Both leading up to and after Sunday’s Super Bowl, I saw several stories about Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid being the NFL coach with the most victories who had never won a Super Bowl.
As with most things I see, I took this bit of information and applied it to Wyoming high school football — who’s the coach in Wyoming who has the most victories without a state championship?
After thumbing through the numbers, I realized it was Pete Petranovich. The coach in Douglas from 1943-68, Petranovich had 115 career victories, right now good for 20th in state history. His teams finished with two runner-up finishes (in 1952 and 1959) but no titles.
Second on the list is Tony Gamble, who was the head coach at Guernsey-Sunrise from 1967-81 and at Wright from 1985-86. His 93 victories ranks 33rd. Like Petranovich, Gamble’s teams finished as state runners-up twice, in 1976 and 1985.
The coach with the most victories without a state title or championship game appearance is the victim of bad timing. Andy Johnson was one of Wyoming’s best coaches in the 1960s and 1970s, notching 82 victories while leading Hanna (1962-65) and Basin (1966-76). But his teams never finished higher than third in final statewide poll; the only time he led his team to a playoff appearance was in 1975. However, playoffs didn’t exist for Class B schools until 1975, so making a championship game was impossible for the bulk of Johnson’s coaching career in Wyoming.