March 26, 2021 |
A Wyoming coaching legend has passed. Benny Dees, who led the Wyoming Cowboys and Fennis Denbo to a 26-and-6 record during the 1987-88 season and a berth in the Big Dance, died Tuesday at the age of 86.
Pictured above: Benny Dees. Photo courtesy University of Wyoming.
He may have been short and round of stature, but the swagger of Coach Dees was larger than life. His loud, plaid sweaters, thick crop of silver hair and intense personality created a commanding courtside presence during his six seasons at Laramie. He led his Cowboy teams to 104 wins and two post-season tournaments. In the process, he transformed the Arena Auditorium into the dreaded Dome of Doom.
Dees was responsible for bringing names like Reggie Slater, Tim Breaux and Theo Ratliff to Laramie. Dees first came to Laramie himself on a baseball scholarship in 1957. He also lettered in hoops under legendary head coach Everett Shelton.
He started his own college coaching career in 1968 when he took over a brand new program, Virginia Commonwealth. After two seasons in Richmond, Dees moved on to New Orleans where he took the Privateers to their only NCAA tournament win.
Here’s what Regie Slater said on Twitter this week: Benny wore many hats with me including teacher, disciplinarian and the person I looked to for encouragement but the best hat of all was that of a friend. I will miss you Coach Dees. Love you, Reggie Slater.
The Rawlins volleyball game with Mountain View scheduled for tomorrow has been postpone until April 1.