September 6, 2023 |
Photo – In Memorandum Paul Roach – Courtesy gowyo.com
In sports, legendary Wyoming football coach Paul Roach passed away over the weekend.
Roach led the Athletic Department from 1987-1996, an era of growth and success for UW sports.
He was the only man in UW history to serve double duty. Roach served as the university’s athletic director and as head football coach simultaneously. From 1987 through 1996, Roach served as the school’s AD. Then at 58 years old, he stepped in as head football coach from 1987-90, taking over the shattered football program after Dennis Erickson left Laramie after one season for Washington State.
UW Athletics Director Tom Burman said, “Coach Roach was so much more than a damn good coach. He was caring, smart, disciplined, funny, but most of all, a great communicator.”
Burman said Roach had a rare skill, communicating directly without an ego.
As athletics director, Roach guided Wyoming’s total athletic program through tremendous success. During his time as AD, the school produced some 280 academic all-conference performers in all sports. His vision helped establish the Rochelle Athletics Center.
As head football coach, he took over a program that was 27-32 in the five previous seasons and led the Cowboys to back-to-back Western Athletic Conference Championships in 1987 and 1988, going undefeated in league play both years. He was named the league’s Coach of the Year following each of those seasons.