A familiar person around Natrona County will be the new head football coach at Midwest.

Dean Kelly will lead the Oilers in 2019. Both Kelly and Midwest activities director Michael Gibson verified the hiring via email to wyoming-football.com on Monday.

Kelly teaches math at Midwest and was the head girls basketball coach the past two years. He was also an assistant coach with the Oilers’ football team the past two years.

Prior to moving to Midwest, Kelly was the principal at Natrona County High School in Casper. He was also previously the athletic director for the Natrona County School District and, before that, taught math at NCHS, starting in 1997.

He also previously taught and coached in Glenrock from 1992-97 and Stanton County High School in Kansas from 1989-92. He was an assistant football coach for nine years in that span, plus the two years at Midwest. He also coached basketball and track, with three years as the boys basketball head coach at Stanton County and four years as the girls basketball head coach at Glenrock.

He resigned as NC’s principal in 2014 after assuming the job before the start of the 2007-08 school year.

Kelly replaces Ken Swieter, who resigned after 12 years as Midwest’s head coach to become an assistant at Kelly Walsh. Gibson will join the coaching staff as an assistant coach, he said.

Other Wyoming high schools with new head coaches for 2019 include Kelly WalshGilletteRock SpringsEvanstonTorringtonGlenrockLovellBig PineyPinedaleWyoming IndianKayceeMeeteetse, NSI and Ten Sleep.

–patrick

Chad Lobdell will be the football coach for the six-man football team at NSI Academy near Sheridan this fall.

Lobdell confirmed his hiring, which happened last week, to wyoming-football.com on Wednesday.

A native of Buffalo, Lobdell works at the school as the admissions director. He was an assistant coach with the Wolves in both 2014 and 2015. He previously coached in Holbrook, Arizona, and has also coached wrestling and baseball at the high school level. He also works in Wyoming as a wrestling official.

Lobdell will replace Antoine Proctor, who coached the Wolves to a 3-4 record last season in the Class 1A six-man East Conference.

Other Wyoming high schools with new head coaches for 2019 include Kelly WalshGilletteRock SpringsEvanstonTorringtonGlenrockLovellBig PineyPinedale, Wyoming IndianKayceeMeeteetse and Ten Sleep. In addition, Midwest is seeking a new head coach. If you know of other head coaching changes statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Three players from Wyoming will be a part of the 2019 Can-Am Bowl, a six-man all-star game.

Farson’s Clancy Gines and Lain Mitchelson and Meeteetse’s Kirwin Johnson will be a part of Team USA, Farson coach Trip Applequist said via email on Friday.

The game takes place every July in Saskatchewan. A six-man all-star team from the United States faces a six-man all-star team of players from Saskatchewan and Alberta. Full rosters are not yet available.

The game will be July 6 in Wakaw, Saskatchewan.

This will be the 23rd Can-Am Bowl. Team USA has an 18-4 series edge and won last year’s game 68-30. Wyoming players began playing in the Can-Am Bowl in 2014.

Applequist and Farson’s Scott Reed will be among the coaches for the team.

The Team USA provided by Applequist includes:

Montana: Cobe Begger, Caleb Fix, Joey Hale, Bill Hansen, Caleb Hess, Seth Prevost, Bryce Reitz, Jake Solomon, Zane Somerfeld, JR Spenser, Sawyer Thiel, Tyler Thiessen, AJ Ullmer, Colby Zentner.
Nebraska: AJ Jenkins.
Texas: Trisdon Bynum, Toby Cran, Bastion Pickens, Corbin Ruthehardt, Corbin Schrotke, Jake Weiser.
Wyoming: Clancy Gines, Kirwin Johnson, Lain Mitchelson.

–patrick

Updated 8:40 a.m. Saturday, June 29, to include the Team USA roster.

Nate Reinhardt, a business and physical education teacher at Guernsey who has coached basketball and track for the Vikings, will be the new head football coach at Wyoming Indian.

Wyoming Indian activities director Keith Bauder verified Reinhardt’s hiring via email to wyoming-football.com on Tuesday.

Reinhardt has been the head boys basketball coach at Guernsey the past three seasons. He has also been the head track and field coach for the Vikings. He also previously coached football and basketball at a variety of levels at Kemmerer and at schools in Poplar and Highwood, Montana.

As it did last season, Wyoming Indian will play mostly a sub-varsity schedule in 2019. The Chiefs were 1-4 last year.

Reinhardt replaces Todd Ghormley, who was the Chiefs’ coach the past five seasons.

Other Wyoming high schools with new head coaches for 2019 include Kelly WalshGilletteRock SpringsEvanstonTorringtonGlenrockLovellBig PineyPinedale, Kaycee, Meeteetse and Ten Sleep. Schools looking for new head coaches include Midwest and NSI. If you know of other head coaching changes statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Updated 3:17 p.m. MDT Wednesday, June 26, to include more details Reinhardt’s coaching background.

Dave Largent, an assistant coach with the Kaycee football team last year, will be the Buckaroos’ new head football coach in 2019.

Kaycee activities director Jason Humble confirmed Largent’s hiring in an email to wyoming-football.com on Friday.

Largent is a rancher who lives near Kaycee. He replaces Tony Rouse, who was Kaycee’s coach for two seasons and led the Buckaroos to their third consecutive Class 1A six-man championship and a 10-0 season in 2017.

Kaycee went 5-4 last season and lost in the first round of the 1A six-man playoffs.

Other Wyoming high schools with new head coaches for 2019 include Kelly WalshGilletteRock SpringsEvanstonTorringtonGlenrockLovellBig PineyPinedale, Meeteetse and Ten Sleep. Schools looking for new head coaches include Wyoming IndianMidwest and NSI. If you know of other head coaching changes statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Zeb Hagen, who was Meeteetse’s head football coach more than a decade ago and its head boys basketball coach the past two seasons, has been named as the Longhorns’ newest head football coach.

Meeteetse Superintendent Shane Ogden confirmed Hagen’s hiring via email to Wyoming-football.com on Tuesday.

Hagen was the Meeteetse football team’s head coach from 2006 to 2008, when the Longhorns played in the Montana six-man league. In his first year of 2006, he helped lead Meeteetse to a spot in the six-man semifinals in Montana. He went a combined 15-13 in his three years as head coach.

In addition to coaching basketball, he has also recently been an assistant football coach with Meeteetse.

Hagen did not reply to an email late Tuesday. This post will be updated with new information when available.

Other schools looking for new head coaches include Wyoming Indian, Midwest and NSI. Other Wyoming high schools with new head coaches for 2019 include Kelly WalshGilletteRock Springs, Evanston, Torrington, Glenrock, Lovell, Big Piney, Pinedale and Ten Sleep. If you know of other head coaching changes statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Ken Swieter, who has been the head football coach at Midwest for the past 12 seasons, has resigned to become an assistant coach at Kelly Walsh, his alma mater.

Swieter, who graduated from KW in 1997, resigned from his spot on Friday. He will also take a new teaching job at Pineview Elementary in Casper.

Swieter said Monday to wyoming-football.com that he would miss Midwest and his players there, but “I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to go back and coach for my alma mater.”

KW will be led by first-year coach Aaron Makelky, who formerly led Class 2A Big Piney.

Swieter said one of his favorite memories was transitioning Midwest from 11-man to six-man; when he took over in 2007, the Oilers still fielded an 11-man team. In 2008, the Oilers played six-man games for the first time because they couldn’t field an 11-man team, playing other varsity squads who played six-man against the Oilers to help Midwest keep its program going. Sanctioned six-man football came one year later.

“Without that (2008 season), I’m not sure if Midwest would have had football,” Swieter said. “If we would have canceled that season, I’m not sure if we would have been able to get anyone out.”

Instead, in 2009, Midwest started its first sanctioned six-man season winning six consecutive games, eventually reaching the 1A six-man semifinals that season.

“The kids bought into the system, and when kids buy in, they’re going to work a lot harder,” he said.

Swieter finished a combined 58-51 in his 12 seasons in Midwest. The Oilers’ best finish came in 2013, when they finished as state runners-up. Prior to Swieter taking over in 2007, and aside from a non-varsity season in 2002, Midwest had not had a winning season since 1991.

Tentatively, Swieter is going to coach linebackers and coordinate special teams at KW, he said.

On Tuesday, Midwest activities director David Sunday said via email the job had been posted as open. He said the position would likely be filled quickly, “depending upon the candidates and the timeline of the district.”

Other schools looking for new head coaches include Wyoming Indian,Meeteetse and NSI. Other Wyoming high schools with new head coaches for 2019 include Kelly WalshGilletteRock Springs, Evanston, Torrington, Glenrock, Lovell, Big Piney, Pinedale and Ten Sleep. If you know of other head coaching changes statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Updated 9:24 p.m. Tuesday, June 11, to add comments from Midwest AD Sunday.

Matt Jensen, the football coach at Meeteetse the past six seasons, has resigned to become the principal at Riverside Middle/High School in Basin.

Jensen’s hiring at Riverside was reported earlier this month by the Basin Republican-Rustler. He was also the activities director at Meeteetse and taught social studies.

In Jensen’s six years at Meeteetse, the Longhorns never had a losing season. Combined, his teams went 48-16. He led the program to state championship games in 2013 and 2015, winning the title in 2013. The team advanced past the first round of the playoffs in five of Jensen’s six years.

Meeteetse went 7-3 last year and reached the semifinals of the Class 1A six-man playoffs before losing to Burlington.

In an email sent Saturday to wyoming-football.com, Jensen said he appreciated the opportunities coaching at Meeteetse gave him.

“By far, the most rewarding part has been the young men that I was able to coach and those who I was able coach with,” Jensen wrote. “These young men and coaches worked their tails off everyday and believed whole hearted in our overall goal of becoming better men.”

Other schools looking for new head coaches include Big PineyPinedale and Wyoming Indian. Meanwhile, Wyoming high schools with new head coaches for 2019 include Kelly WalshGilletteRock SpringsEvanston, Torrington, Glenrock and Lovell. If you know of other head coaching changes statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

The Wyoming High School Activities Association’s board of directors approved the addition of nine-man football to the state for the 2020 season, changing the Class 1A 11-man division to a nine-man division.

The board voted unanimously to approve the change on second reading Tuesday, the Casper Star-Tribune’s Brady Oltmans reported on Twitter.

9-man football proposal carries unanimously. There will be 9-man football starting in 2020 in Wyoming.— Brady Oltmans ? (@BradyOltmans) April 23, 2019

The change comes in time for schedules to be set for the 2020 and 2021 seasons. Wyoming hasn’t had organized nine-man football since 1994.

In January, WHSAA Associate Director Trevor Wilson said several programs would opt to Class 2A to keep their 11-man teams, and a handful of six-man programs have indicated a desire to up to nine-man. In all, Class 2A would have 17 teams while Class 1A nine-man and Class 1A six-man would have 13 teams apiece.

A November WHSAA survey indicated that programs’ preliminary classification choices — which may change prior to the 2020 season — included the following:

  • Class 2A: Big Horn*, Big Piney, Buffalo, Burns, Cokeville*, Glenrock, Greybull, Kemmerer, Lovell, Lyman, Mountain View, Newcastle, Pine Bluffs*, Pinedale, Thermopolis, Upton-Sundance*, Wheatland.
  • Class 1A nine-man: Lingle*, Lusk, Moorcroft^, Riverside, Rocky Mountain, St. Stephens*, Saratoga, Shoshoni, Southeast, Tongue River, Wind River, Wright, Wyoming Indian.
  • Class 1A six-man: Burlington, Dubois, Encampment, Farson, Guernsey-Sunrise, Hanna, Hulett, Kaycee, Meeteetse, Midwest, NSI, Snake River, Ten Sleep.

*-indicates a program that expressed a desire to opt up from current classification; ^-indicates a program that expressed a desire to opt down from current classification. All opt-ups and opt-downs are subject to WHSAA board approval.

Final classification decisions and conferences won’t be set until after the WHSAA’s reclassification work is completed in the fall. Teams may move up or down classifications based on changes in enrollment between now and then.

The 2019 season will be unchanged by Tuesday’s vote.

–patrick

Andrew Rose will be the new head football coach at Gillette.

Rose’s hiring was made official at Tuesday’s meeting of the Campbell County School District No. 1 board.

Gillette has lost 18 consecutive games, making Rose’s job that much tougher. He said via email Wednesday with wyoming-football.com that his plans for rebuilding the Camels’ program start with high expectations, opportunities for success and an overall positive experience.

“The plan moving forward is simple but the task’s complex,” Rose wrote. “(We will) develop a new mindset based on a mixture of old traditions and new traditions. We need to re-establish what it means and what it looks like to be part of a team and have complete buy-in at all levels.”

Rose was an assistant coach for the Camels for the past eight years, working as the freshman team head coach, running backs coach and special teams coordinator. He has also been an assistant track and field coach at Gillette for several years and teaches physical education at CCHS.

A Gillette native, Rose played football and ran track for the Camels, graduating in 2007. He graduated from Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D., in 2011 and was on the track and field team.

Rose will replace Micah Christensen, who resigned in January after two seasons as the Camels’ head coach.

Other Class 4A schools with new head coaches for 2019 include Kelly Walsh and Rock Springs. Statewide, Evanston, Glenrock and Lovell have also named new head coaches. Other schools looking for new head coaches include Torrington,Big PineyPinedale and Wyoming Indian. If you know of other head coaching changes statewide, please email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

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