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.