After long and grueling hiring process it appears that Wyoming has selected a new coach who is actually former coach Larry Shyatt. After a 13 year absence Shyatt returns to the school that gave him first head coaching position. After coming from Clemson where he was an assistant, Shyatt led the 1997-98 Wyoming Cowboys to a 19-9 record and an NIT berth. The next year he accepted the head position at Clemson and moved back East.
While at Clemson the Tigers posted a 70-84 record. After his dismissal in 2004 he joined Billy Donavon to help propel the Florida Gators to a national power and two national championships. The biggest question is does the 18th basketball coach in Wyoming history become the 21st coach or just put an asterisk next to his 18? Turns out he #21 but I prefer the asterisk.
Known as a coach that runs a very focused defense, Shyatt will be bringing two other coaches with him as assistants. Scott Duncan from UCLA who worked under Shyatt in Wyoming and Clemson. He is known as a great recruiter and should help bring plenty of talent to the high plains. The other assistant will Jeremy Shyatt who is Larry's son and a current assistant at North Florida.This could be a case where the 60 year old elder Shyatt is going into his final coaching job and then leaving the reins to his son when he is ready to retire. Or just a great time for father and son to spend some time on the same bench. The salary for Shyatt's five year deal should be annually in $700,000 range. A sticking point during the negotiations wasn't about the salary for but for his assistants and budget. He needed his assistants and recruiting budget to be at or near the top of the Mountain West.
No figures for the assistants salary have been reached yet but it is a solid move by Wyoming to go all in with Shyatt. They now have a quality coach with a solid staff is well funded. Four different times Shyatt was named the top assistant in college basketball.
"I'm truly thankful for the opportunity given by President (Tom) Buchanan and (Athletics Director) Tom Burman to return to Laramie and the University of Wyoming," said Shyatt. "The experience my wife Pam and I had in Laramie, and the many people we met in the state, has always been among our fondest memories in over 30 years of coaching.
"I've spent seven great years at the University of Florida helping to build a championship-caliber program, and this is one of the only places I would have considered leaving for.
"I'm excited about the commitment of the administration, and the passionate fan base I remember at Wyoming, and I can't wait to meet, work with and develop a great relationship with the current team."
The announcement came via press release but a formal announcement will come next week. The Wyoming Athletics Department will host a press conference and fan reception to meet Coach Shyatt on Wednesday, April 6 at 5:30 p.m. in the Wildcatter Stadium Club & Suites on the UW Campus. The event will be open to the public and should be very well attended.