 of his African-American players off the team before a meeting with rival BYU for asking to wear black armbands to protest racism in the Mormon church. Wyoming would beat the Cougars, 40-7, and San Jose State the following week. The Cowboys lost their final four games of that season and went 1-9 in 1969. Eaton stepped down following the 1970 campaign.


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That started the carousel of coaching changes once again.

Three of the next five left for bigger jobs, starting with Fred Akers (10-13), who took over at the University of Texas in 1976. Pat Dye (6-5) spent just one fall in Laramie before leaving for Auburn. Dennis Erickson (6-6) barely made it a calendar year before unexpectedly taking the head job at Washington State in 1987.

Paul Roach (35-15) brought stability and consistent winning back to Laramie the following season. Under his leadership, Wyoming won back-to-back WAC titles and played in two Holiday Bowls. In 1990, his last on the sideline, the Cowboys played in the Copper Bowl.

Joe Tiller (39-30-1) stayed at UW for six seasons. After finishing 10-2 and playing in the inaugural WAC titles game in 1996, Purdue lured him to West Lafayette, Indiana, where he coached for a decade, taking the Boilermakers to 10 bowl games, including a Rose Bowl in 2000.

One could argue Wyoming has lost more big-name coaches than anyone in the current Mountain West, though there have been some marquee guys to lead teams in this conference like Bill Parcells (Air Force), John Robinson (UNLV), Fielding Yost (San Jose State), Marv Levy (New Mexico) and Don Coryell (San Diego State), just to name a few.

Success has also led to coaching changes for the league's youngest program, Boise State. Houston NuttDirk KoetterDan Hawkins, Chris Petersen, and most recently, Bryan Harsin, have all left for Power-5 gigs. Boise State has only been a four-year institution since 1968.

So, has anyone in the Mountain West gone through as many head coaches as UW?


New Mexico has also had 32 in its history.

Here's how the rest of the league has faired in that department:

Air Force: 7

Boise State: 11

Colorado State: 23

Fresno State: 20

Hawaii: 24

Nevada: 26

New Mexico: 32

San Diego State: 18

San Jose State: 30

UNLV: 11

Utah State: 29

Wyoming: 32

Check out some of our other stories that have to do with this very subject:
* The two that got away: Drew Brees and LaDainian Tomlinson
* Some of Wyoming's best have called Buffalo home, including Marv Levy
* 'My cross to bear' Dennis Erickson's departure from Laramie
* An innovator, motivator and winner -- the Fred Akers story
* Former UW head coach Pat Dye dies at 80 
* 'I could've left it better' Dana Dimel on leaving for Houston
* Cowboys classics: Back-to-Back in the WAC, Roach makes Laramie 'Title Town'

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