Wyoming Football: Craig Bohl To Retire
One of the most successful coaches in Cowboys history is preparing to step down.
The end of an era.
The latest in a recent string of head coach transitions across the Mountain West arrived on Wednesday when Wyoming Cowboys head coach Craig Bohl announced his intent to retire, following the team’s appearance in the Arizona Bowl on December 30.
Craig Bohl announces his retirement as Head Coach of Wyoming Football.
Will lead the Cowboys at the 2023 Arizona Bowl >> https://t.co/eDvRXo5880
— Wyoming Cowboy Football (@wyo_football) December 6, 2023
The imminent move will close the longest head coaching tenure in Wyoming football history, a ten-year stint in which Bohl has accrued an overall record of 60-60. If his Cowboys can defeat the Toledo Rockets in the bowl game, he will become the first Cowboys coach to step away having finished better than .500 since Dana Dimel in 1999.
Regardless of the result, however, there’s little doubt that Bohl will step away as one of the most, if not the most, successful head coaches in program history. He replaced Dave Christensen following the 2013 season and went 6-18 in his first two seasons at the helm, but Wyoming would appear in six bowls and one Mountain West championship game over the next eight seasons. Though he received some criticism that the Cowboys never had a true breakthrough, Bohl led the team to eight wins four times between 2016 and 2023; by contrast, the program had just four eight-win campaigns between 1993 and 2015.
Bohl’s Cowboys also developed a penchant for being no fun to face, defined by a punishing formula of running the football and playing stout defense. Three different running backs — Brian Hill, Nico Evans, and Xazavian Vallday — finished first or second in the Mountain West total rushing yards while defenders like Logan Wilson, Cassh Maluia, Andrew Wingard, and Marcus Epps helped to establish one of the most reliable college-to-NFL pipelines anywhere in the conference.
The highwater mark of Bohl’s time in charge might have come in 2016 when quarterback Josh Allen led Wyoming to its first conference championship clash since 1996. Though they fell short of claiming the title, that team featured six future NFL Draft selections in Allen, Epps, Hill, Maluia, Wilson, and Chase Roullier.
In a statement released along with the announcement, Bohl acknowledged, “Being the head football coach of the Wyoming Cowboys has been a privilege. I felt like now was the time for me step away and entrust the program to new leadership. I want to thank all the young men who have worn the Brown and Gold over the past 10 years for their dedication and for their passion in representing this football program, this university and this state.”
As was noted by Cody Tucker of 7220 Sports and others, defensive coordinator Jay Sawvel will assume head coaching duties following the conclusion of the Arizona Bowl.