Micah Christensen will be Gillette’s head coach this fall, stepping in to fill a spot recently vacated by longtime coach Vic Wilkerson.

Christensen told wyoming-football.com on Wednesday he was asked to lead the staff by activities director Cliff Hill after Wilkerson resigned suddenly July 14 after 13 seasons as the Camels’ head coach. Christensen’s hire has not yet been formally approved by the Campbell County School District board, he said, but he said he has been working in the capacity of head coach for more than a week. The board next meets Aug. 1.

Christensen has been a football coach for 20 years, with 12 years as Gillette’s linebackers coach and eight years in Brush, Colorado, as defensive coordinator before that.

Christensen said his main motivation for accepting the position was “knowing the tradition that there was here, and not wanting to leave… and wanting to continue that tradition here at the high school. I love Camel football, and I found this was a great opportunity to step in and build on what we had going.”

The Camels have reached the Class 4A semifinals each of the past 12 seasons and won state titles in 2006 and 2008. Gillette finished 9-2 last season.

However, new cross-town rival Thunder Basin will start its program this fall.Seniors and juniors got to choose whether to attend Gillette or Thunder Basin, and most of last year’s returners have opted to play at Thunder Basin. Christensen said he would only have about five seniors and maybe a dozen juniors out this fall.

Sophomores, freshmen and all subsequent classes, though, will have their school set by a district boundary. With that, Christensen said he expected about 30 sophomores and 35 freshmen to join the squad this fall — and Christensen said he’s gotten about 10 emails in the past week from new players inquiring about joining the team.

“I see that as a challenge and I look forward to that challenge,” he said.

Christensen said not much will change in terms of scheme, but he said the Camels’ pace may slow as young players gain experience.

“If we’ve got a lot of inexperienced guys, we’re going to have to scale back,” Christensen said.

–patrick

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