Gillette coach Vic Wilkerson, one of the most successful coaches in state history, resigned on Friday.
Wilkerson confirmed his resignation via text on Monday with wyoming-football.com.
The change comes in the same year that the city of Gillette opens its second comprehensive high school, Thunder Basin.
In an interview for the Wyoming high school football preview magazine in late June, Wilkerson said most of last year’s returning varsity contributors had opted to play for Thunder Basin instead of Gillette.
At the time, Wilkerson said the Gillette program wouldn’t return any players who contributed to the Camels’ varsity a year ago. He anticipated only three seniors and about 10 juniors to come out this fall, and none of those players had varsity experience. That meant sophomores and freshmen — about 30 in each class — would have to make up the remaining holes at the varsity level.
“I have no returning varsity players at Campbell County High School,” Wilkerson said at the time.
Several coaches also left the Camels’ program to join the staff at Thunder Basin. Wilkerson did say five coaches were returning to Gillette, though, and two coaches had been hired in the offseason to complete the Camels’ staff.
Who will replace Wilkerson at Gillette is unclear. Wilkerson said he did not know if a new coach was in place yet; he is leaving the program outright and is not staying on as an assistant coach.
Wilkerson was 110-35 in his 13 seasons as head coach of Camels. He has more victories than any other Gillette coach in program history, and his 13-year tenure is the longest in program history.
Wilkerson led his teams to five double-digit victory seasons and to state championships in 2006 and 2008. The Camels also finished as state runners-up in 2012, 2014 and 2015. Gillette has reached the large-school playoff semifinals each of the past 12 seasons.
Gillette went 9-2 last season.
Wilkerson’s 110 victories is 22nd all-time in state history. Only five active coaches — Cokeville’s Todd Dayton, Natrona’s Steve Harshman, Sheridan’s Don Julian, Southeast’s Mark Bullington and Glenrock’s Ray Kumpula — have more in-state victories than Wilkerson.
Note: Updated 9:37 a.m. July 17, 2017, to indicate Laramie’s hiring of a new coach.