Wheatland’s head coach has resigned after two years to spend more time with his family.

Tom Waring, who led Wheatland to the Class 2A semifinals this year, resigned in mid-November. He verified his resignation via email Wednesday with wyoming-football.com.

Waring said his daughter is beginning junior high sports this year, and he wants to spend time supporting her efforts.

It was a difficult decision because I love coaching these guys, and I love football,” Waring wrote. “But, I do preach to my players that football should never be number one on your list of priorities. I tell them family always comes first, so basically I am just taking my own advice.”

Waring went a combined 9-10 in his two seasons with the Bulldogs, including 5-5 in 2017.

Waring previously coached at Rawlins in 2013 and, prior to that, Hanna from 2009-12.

A replacement in Wheatland has not yet been named.

Waring is the fifth head coach in the state to resign after the 2017 season, along with Sheridan’s Don Julian, Cheyenne Central’s Drew Severn, Lander’s John Rounds and Lovell’s Doug Hazen.

–patrick

After 20 years as a head football coach, Don Julian has stepped down as the head coach at Sheridan.

He leaves the Broncs after leading them to three consecutive state titles and, at the moment, 18 consecutive victories. He also led Sheridan to titles in 2009 and 2011.

Prior to coaching Sheridan, Julian coached at Riverton from 1993-2001, leading the Wolverines to championships in 1994, 1997, 1998 and 1999. In between Riverton and Sheridan, Julian coached at the University of Wyoming before becoming director of football operations and later an assistant athletic director at UW; he returned to the prep ranks in 2007 when he took over the Sheridan program.

Julian said he resigned to spend time with his parents on their ranch near Kemmerer, close to where Julian was raised.

His affect on the record books — as well as on the lives of the countless players who learned under his tutelage — is difficult to illustrate. But here are some examples in an attempt to do just that:

  • He has more victories (102) than any other coach in Sheridan program history. He also has more victories (63) than any other coach in Riverton program history.
  • His career total of 165 victories places him sixth all-time and third among active coaches in the state. Of the 34 Wyoming coaches with at least 90 in-state victories, Julian’s winning percentage of .789 is second only to Cokeville’s Todd Dayton.
  • His nine state championships ranks third all-time in Wyoming.
  • He led Riverton to 26 consecutive victories from 1997-99, tied for the eighth-longest streak in state history.
  • Maybe most impressively, he never had a losing season in 20 years as a head coach in Wyoming.

Julian’s retirement drew immediate attention online as numerous people paid their respect:

–patrick

Cheyenne Central head coach Drew Severn has resigned after four years as the Indians’ head coach.

The news of Severn’s resignation was reported by Jeremiah Johnke at the Wyoming Tribune Eagle in Cheyenne. Johnke said Severn — who played at the University of Wyoming from 2002-05 — resigned to take a different job in Michigan.

In his four years as head coach, Severn’s Indian teams went a combined 10-28. They reached the playoffs in his first year (2014) and last year (2017).

A replacement has not yet been named.

Severn is the third Wyoming coach to step down this offseason, joining Lander’s John Rounds and Lovell’s Doug Hazen.

–patrick

Lovell coach Doug Hazen, who led the Bulldogs to eight playoff appearances and a state championship in his nine years leading the program, has stepped down as the squad’s head coach, the Lovell Chronicle reported in its Thursday edition.

Hazen finished 62-26 in his nine years as coach. The Bulldogs went 11-0 and won the Class 2A title in 2011, Hazen’s third with the program. Lovell also finished as Class 2A runner-up in 2012.

Hazen told the Chronicle he resigned to spend more time with his young children and to devote more time to his job as principal and special education director at Lovell Middle School.

“It was a heartbreaking decision,” Hazen said to the Chronicle, “but I was at the point where I either needed to step up or step away, and I chose to spend some time away from the game of football for now.”

A replacement has not yet been named. Lovell assistant coach Bob Weber also resigned after seven years, the Chronicle reported.

–patrick

County 10 is reporting that John Rounds has resigned as Lander’s head coach.

Rounds resigned after four years as the Tigers’ head coach. He helped take the team to a playoff appearance in 2016; however, in the past four years, Lander is 2-31.

Lander went 1-7 last year. The Class 3A Tigers’ only victory came against Class 2A Thermopolis.

A replacement has not yet been named.

–patrick

Sheridan, Cody, Mountain View, Pine Bluffs and Kaycee are your 2017 state champions. When we think about the 2017 season, we’ll probably start there.

We won’t finish there, though.

One of the beauties of having the state’s football history compiled in one place is that it allows me (and us) to track records that, prior to the beginning of research on this site in 2004 and the launch of the site in 2005, were really difficult to authenticate. No more. So here are some highlights — beyond the champions — of 2017:

Scoring records

Two teams set overall season scoring records in 2017.

Natrona, with 545 points, notched more points than any other in the state’s 11-man history. The Mustangs’ mark topped the previous record of 539, set by Gillette in 2015.

Meanwhile, Kaycee, which averaged 70.7 points per game, set the state’s all-time record for average points per game. The old record of 68.27 points per game was set by Meeteetse in 2015. Also, Kaycee’s 707 total points is good enough for third all-time.

Class 4A champion Sheridan finished the season with 527 points, good enough for fourth all-time in the 11-man ranks.

On the other side, some teams set records they’d rather not. Gillette allowed 570 points this season, the most ever given up in an 11-man season and the fourth-most regardless of game style (six-, eight-, nine- or 11-man). The old 11-man record, 521, was set by Cheyenne South in its inaugural season in 2011. Jackson allowed 436 points this season, the eighth-highest mark in the state’s 11-man history, while St. Stephens allowed 576 points, second-most all-time regardless of style.

Normative Services and St. Stephens finished second and third, respectively, in most average points allowed per game. NSI allowed 78 points per game this season, while St. Stephens allowed 72 ppg. Gillette’s 63.33 points allowed per game was the third-most ever in an 11-man season.

For single-game scoring, the 62-44 game between Green River and Jackson on Oct. 13 is tied for 10th all-time for combined points (106) in an 11-man game. Also, Kaycee’s 77 points against Meeteetse in the first round of the six-man quarterfinals on Oct. 27 is eighth-most for points by a single team in a playoff game.

See the scoring records here.

Streaks

The most notable streak in 2017 is Kaycee’s winning streak, which now rests at 30 games entering 2018. Many outlets reported that Kaycee’s streak was 31 consecutive games, counting a forfeit loss from Rock River in the tallies. However, historically, this site and most media outlets do not regard a canceled season — as Rock River’s was this year — as a series of eight forfeits (for example, see Tongue River 2011). Instead, the games are simply removed from the schedule, and that team’s opponents either schedule replacement games (as Meeteetse, Hanna, Lingle and others did with their Rock River week this season) or leave it as a bye. Kaycee left the week open, and therefore their final season tally for 2017 will be listed as 10-0 and the winning streak at 30.

Cokeville notched its 30th consecutive winning season and its 32nd consecutive non-losing season, increasing its state records in both categories.

Laramie, meanwhile, had its 17th consecutive losing season, second all-time to Newcastle’s 22 consecutive losing seasons from 1984-2005. Rawlins ended its streak of consecutive losing seasons this year at 16.

Gillette’s scoring streak ended at 136 games this year, leaving Snake River at 85 consecutive games as the team with the longest active scoring streak. The Rattlers’ streak is tied for 12th-longest all-time.

See the streaks records here.

Coaching

Natrona coach Steve Harshman moved into third place all-time among the state’s coaches in victories. With 190 victories in Wyoming, Harshman passed John Deti Jr. for third place. He trails former Laramie coach John Deti Sr. (205 victories) and current Cokeville coach Todd Dayton (who extended his state record to 315 victories).

Sheridan coach Don Julian moved into sixth-place all-time on the same list. Julian now has 165 victories in his Wyoming career.

Of active Wyoming coaches, Dayton, Harshman, Julian, Southeast’s Mark Bullington (138 victories) and Glenrock’s Ray Kumpula (127) have more than 100 victories. Douglas’ Jay Rhoades will enter 2018 with 95 victories at Douglas and will be the only active coach with a chance to enter the Wyoming 100-victory club in 2018.

+++

I nailed more than half my picks last week. But that means I whiffed on almost half. My season and career totals:

Last week: 3-2 (60 percent). This season: 259-46 (85 percent — my best season yet!). 13-year total: 3,089-772 (80 percent).

+++

A couple quick reminders as I close out the books on 2017:

First, wyoming-basketball.com is a site you should know exists. And you should check it out. It’s full of cool info on the state’s hoops history.

Second, if you like the work I’ve done, consider a page sponsorship. $20 secures a page for an entire year. It also means a lot to me, personally. My sponsors are awesome and allow me to operate the site without paying for it out of my own pocket.

Third, and finally, we’re not done. All-state and all-conference teams will be released this week, as will the Casper Star-Tribune’s Super 25 team. I may have some individual records to post. The 2018 schedules will be out soon. We’ll probably see some new coaches in the state by the time the 2018 season starts. We’ll have the National Football Foundation banquet and awards; we’ll have the Shrine Bowl; we’ll have other stuff. I’ll be here for all of it. Thanks again for reading and supporting the site.

–patrick

St. Stephens will finish the 2017 season with two head coaches who stepped in to fill the void left by the retirement of the program’s previous head coach.

Billy Brost and Dee Harrison have coached the Eagles in their past three games and will lead them into the season finale Friday against Meeteetse.

Brost said in an email to wyoming-football.com that former coach Lyle Valdez resigned shortly before St. Stephens’ game with Riverside on Sept. 29.

Harrison and Brost had previously been coaches for St. Stephens’ middle school team. Prior to this season, Harrison had several coaching stints in the West, including time at Eastern Oregon University, while Brost had been an assistant football coach at several schools in the West. Brost had previously been St. Stephens’ head track coach before resigning last spring.

Brost said he is excited for the future of the program. He said building the program will include work in the weight room, time at team camps, conditioning programs and a continued focus on the fundamentals.

“Once our kids have taken hundreds of reps with Dee’s offensive system, and our kids pick up the fundamental skills, I can foresee a quick turnaround for St. Stephen’s Eagles football as early as next season,” he wrote.

Valdez retired in part to watch his grandchildren play sports at Wyoming Indian, Brost said. The program retained its other two assistant coaches.

St. Stephens is 0-7 so far this year at the Class 1A six-man level.

–patrick

Kaycee coach Lee Kremers has resigned after leading the Buckaroos to back-to-back Class 1A six-man championships and the state’s longest active winning streak.

Tony Rouse, who has been Kaycee’s assistant coach for the past two seasons seasons, will take over as head coach.

Kremers’ resignation was first reported by K2 TV’s Meg Salle on Twitter.

Rouse verified Kremers’ resignation and his promotion to head coach via text message to wyoming-football.com on Friday.

The Buckaroos went 21-1 under Kremers, finishing 10-1 in 2015 and 11-0 in 2016. The Buckaroos have won 20 games in a row, the longest active streak in the state regardless of classification.

Updated 8:24 p.m. Aug. 15: Kaycee AD Jason Humble said Kremers resigned to spend more time focused on his job as Kaycee’s chief of police. Humble said Kremers resigned July 18.

–patrick

Micah Christensen will be Gillette’s head coach this fall, stepping in to fill a spot recently vacated by longtime coach Vic Wilkerson.

Christensen told wyoming-football.com on Wednesday he was asked to lead the staff by activities director Cliff Hill after Wilkerson resigned suddenly July 14 after 13 seasons as the Camels’ head coach. Christensen’s hire has not yet been formally approved by the Campbell County School District board, he said, but he said he has been working in the capacity of head coach for more than a week. The board next meets Aug. 1.

Christensen has been a football coach for 20 years, with 12 years as Gillette’s linebackers coach and eight years in Brush, Colorado, as defensive coordinator before that.

Christensen said his main motivation for accepting the position was “knowing the tradition that there was here, and not wanting to leave… and wanting to continue that tradition here at the high school. I love Camel football, and I found this was a great opportunity to step in and build on what we had going.”

The Camels have reached the Class 4A semifinals each of the past 12 seasons and won state titles in 2006 and 2008. Gillette finished 9-2 last season.

However, new cross-town rival Thunder Basin will start its program this fall.Seniors and juniors got to choose whether to attend Gillette or Thunder Basin, and most of last year’s returners have opted to play at Thunder Basin. Christensen said he would only have about five seniors and maybe a dozen juniors out this fall.

Sophomores, freshmen and all subsequent classes, though, will have their school set by a district boundary. With that, Christensen said he expected about 30 sophomores and 35 freshmen to join the squad this fall — and Christensen said he’s gotten about 10 emails in the past week from new players inquiring about joining the team.

“I see that as a challenge and I look forward to that challenge,” he said.

Christensen said not much will change in terms of scheme, but he said the Camels’ pace may slow as young players gain experience.

“If we’ve got a lot of inexperienced guys, we’re going to have to scale back,” Christensen said.

–patrick

Gillette coach Vic Wilkerson, one of the most successful coaches in state history, resigned on Friday.

Wilkerson confirmed his resignation via text on Monday with wyoming-football.com.

The change comes in the same year that the city of Gillette opens its second comprehensive high school, Thunder Basin.

In an interview for the Wyoming high school football preview magazine in late June, Wilkerson said most of last year’s returning varsity contributors had opted to play for Thunder Basin instead of Gillette.

At the time, Wilkerson said the Gillette program wouldn’t return any players who contributed to the Camels’ varsity a year ago. He anticipated only three seniors and about 10 juniors to come out this fall, and none of those players had varsity experience. That meant sophomores and freshmen — about 30 in each class — would have to make up the remaining holes at the varsity level.

“I have no returning varsity players at Campbell County High School,” Wilkerson said at the time.

Several coaches also left the Camels’ program to join the staff at Thunder Basin. Wilkerson did say five coaches were returning to Gillette, though, and two coaches had been hired in the offseason to complete the Camels’ staff.

Who will replace Wilkerson at Gillette is unclear. Wilkerson said he did not know if a new coach was in place yet; he is leaving the program outright and is not staying on as an assistant coach.

Wilkerson was 110-35 in his 13 seasons as head coach of Camels. He has more victories than any other Gillette coach in program history, and his 13-year tenure is the longest in program history.

Wilkerson led his teams to five double-digit victory seasons and to state championships in 2006 and 2008. The Camels also finished as state runners-up in 2012, 2014 and 2015. Gillette has reached the large-school playoff semifinals each of the past 12 seasons.

Gillette went 9-2 last season.

Wilkerson’s 110 victories is 22nd all-time in state history. Only five active coaches — Cokeville’s Todd Dayton, Natrona’s Steve Harshman, Sheridan’s Don Julian, Southeast’s Mark Bullington and Glenrock’s Ray Kumpula — have more in-state victories than Wilkerson.

Gillette, Thunder Basin and Laramie are the Class 4A schools to bring in new head coaches this offseason.

–patrick

Note: Updated 9:37 a.m. July 17, 2017, to indicate Laramie’s hiring of a new coach.

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