Coach Christensen was fired last Sunday. That announcement was followed by a flurry of news of potential candidates for the position. As the week went along the trickle of news and rumors slowed. Mostly it involved coaches who declared they were not interested in the position.
Friday night and Saturday morning brought rumors of Illinois State's Brock Spack interviewing in Laramie. Throughout the day various prospects were brought up as possibilities and were later dismissed by some other media outlet. The University sent out an email in the afternoon advising of a "major announcement"
The University of Wyoming Athletics Department will hold a press conference on Sunday, Dec. 8 at 5 p.m., Mountain Time, in the Wildcatter Stadium Club & Suites to make a major announcement.
It just never provided any details of what exactly was going to be involved in the announcement. Three and half hours later the case was finally solved when Bruce Feldman broke the news.
#Wyoming will announce North Dakota St's Craig Bohl Sunday as its new head coach, per source. He's 40-2 last 3 seasons.— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) December 8, 2013
Craig Bohl had been high on the wishlist of many Wyoming fans and is one of the most respected coaches in college football today. He's spent 11 years in Fargo, ND building the Bison program up as they moved from Division 2 up to the FCS ranks and then winning back to back national titles. His career record sits at 101-32. Bohl's name was one of the first names dismissed in the week, but obviously that proved to be false.
What made this coaching search so hard to track was the fact that none of candidates appeared to be in Laramie. Tom Burman was out on the road interviewing candidates and there were no was way to track University of Wyoming planes.
The fact that Wyoming landed Bohl, shocked most of college football. Many experts considered his next stop to be at a much larger school, potentially a Big 10 or Big 12 program. He wouldn't have come to Wyoming unless Tom Burman made him a big offer and a commitment to the program. Exact contract details won't released until after all the press release. Here is one tweet from a Nebraska reporter that may give us some insight into what it will include.
His deal at Wyo is easily 1.5 to 2M per. But he negotiated private aircraft and asst staff salaries that dwarf what predecessor had— Jim Rose (@Jimrosehuskers) December 8, 2013
Coach Christensen was making $1.2M annually, however his assistants were among the lowest paid in the Mountain West. Bohl has his private pilots license and will often fly himself on recruiting trips. This is a huge step up for the University and shows they are serious about winning. They hired a big name coach with a tremendous track record of success and are going to give him the resources he needs. Building a successful football team requires a quality staff from top to bottom.
Recruiting in Fargo and Laramie are fairly equal in their challenges: small population base with extreme temperatures. Still the Bison have been able to develop depth and talent, and are shooting for their third straight FCS title. Bohl has done this with a tough defense that is always one of the best in the nation. This season the Bison lead all of FCS with just 11.5 points allowed per game. They did this while also averaging 37.1 points of offense per game.
That same kind of production can't be expected to be repeated right away or even ever. Still the prospect of a stellar defense is music to Pokes fans ears.
It's exciting that the coaching search is over and Wyoming has a new coach they can be proud of. It's been a roller coaster week for Cowboy fans. Now we can rest easy and look forward to an exciting off season as he puts together a staff and recruiting class.