Evanston head football coach Pat Fackrell has resigned after nine seasons leading the Red Devils.

Fackrell confirmed his resignation via email Monday with wyoming-football.com. The resignation was listed last week on the Football Scoop website.

A replacement has not yet been named, Fackrell said.

Fackrell took over the Red Devils in 2010. He led the program to six consecutive Class 4A playoff berths from 2010-15. Evanston transitioned to Class 3A in 2017; last year, the Red Devils finished 6-4 and made the 3A playoffs.

In nine seasons, Fackrell’s teams went a combined 32-55. His nine-year stay as Evanston’s head coach is tied for the second-longest tenure in school history behind the 18-year tenure of Kay Fackrell, Pat Fackrell’s father.

Fackrell teaches physical education at Evanston High School.

Evanston is the first Class 3A football program to make a change at its head coaching position this offseason. Other programs seeking new coaches for 2019 include Gillette, Kelly Walsh, Rock Springs and Wyoming Indian. Additionally, Glenrock and Lovell have named new head coaches for 2019. If you know of other head coaching changes statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Nicc Crosby, a Lovell native who has been an assistant coach at Star Valley for more than a decade, has been hired as Lovell’s new head coach.

Lovell AD Joe Koritnik confirmed the hire via email with wyoming-football.com on Friday.

The Star Valley football Facebook page posted a tribute to Crosby on Friday (screencap below).

Crosby has taught and coached at Star Valley for 13 years, with 11 years devoted to the high school football program and two to the middle school. With the Braves, Crosby coached the quarterbacks and later the defensive backs.

He was also an assistant coach for the South team for the 2018 Shrine Bowl.

Crosby said via email with wyoming-football.com on Saturday that he and his family faced a difficult decision to leave Star Valley.

“I really don’t have words to describe how much I have enjoyed teaching, coaching, and living in Star Valley,” Crosby said. “It is such an amazing community. Working with the football players, Coach Chris Howell (previous head coach), Coach McKay Young (current head coach), and the other assistant coaches has been a blessing and privilege that I’ll treasure the rest of my life.”

Ultimately, a desire to be close to his hometown of Lovell and to his family roots in the Bighorn Basin pushed Crosby to apply for the opening. Crosby also said Lovell as a community and school district provides good support for athletics.

“My roots to Lovell and nearby Cowley go back a couple of generations on both sides of my family, and I know Lovell is a great place to raise a family,” Crosby said. ” … I am grateful for the opportunity that I have to take what I have learned with me to teach and coach in Lovell, and I am especially grateful for a wife and kids who have supported me along the way.”

Crosby replaces Jeny Gardner, who went 1-8 in her lone season as head coach.

Crosby teaches math at Star Valley High School. Crosby also played in the 2000 Shrine Bowl representing Lovell.

Other programs seeking new coaches for 2019 include Gillette, Kelly Walsh, Rock Springs and Wyoming Indian. Additionally, Glenrock has named its new head coach for 2019. If you know of other head coaching changes statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Updated 9:48 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 24, with comments from Crosby.

Rock Springs head football coach David Hastings has resigned after five years leading the Tigers.

News reports from Sweetwater Now, Wyo4News and the Rock Springs Rocket-Miner said Hastings resigned and “looks forward to the new transition in his life and career.”

Rock Springs AD Tom Jassman said via email Wednesday morning that a replacement had not yet been named. He said a hire would be sought for “the time that is needed to establish an effective hire for the program.”

Hastings did not immediately reply to an email sent by wyoming-football.com on Tuesday seeking more details.

Hastings went 21-29 in his five seasons with the Tigers. The team’s best season came in 2016, when Rock Springs went 8-3 and reached the Class 4A semifinals, securing the program’s first winning season since 2003 in the process. Rock Springs was 3-7 last season.

Hastings was previously the head coach for programs at Lehi, Utah, and Sugar-Salem, Idaho.

Other Class 4A programs seeking new coaches for 2019 include Gillette and Kelly Walsh. Additionally, programs at GlenrockLovell and Wyoming Indian either are searching or have found a new coach for the 2019 season. If you know of other head coaching changes statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Updated 9:38 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, with comment from Jassman.

After two seasons, Gillette head coach Micah Christensen has resigned as the leader of the Camels.

As first reported by the Gillette News Record, Christensen resigned this week but will stay on at Gillette teaching and coaching other sports.

Christensen took on one of the most difficult periods in Campbell County’s football history. He was hired shortly before the Camels’ program was left decimated by the opening of Thunder Basin, Gillette’s second comprehensive high school. When Thunder Basin opened, most of the city’s seniors and juniors opted to play for new Thunder Basin, leaving traditional power Gillette without enough upperclassmen to sustain success at the Class 4A level.

Christensen also was a late hire prior to the 2017 season, joining the team as head coach after longtime Camels coach Vic Wilkerson resigned about a month before the first practice of 2017.

Prior to leading the Camels, Christensen had spent 12 years as Gillette’s linebackers coach; he also coached football for eight years in Brush, Colorado.

The Camels have gone 0-18 the past two seasons.

A replacement has not yet been named.

Gillette joins Kelly Walsh as Class 4A programs seeking new head coaches for 2019. Other programs either searching for or with new head coaches for 2019 include GlenrockLovell and Wyoming Indian. If you know of other head coaching changes statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

The Casper Star-Tribune has reported that Jon Vance is no longer the head football coach at Kelly Walsh.

The Star-Tribune reported the Natrona County School District No. 1 confirmed Vance was no longer KW’s head coach, and that the district was seeking applicants for the position. As of Tuesday morning, the position was listed on the Natrona County School District website.

Vance had been KW’s head coach since 2011. He had gone 32-48 in that time, reaching the playoffs seven times in eight years and advancing to the Class 4A semifinals once, in 2017. His 32 victories was second all-time in program history behind Tom Staffileno, who had 37 victories while head coach from 1982-88.

Vance declined comment Tuesday when contacted by wyoming-football.com.

Other programs either searching for or with new head coaches for 2019 include GlenrockLovell and Wyoming Indian. If you know of other head coaching changes statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Updated 3:49 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15, to add contact with Vance.

Ryan Collier, who spent four years as an assistant coach at Glenrock, will lead the Herders as the program’s new head coach.

Glenrock activities director Julie Kuhlman announced Collier’s hiring on Wednesday via an email to media.

Prior to coming to Glenrock, Collier was the head coach at Otis High School in Colorado for six years. At Glenrock, he has coached a variety of positions, including defensive line and offensive backfield, in addition to being the co-offensive coordinator.

He is also the head track and field coach at Glenrock and teaches social studies at the high school. He is a native of Denver.

“Ryan will continue to bring a wide knowledge base of the game of (football) to our Herder program, as well as a mission to inspire, teach, and motivate our students to be outstanding (football) players, but even better citizens,” Kuhlman said in the email.

Collier replaces Ray Kumpula, who retired at the end of the season after a total of 23 years as head coach of the Herders over two separate stints.

Glenrock is the first program statewide to name a new head coach for 2019, as Wyoming Indian and Lovell are also looking for new head coaches. If you know of other head coaching changes statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

After five seasons as the head football coach at Wyoming Indian, Todd Ghormley has resigned.

Ghormley confirmed his resignation via email Friday to wyoming-football.com.

Ghormley said he was planning to stay at WIHS, where he teaches science and is also the head wrestling coach. He said a replacement has not yet been named.

The past two seasons, the Chiefs have played mostly sub-varsity opponents in an effort to gain experience and keep the program running. The team is 3-34 the past five years, including 1-4 last season.

Wyoming Indian joins Lovell and Glenrock as schools looking for new head coaches for 2019. If you know of other head coaching changes statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Lovell’s Jeny Gardner was let go as the Bulldogs’ head football coach on Wednesday.

Gardner said via Twitter direct message with wyoming-football.com that the decision to change coaches was not her choice.

In a tweet, Gardner thanked her players “for believing in what we were trying to do with Lovell Football.”

The Bulldogs finished 1-8 last season. In a Twitter message, Gardner — an assistant with Lovell for three years before she became the state’s first female head coach — said she feared the Bulldogs’ record this year could be used as an excuse to keep other women from coaching football teams. Gardner did say she hopes to continue coaching football.

Lovell joins Glenrock as schools looking for new head coaches this offseason. If you know of other head coaching changes statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Glenrock football coach Ray Kumpula, who built a legacy of hard-nosed, championship football in two separate stints as the Herders’ head coach, will retire at the end of the season.

The Douglas Budget’s Eddie Poe first reported Kumpula’s retirement on Twitter after the Herders’ 61-8 victory against Moorcroft on Friday in Glenrock’s final regular-season game.


Heading into the Class 2A playoffs as the No. 2 seed from the East Conference, Glenrock will be trying to win its fourth championship under Kumpula. He led the Herders to state championships in 2002, 2003 and 2008.

Kumpula’s all-time record of 133-87 unofficially places him tied for 14th all-time among the state’s coaches. His victory total is fourth among active coaches statewide, behind only Cokeville’s Todd Dayton, Natrona’s Steve Harshman and Southeast’s Mark Bullington.

Kumpula started as Glenrock’s head coach in 1990. He led the Herders to three playoff appearances in seven seasons before stepping down after the 1996 season. He re-assumed the position of head coach prior to the 2002 season, winning titles in his first two seasons back as head coach.

He also led Glenrock to title-game appearances in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2015 and 2017.

Glenrock will host Big Piney in the quarterfinals of the 2A playoffs on Friday.

A replacement for Kumpula has not yet been named.

–patrick

I always take note when I recognize a name for a new high school coach.

Generally, when I recognize a name of a new coach, it’s because I remember that coach as a player. That’s what happened a bunch this summer, with new coaches like Cody Bohlander, Clayton McSpadden and Eli Moody among others sparking memories of their playing days.

Those memories got me thinking — how many of Wyoming’s head football coaches graduated from a Wyoming high school? Or a Wyoming college?

So, as part of the Wyoming High School Football Preview Magazine, I asked every coach about their alma maters, both high school and college. And here’s what I found:

Of the 64 Wyoming high school football coaches entering the 2018 season, 34 went to Wyoming high schools, while 30 did not. Wyoming coaches also graduated from high schools in Montana (6), Colorado (4), Idaho and Nebraska (3 each), California, Utah and Washington (2 each) and Alaska, Arkansas, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Oregon, Texas and the District of Columbia (1 each).

The only bordering state not to have at least one head coach in Wyoming is South Dakota.

In all, 27 different Wyoming high schools were represented on the alma mater list of Wyoming coaches. Nine coaches (Burlington’s Trent Aagard, Cheyenne Central’s Mike Apodaca, Cokeville’s Todd Dayton, Evanston’s Pat Fackrell, Farson’s Trip Applequist, Hulett’s Boz Backen, Lusk’s Ryan Nelson, Rawlins’ Clayton McSpadden and Snake River’s Jack Cobb) are the head coach at the high school from which they graduated. Similarly, Hanna’s Zack Scott is an alumnus of nearby and now closed Medicine Bow, while Thunder Basin coach Trent Pikula graduated from Gillette in the days before TBHS existed.

Eight high schools graduated more than one Wyoming high school coach; Cheyenne Central, Douglas, Hulett, Lander, Lovell, Lusk, Midwest and Chadron (Nebraska) each have two alumni as head football coaches in Wyoming. The city of Cheyenne leads all cities with three coaches from that city claiming alumni status from one of that city’s high schools.

+++

For college, the most popular undergraduate alma mater was the University of Wyoming, from which 19 Wyoming coaches graduated. Even so, 42 of the remaining 43 coaches went to out-of-state locales to finish their bachelor’s degrees.

Next was Black Hills State with eight alumni and Chadron State with four. After that, coaches graduated from Sioux Falls and Montana State (3 each), Colorado Mesa, Montana-Western, MSU-Billings and Weber State (2 each), and Arkansas, Augustana, Colorado State, CSU-Sacramento, Dakota Wesleyan, Dickinson State, Kansas State, MSU-Northern, Northern Michigan, South Dakota Mines, Southern Utah, Sterling (Kansas), Southwest Minnesota State, Tabor (Kansas), Texas, UNLV and Utah State (1 each). (Two coaches have not finished their undergraduate degrees.)


–patrick

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