LARAMIE, Wyo. — University of Wyoming head football coach Craig Bohl announced on Wednesday that he is retiring as head coach of the Wyoming Cowboys. Bohl’s retirement will end his 10-year tenure leading the Cowboys, which is the longest of any head football coach in school history. He will coach the Cowboys through this year’s Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl on Dec. 30 in Tucson, Arizona.
Bohl steps away from Wyoming Football after one of the most sustained periods of success in program history, including more bowl victories (3) and more bowl appearances (6) than any coach in school history; six winning seasons — second most of any Wyoming coach; and more NFL players developed than at any time in program history.
“Being the head football coach of the Wyoming Cowboys has been a privilege,” Bohl said. “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. Many thanks to all the assistant coaches and staff who have helped build Wyoming football into a consistently winning program over this past decade.
“We couldn’t have had the success we’ve had at Wyoming without the support of Athletics Director Tom Burman. I can’t thank Tom enough for giving me the opportunity to serve as head coach of a Cowboy Football program that I have been proud to lead and that will always have a special place in my heart. Tom has been a great friend and a great partner in developing Cowboy Football into the program we have today.
“To the Wyoming fans, I know I speak for our players and our coaches in saying you’ve made War Memorial Stadium a special place on game days. Thank you for all your support through the years.
“Personally, I also want to thank Gene Taylor [former North Dakota State Athletics Director] for giving me my first opportunity to be a head coach 21 years ago. Also, thanks to all the coaches who I’ve worked with throughout the years. And finally, to the man whose mentorship has meant so much to me in my career — first as a player and then as an assistant coach and as a head coach — my former head coach at Nebraska, Tom Osborne.
“There’s one more ballgame before I ride off as an old Cowboy. Let’s Ride for the Brand one more time and get a win in Tucson. Go Pokes!”
“Coach Bohl has been an outstanding ambassador for UW Athletics and has been a great mentor to our student-athletes,” said Tom Burman, University of Wyoming athletics director. “When I hired Craig as head coach, we both said our goal was to return Cowboy Football to a place of relevance in the Mountain West Conference and to be a consistently winning program. With Coach’s leadership, our football program has accomplished that.
“Craig has reflected the character of the state of Wyoming, and the football program he’s built is representative of the blue-collar nature of the people of Wyoming. I am very thankful for all that Coach Bohl has accomplished and represented during his time as our head coach. I wish him, his wife Leia and his family all the best in the next chapter of their lives.”
A long list of successes during the Bohl Era
Among the notable accomplishments during Bohl’s tenure are:
- Leading Wyoming to more bowl game appearances (6) than any coach in school history.
- Winning more bowl games (3) than any coach in Wyoming history, with one more opportunity for a win in this year’s Arizona Bowl.
- Achieving six winning seasons in 10 years as head coach — the second most in school history, only behind Lloyd Eaton’s seven winning seasons in nine years as head coach from 1962–70.
- Recruiting and developing the most NFL Cowboys in school history, including eight NFL Draft picks and the most players on NFL rosters at any one time (16 as of Jan. 1, 2022).
- Developing the highest NFL Draft pick in school history, quarterback Josh Allen, who was selected No. 7 overall by the Buffalo Bills in the 2018 NFL Draft.
- Helping three former Cowboys advance all the way to the Super Bowl. Linebacker Logan Wilson and cornerback Tyler Hall were members of the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams, respectively, in Super Bowl LVI at the conclusion of the 2021 season, and safety Marcus Epps played for the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII at the conclusion of the 2022 season.
- Consistently achieving the highest team grade-point averages in program history, posting team GPAs at or above the 3.00 mark.
- Posting two wins against Top 25 ranked teams on national television broadcasts during the 2023 season. Wyoming defeated then No. 24–ranked Texas Tech 35–33 in double overtime on a CBS national telecast, and defeated then No. 24–ranked Fresno State 24–19 on a national telecast on FOX.
- Recording the first 7–0 undefeated home record in school history during the 2023 season.
- Going undefeated at home in the regular season in three different seasons (2016, 2019, 2023). Those were three of only 15 undefeated regular seasons in War Memorial Stadium history.
- Setting a new single-season attendance record of 162,144 fans during the 2023 season.
- Hosting the 2016 Mountain West Championship Game as the highest ranked team in the Mountain West.
- Defeating two Top 25–ranked teams during the 2016 season — No. 13 ranked Boise State by a score of 30–28 and No. 24 ranked San Diego State by a score of 34–33. Wyoming was named the National Team of the Week by the Football Writers Association of America for its win over Boise State.
During his coaching career, Bohl has helped coach five national championship teams. Prior to coming to Wyoming, he led North Dakota State to three consecutive NCAA Football Championship Subdivision National Championships as head coach in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
As an assistant coach at his alma mater, Nebraska, he was part of National Championships in 1995 and 1997. In 2012 and 2013, Bohl received both The Sports Network Eddie Robinson FCS National Coach of the Year Award and the American Football Coaches Association FCS National Coach of the Year Award. He became the first coach in the first 27 years of the Eddie Robinson Award to win it in consecutive seasons.
In 2013, he also received the Liberty Mutual FCS Coach of the Year Award, which is presented in partnership with the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame.
Bohl served as President of the American Football Coaches Association for the 2022 college football season, having been elected as president at the 2022 AFCA Convention. He also served on the AFCA Board of Trustees. Bohl was appointed to the 13-member NCAA Division I Football Competition Committee in January 2017 and has served on the NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee.
He was named the 32nd head football coach at Wyoming on Dec. 8, 2013. His overall head-coaching record stands at 164–92 (.641) and his Wyoming record is 60–60 (.500) heading into this year’s Arizona Bowl. Bohl currently ranks No. 13 among all active NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision head coaches in terms of wins, with 164.