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.

About a year ago, I compiled a list of playoff records for Wyoming football coaches. One of the notable things about the list was that every coach on the list had his fair share of losses. Even the best coach can’t win every playoff game every year… right?

Well, I went back to the data, and as it turns out, of the 356 coaches who have coached at least one Wyoming playoff game, 33 are unbeaten in the postseason. Of those 33, though, only seven have three or more victories:

Rick VanCleeve, Thermopolis 1985-92, 9-0
Lee Kremers, Kaycee 2015-16, 6-0
Jim McLeod, Cheyenne Central 1979-89, 6-0
Wilford Mower, Byron 1945-52, 6-0
Lou Maiben, Byron 1954-57 and Wheatland 1959-62, 4-0
Will Gray, Pine Bluffs 2011-2016, 3-0
McKay Young, Star Valley 2016, 3-0

Three of these coaches — Kremers, Gray and Young — led their teams to state championships last season.

Of the remaining 26 coaches, 17 are 2-0 and nine are 1-0.

This is a tough list on which to stay. The longer coaches coach, the more likely they are to have at least one playoff loss. Even the best playoff coach, Cokeville’s Todd Dayton (whose 67 playoff victories are more than twice as many as any other coach in state history) has 14 playoff losses to his name, too.

Meanwhile, 128 of those 356 coaches are winless in the playoffs….

–patrick

Ross Hauptman will be the new head football coach in Ten Sleep this fall.

Hauptman teaches fourth and fifth grades at Ten Sleep. Prior to coming to Ten Sleep, Hauptman taught and coached middle-school sports in Highwood, Montana.

Ten Sleep principal/activities director Russ Budmayr confirmed the hiring Wednesday via email to wyoming-football.com.

Hauptman takes over for Jake Zent, who resigned from the school in January. Zent went 22-30 in eight years with the Pioneers, as the head coach from 2007-12 and in 2016.

Ten Sleep was 1-7 last season.

LaramieThunder BasinJackson, WorlandKemmererTongue River and Snake River also have new coaches for next season. If you know of a program seeking a new coach, please comment below or email me: pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Ryan Utterback will be Worland’s new head coach, the Northern Wyoming Daily News reported.

Utterback replaces Todd Weber, who went 5-11 in his two years as head coach. Utterback is Worland’s seventh head coach in seven years, following Wade Sanford in 2011, Curt Mayer in 2012, Josh Garcia and Bryan Bailey in 2013, Thor Ware in 2014 and Weber in 2015 and 2016.

Utterback has been an assistant coach with the Warriors the past three seasons. Prior to that, he was the head coach at Shields Valley, Montana, for six seasons, from 2008-13.

Worland was 3-5 last season.

New coaches have also been named at LaramieThunder Basin, Jackson, Tongue River and Snake River this offseason. If you know of a program seeking a new coach, please comment below or email me: pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

A coach with a history of turning around struggling football programs is heading to Jackson.

David Joyce, who has turned losing programs into winning programs at three separate schools, will take over this fall, Jackson Hole News and Guide reporter Clark Forster reported on Twitter on Sunday.

Jackson AD Mike Hansen confirmed the hiring via email with wyoming-football.com Monday.

Joyce was most recently the head coach at Mountain Home, Arkansas. Mountain Home went 4-7 last year and made the playoffs for the first time in eight years. Mountain Home was 1-9 in 2015 and 0-10 in 2014, Joyce’s first two seasons as head coach.

Prior to that, Joyce led Doherty High in Colorado Springs from a 2-8 record in 2012 to an 8-3 record in 2013. Before that, he led Battle Mountain High in Edwards, Colorado, for four seasons (2008-11), improving each season from 0-10 to 2-8 to 3-7 to 9-2.

Joyce is a native of Arkansas and graduated from the University of Arkansas.

Joyce replaces James Howell, who resigned after seven years as Jackson’s head coach. The Broncs were 1-8 last season.

New coaches have also been named at LaramieThunder BasinTongue River and Snake River this offseason, while Worland is still seeking head coaches. If you know of a program seeking a new coach, please comment below or email me: pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Edit: Updated 9:07 p.m. Monday, June 5 to note confirmation of the hire.

Longtime Laramie assistant coach Clint Reed has been named the program’s new head coach, KOWB Radio reported today.

The station reported Reed has been a varsity assistant with the Plainsmen for 10 seasons and was a freshman coach for five seasons.

He replaces Chuck Syverson, who left Laramie after four seasons to take a job in Florida.

The Plainsmen were 4-6 last season, losing to Rock Springs in the first round of the playoffs.

New coaches have also been named at Thunder BasinTongue River and Snake River this offseason, while Worland and Jackson are still seeking head coaches. If you know of a program seeking a new coach, please comment below or email me: pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Bart Jernigan, the defensive coordinator for Kemmerer, has been hired as the Rangers’ new head coach.

Jernigan verified his hire via email to wyoming-football.com on Thursday.

“We have a great community and great kids,” Jernigan wrote. “I look forward to helping them grow into great young men and make a difference in their lives as well as the world around them.”

He replaces Jason Ferrarini, Kemmerer’s coach the last two seasons. Ferrarini resigned as head coach recently to join his family in a move to Denver, Ferrarini said via email.

Jernigan has been at Kemmerer the past two seasons as defensive coordinator. Prior to that, he spent six years at Layton (Utah) High as the JV head coach and the varsity special teams coordinator; he also spent two years as an assistant at Clearfield (Utah) High.

Kemmerer enters the 2017 season on a 36-game losing streak, the longest in state history. The Kemmerer program is the first 2A program to change coaches this offseason. Class 4A programs Laramie and Thunder Basin, 3A programs Worland and Jackson, 1A 11-man program Tongue River and 1A six-man program Snake River are also either seeking or have hired new head coaches.

–patrick

Worland head football coach Todd Weber has resigned after two seasons leading the Warriors.

Weber confirmed his resignation Wednesday via email with wyoming-football.com.

Weber came to Worland after working as an assistant at Douglas. In his two seasons with the Warriors, Weber went 5-11 — a 2-6 finish in 2015 and a 3-5 finish last year. Worland missed the playoffs both seasons.

A replacement has not yet been named.

Prior to hiring Weber, Worland went through a stretch of five different coaches in four years.

Worland joins Jackson as Class 3A West Conference schools searching for new head coaches. Laramie is also searching for a new head coach, while new coaches have been selected for vacancies at Thunder Basin, Tongue River and Snake River.

–patrick

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