When we think of Wyoming high school football coaches who have shared last names, certain names come to mind: Deti. Fullmer. Mirich.

But one name rises above all the rest.

Of all the coaches listed on the site (with certain omissions), the last name Johnson is by far the most popular for Wyoming high school football coaches. In all, 14 different men with the last name Johnson have led Wyoming football teams: Allen, Andy, Ballard, Bill, Bud, Daryl, Duane, Eddie, Gary, Jack, Loren, Ralph, Scott and Walter.

Johnson topped Anderson and Smith, which have each had nine coaches with that name, as the most common name in Wyoming football coaching.

Allen Johnson, who will enter his fourth season at Pinedale this fall, is the only current coach with the popular last name.

Andy Johnson had by far the most success of the 14 coaches in the state who shared his last name; he went 82-33-7 in 15 seasons with Basin and Hanna. He led Basin to undefeated seasons in 1969 and 1972.

Other coaches didn’t last as long in Wyoming’s football ranks but still found coaching success. Gary Johnson — who went on to a distinguished career as a basketball coach and administrator at Kelly Walsh before retiring in 2006 — was a head football coach for only one year, going 6-2-1 at Deaver-Frannie in 1970. And Jack Johnson — who led Great Falls (Mont.) CMR High to dynasty status in the Big Sky State — had just one year in Wyoming, going 9-0 with Torrington in 1969.

Another Johnson — Ralph — also went on to a successful basketball coaching career. Ralph Johnson was the football coach for six seasons at Cokeville, from 1974-79, and was the coach that Todd Dayton replaced when he started at Cokeville in 1980. Johnson was never a head football coach again, but coached basketball and had his most success at Kemmerer, taking his team to back-to-back state title games in 2003 and 2004.

Ballard Johnson also had success coaching in Lincoln County — he was Star Valley’s football coach from 1999-2004, leading the Braves to championship games in 2001 and 2002.

Several Johnsons made it two seasons but no more: Bill at Lyman in 1946-47, Daryl at Sundance in 1965-66, Duane at Thermopolis in 1972-73, Eddie at Greybull in 1999-2000, Loren at Pavillion in 1961-62, and Scott at Torrington in 1965-66. Walter Johnson made it three years, 1964-66, in Moorcroft, while Bud Johnson coached four years in Glenrock from 1948-51.

Oddly enough, 1965 was the high water mark for the last name. That season, four of Wyoming’s head coaches had the last name Johnson — Andy at Hanna, Daryl at Sundance, Scott at Torrington and Walter at Moorcroft. Daryl Johnson and Walter Johnson actually coached against each other that season. (For more on this phenomenon, read this post from earlier!)

So what other names have been popular? Well, here’s a list of every last name with at least three coaches who shared it:

Johnson: 14 (Allen, Andy, Ballard, Bill, Bud, Daryl, Duane, Eddie, Gary, Jack, Loren, Ralph, Scott, Walter)
Anderson: 9 (A.P., Bill, Bob, Brian, Dale, Ralph, Rob, Roscoe, Skip)
Smith: 9 (Ben, Bill, C.E., Grant, Gunboat, Jack, King, Leland, Randall)
Jensen: 6 (Earl, John, Ken, Matt, Vernon, Walter)
Miller: 6 (Barry, Bob, George, Mike, Paul, T. Ray)
Nelson: 6 (Clint, Craig, George “Bud,” Lloyd, Neal, Rich)
Williams: 6 (Cris, Kevin, Lynn, Pat, Terry, Trevor)
Brown: 5 (Danny, Denny, H.M., Hank, Robert)
Jones: 5 (C.A., Clif, Dave, Ivan “Red,” Tom)
Moore: 5 (Bob, Larry, Ron, Travis, Walt)
Morgan: 5 (Al, Bill, Dean, Jerald, Kent)
Scott: 5 (Al, Charles, Frank, John, Zack)
Baker: 4 (Art, Bill, Roy, Terry)
Campbell: 4 (Earl, Gary, Jerry, Mark)
Clark: 4 (George, Ray, S.M., and unknown first name)
Gardner: 4 (Ken, Lincoln, Otto, Vern)
Martin: 4 (Floyd, Jim, Pete, Steve)
Parker: 4 (Al, Jerry, L.J., Ralph)
Phillips: 4 (C.D., J. Paul, Mike, and unknown first name)
Roberts: 4 (Charlie, Keith, O.P., Steve)
Rogers: 4 (Clifford “Doc,” Glenn, John, Shawn)
Bailey: 3 (Bryan, Harold, Stephen)
Bush: 3 (Bill, Joe, W.D.)
Dawson: 3 (Pat, Ryley, and unknown first name)
Hamilton: 3 (John, Mark, and unknown first name)
Hayes: 3 (David, Heath, R.B. “Butch”)
Hileman: 3 (Bill, Bob, Brock)
Jordan: 3 (Austin, Kevin, Tyler)
Lane: 3 (J.R., Ryan, Tom)
Marshall: 3 (Ernest, John, P.J.)
Mirich: 3 (Carl, George, Marv)
Murphy: 3 (Carl, Lloyd, Pat)
Murray: 3 (Bill, Chuck, Rich)
Robertson: 3 (Bob, Kevin, Paul)
Simpson: 3 (Bob, John, Steve)
Stephens: 3 (Chuck, Levi, R.A.)
Taylor: 3 (Herb, John, Ron)
Thompson: 3 (Frank, Ray, Wedge)
Watson: 3 (Billy, Julian, Tom)
Weaver: 3 (Brett, Tead, and unknown first name)
Wilson: 3 (Cliff, Jesse, Tom)
Winland: 3 (Pat, Ralph, Tim)
Wright: 3 (Bill, Orville, Wilbur “Web”)

Oh, and the last name with the most victories? It’s one that’s not even on this list: Deti. The Deti father-son combo combined for 393 victories, the most of any last name in the state.


The alternates for the 41st Shrine Bowl, to be played June 14 in Casper, have been named by the respective coaching staffs.

Alternates include:

NORTH: Tyler Fortuna and Seth Moerkerke, Gillette; Story Penning, Hulett; Kooper Adams, Kelly Walsh; Dylan Parke and Josh Seghetti, Natrona; Wade Gordon, Newcastle; Cory Heny, Powell; Austin Patterson, Riverton; Joey Jewell and Jacob Price, Rocky Mountain; Tyler Julian, Sheridan.

SOUTH: Garrett Formo, Big Piney; Preston Goehring, Burns; Clinton Jaure and Ben Groeneweg, Cheyenne East; Seth Harris and Chance Miller, Douglas; Eric Sowers, Evanston; Ryan Martin, Lyman; Trystin Walker, Mountain View; Tate Stinson, Saratoga; Travis Jinks, Southeast; Trace Haderlie, Star Valley.

A player from the alternates list will fill the role if someone on the current roster can’t play in the game. The rosters for the teams were announced last week.


When Lyman faced Thermopolis in a Class 2A West Conference game last year, the game was about more than just the Eagles vs. the Bobcats — it was about brother vs. brother.

Lyman coach Dale Anderson and Thermopolis coach Rob Anderson are brothers, and they faced each other as opposing head coaches for the first time in Wyoming last year.

But this wasn’t the first time coaches with the same last name have faced each other. In fact, it wasn’t even the first time that brothers had met as opposing coaches.

In fact, at least four sets of brothers — the Fullmers (Jerry and Bill), the Sollars (J.C. and Bill), the Engstroms (John and Bill) and the Bashes (Howard and Homer) — have faced off as head coaches of opposing Wyoming high school teams. In addition, at least two father-son combos — the Detis (John E. and John R.) and the Miriches (Carl and George) — have met as opposing head coaches.

Of these, the Fullmers — who met 11 times, every year between 1994 and 2004 while Jerry was at Lusk and Bill was at Burns — have the longest on-field rivalry. The Miriches met nine times between 1994 and 2002 when father Carl was at Moorcroft and son George was at Upton. The Detis played each other three times from 1966-68 while son John R. coached in Sheridan and father John E. was at Laramie, while the Sollars brothers (Bill at Shoshoni and J.C. at Morton) faced off three times as well. The Engstroms and Bashes met once each.

In addition to the Andersons, the other current last-name rivalry is between Star Valley’s Chris Howell and Jackson’s James Howell. However, they’re not related.

Below, I’ve listed every time (to my knowledge) that coaches with the same last name have faced each other in a game as opposition. Outside of the ones listed above, I’m not sure of any relationships, either of their existence or non-existence. If you know, let me know and please leave a comment below!

Dennis Adams (Kemmerer) vs. Shaun Adams (Saratoga), 1991 (relationship unknown)
Dale Anderson (Lyman) vs. Rob Anderson (Thermopolis), 2013 (brothers)
Harold Bailey (Shoshoni) vs. Stephen Bailey (Meeteetse), 1996 (relationship unknown)
Homer Bash (Lingle) vs. Howard Bash (Torrington), 1934 (brothers)
Joe Bush (Thermopolis) vs. W.D. Bush (Lander), 1929 (relationship unknown)
John E. Deti (Laramie) vs. John R. Deti (Sheridan), 1966-68 (father-son)
Bill Engstrom (Superior) vs. John Engstrom (Rawlins), 1937 (brothers)
Bill Fullmer (Burns) vs. Jerry Fullmer (Lusk), 1994-2004 (brothers)
Chris Howell (Star Valley) vs. James Howell (Jackson), 2010-13 (not related)
Daryl Johnson (Sundance) vs. Walter Johnson (Moorcroft), 1965-66 (relationship unknown)
Carl Mirich (Moorcroft) vs. George Mirich (Upton), 1994-2002 (father-son)
Bill Sollars (Shoshoni) vs. J.C. Sollars (Morton), 1960-62 (brothers)
Cliff Wilson (Kemmerer) vs. Jesse Wilson (Star Valley), 1935 (relationship unknown)


The rosters are set for the 41st annual Shrine Bowl all-star football game, which will be played June 14 in Casper.

In addition to the rosters below, 12 alternates will be selected for each team. Those players will be announced later.

In all, 20 schools are represented on each team.

The North won last year’s game 34-6 and leads the all-time series 19-18-3.

Big Horn: Colter Carzoli, Connor McCafferty.
Buffalo: Jeremia Nicholson.
Burlington: Preston Wardell.
Cody: Brandon Hinze, David Lee.
Dubois: Sterling Baker.
Gillette: Kris Adams, Austin Fort, Bryce Lyman, Billy Williams.
Kelly Walsh: Kirk Durtsche, Jake Geil, Dan Gochenour.
Lander: Jack Mazurie.
Lovell: Hyrum Hopkin, Dillon Pickett.
Meeteetse: Seth Bennett.
Midwest: Cameron Ray.
Natrona: Michael Bailey, Brad Gillis, Tyler Trout, Sam Turner.
Newcastle: Merritt Crabtree.
Powell: Hayden Cragoe, Anthony Lujan, Garrett Lynch, Garrett Michael.
Riverton: Logan Hartbank.
Sheridan: Nick Gill, Justin Orum, Daniel Sessions.
Thermopolis: Kaden Haun.
Upton-Sundance: Lane Carter.
Worland: Patrick Hunter.
Wright: Daniel Magana.

Burns: Mikky Heward, Travis Romsa.
Cheyenne Central: Damon Macleary, Grayson Sipe, Judd Stewart.
Cheyenne East: Shane Brooks, Cameron Johnson, Brian Lopez, Brett Schaeffer, Eric Williams.
Cheyenne South: Adam Haberkorn.
Cokeville: Cody Nate, Brock Teichert.
Douglas: Logan Barker, Garrett Boner, Austyn Matthews, Layne McGuire.
Evanston: Cole Wilkinson.
Glenrock: Devon Parkinson.
Green River: Garrett Wilson.
Hanna: Quade Palm.
Laramie: Kyle Russell.
Lingle: Wyatt Hageman.
Lusk: Hunter Dockery, Matthew VandeBossche.
Lyman: Landen Bradshaw, Tui Magalogo.
Mountain View: Brennan Walk.
Rock Springs: Nick Blume.
Southeast: Wyatt Somsen.
Star Valley: Bryan Burton, Sam Gertsch, Garrett Gregg.
Torrington: Caden Coffelt, Brett Spencer.
Wheatland: Critter Ruwart.


Corey Wheeler will be Rawlins’ new head coach, the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle reported:


Wheeler, a 2006 graduate of Cheyenne Central, takes over for Tom Waring, who went 1-7 in his only season with the Outlaws. Wheeler is Rawlins’ third head coach in three years.

Wheeler also announced the hiring on Twitter:


To see the list of all coaching changes statewide, click here.


Drew Severn will be Cheyenne Central’s new football coach, pending school board approval.

Severn, who played football and wrestled at the University of Wyoming, was an assistant football coach at Burns and an assistant wrestling coach at Central, and also previously coached in Arizona, a school news release said.

Severn takes over for Brick Cegelski, who went 85-87 in 18 years as head coach.

To see the list of all coaching changes statewide, click here.

The hiring was first reported by various Cheyenne media outlets:



When Craig Bohl was introduced as Wyoming’s new head football coach in December, he emphasized how he recruited high school players from the state of North Dakota while coaching at North Dakota State.

With the Cowboys, Bohl said he would recruit each of Wyoming’s 64 football-playing high schools, looking for players who fit his system. In fact, Bohl said he would “scour” Wyoming to find players to don the brown and gold.

The promise instantly endeared him to Wyoming fans, who for years have griped about UW’s inability to both find and develop in-state football talent. How well Bohl follows through on that promise will be determined in part by how many Wyoming players join the Cowboys by signing a National Letter of Intent on signing day on Wednesday.

In the past 10 years, Wyoming fans have had plenty of reasons to be disillusioned by the lack of homegrown talent suiting up for the brown and gold. In fact, only once in the past 10 years has the Wyoming football team had an above-average number of letterwinners actually hail from the Equality State, an examination of 2,626 UW letterwinnners by home state since 1964 by wyoming-football.com shows.

In fact, former UW head coach Dave Christensen had only three letterwinners from Wyoming on his squad in 2011 and 2012, and only two letterwinners from Wyoming in his final year 2013 – matching the fewest number of native letterwinners to suit up for UW since 1973.

Oddly enough, an examination of the hometowns of UW’s letterwinners over the past 50 years reveals an interesting trend: The Cowboys’ recruitment of homegrown talent has basically no effect on the team’s win-loss record.

Wyoming fans will trade success on the field for fewer homegrown players – the 1967 Sugar Bowl team, one of the most beloved in UW history, only had one letterwinner from the state of Wyoming. But Cowboy fans within Wyoming’s borders have been frustrated recently by the combination of two factors: The lack of Wyoming players coupled with the lack of consistent success on the field.

That made Bohl’s promise that much more powerful. To a proud but frustrated fan base, Bohl’s success, or failure, at recruiting Wyoming’s best high school football talent may end up being just as important as his ability to win games.

The facts

In the past 50 years of Wyoming Cowboy football, about 12.5 percent of the Cowboys’ letterwinners have been homegrown. But in the past 10 years, only once (in 2010) has UW topped that 12.5-percent mark, having more than an average number of letterwinners come from the state of Wyoming.

In 2013, only two players from Wyoming (Gillette’s Spencer Bruce and Laramie’s Josh Teeter) earned letters for the Cowboys.

Wyoming hasn’t paired the two elements Wyoming fans love most — a winning record and an above-average number of letterwinners coming from Wyoming high schools — in more than a decade. Actually, Wyoming hasn’t had the best of both worlds since 1999; that season, UW finished 7-4 and had 13.1 percent (eight of 61) of its letterwinners come from Wyoming.

That double-dip has happened often enough for Wyoming fans to know it’s possible.

In the past 50 years, Wyoming has notched a winning season with an above-average number of homegrown players 12 times. But UW has actually had more winning seasons come from seasons when the number of homegrown letterwinners was below average:

UW football, since 1964 Record above .500 Record below .500
Above average # of Wyo letterwinners 12 seasons 14 seasons
Below average # of Wyo letterwinners 14 seasons 10 seasons

Here’s a season-by-season breakdown of the number of letterwinners, the number of letterwinners from Wyoming, Wyoming’s winning percentage and the correlation therein, with cells in green signifying above-average seasons:

Season Letterwinners Letterwinners from Wyoming % Letterwinners from Wyoming UW win %
1964 40 7 17.50% 0.700
1965 42 2 4.76% 0.600
1966 42 2 4.76% 0.909
1967 46 1 2.17% 0.909
1968 46 2 4.35% 0.700
1969 39 2 5.13% 0.600
1970 44 7 15.91% 0.100
1971 51 9 17.65% 0.455
1972 41 8 19.51% 0.364
1973 40 2 5.00% 0.364
1974 48 5 10.42% 0.182
1975 47 7 14.89% 0.182
1976 52 9 17.31% 0.667
1977 48 9 18.75% 0.409
1978 50 7 14.00% 0.417
1979 55 8 14.55% 0.417
1980 54 8 14.81% 0.545
1981 51 11 21.57% 0.727
1982 52 12 23.08% 0.417
1983 51 12 23.53% 0.583
1984 54 9 16.67% 0.500
1985 52 11 21.15% 0.273
1986 56 12 21.43% 0.500
1987 57 9 15.79% 0.769
1988 58 9 15.52% 0.846
1989 52 6 11.54% 0.455
1990 53 8 15.09% 0.692
1991 55 5 9.09% 0.409
1992 52 3 5.77% 0.417
1993 50 4 8.00% 0.667
1994 53 4 7.55% 0.500
1995 42 4 9.52% 0.545
1996 57 7 12.28% 0.833
1997 66 5 7.58% 0.615
1998 61 7 11.48% 0.727
1999 61 8 13.11% 0.636
2000 62 10 16.13% 0.091
2001 59 8 13.56% 0.182
2002 64 8 12.50% 0.167
2003 54 9 16.67% 0.333
2004 60 4 6.67% 0.583
2005 67 6 8.96% 0.364
2006 62 5 8.06% 0.500
2007 54 6 11.11% 0.417
2008 59 6 10.17% 0.333
2009 54 4 7.41% 0.538
2010 53 7 13.21% 0.250
2011 55 3 5.45% 0.615
2012 54 3 5.56% 0.333
2013 51 2 3.92% 0.417
TOTAL 2626 322 12.26% 0.497

In years where UW had a higher number than average of its letterwinners come from Wyoming, the Cowboys finished a combined 140-158-3; in years where UW had a lower number of Wyoming letterwinners than average, the Cowboys went a combined 145-130-1.

UW has had its best success both with and without homegrown recruits. Wyoming had just two homegrown letterwinners in 1966 and only one — the lowest total in 50 years — in 1967; those two years, the Cowboys had back-to-back 10-1 seasons. However, in back-to-back double-digit victory seasons in 1987 (10-3) and 1988 (11-2), Wyoming had nine homegrown letter winners each season, and in the 10-2 1996 season, UW had seven homegrown letterwinners, above the average for the past 50 years.

However, in Wyoming’s only double-digit loss seasons the past 50 years (2000 and 2002), the Cowboys had a higher-than-average number of homegrown letterwinners. And, of course, in the past two seasons under Christensen (4-8 and 5-7), the Cowboys have had a dearth of in-state talent.

It’s not like UW is missing out on in-state recruits. In fact, a recent analysis of the hometowns of college football players by Benn Stancil of Mode Analytics showed a fact even Christensen’s biggest detractors can’t ignore — every single FBS football player from the state of Wyoming in 2013 played for the Wyoming Cowboys.

The new course

Even so, Bohl’s promise struck a chord with in-state fans. In examining the numbers, we can see why.

In the past 50 years, Wyoming has had a below-average number of homegrown recruits AND finished with a losing record only 10 times. But five of those 10 seasons have come since 2005.

Wyoming fans stomach losing easier when it’s homegrown players on the roster. But when it’s not? Wyoming fans react like you’d expect fans of the state’s only four-year institution to react: with frustration.

If Bohl follows through on his promise to recruit Wyoming high schools harder than his predecessors, then some of that frustration might fade.

History shows us, though, that UW’s success is much less dependent on where its players come from than what UW’s coaches do with the players once they get to Laramie.

A special thanks to Diane Dodson of the UW Sports Information office for providing the information on hometowns of Cowboy letterwinners. This work would not have been possible without her help.

Post updated Nov. 19, 2014, to fix HTML5 compatibility issues.