December 7, 2023 |

Photo – Left Coach Craig Bohl, Right Coach Jay Sawvel – Courtesy

Coach Craig Bohl, who headed up the Wyoming Cowboy football team longer than any coach in UW’s history, will step down from the position at the end of the season following the team’s third consecutive bowl appearance.

Bohl’s ten-year ride in Laramie is the longest of any head football coach in UW’s history. His final game will be the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl on Dec. 30 in Tucson, Arizona. Bohl is the only coach who has led the team to three straight post-season bowl games.

On Wednesday, Bohl thanked the players who he has coached over the last decade. “Being the head football coach of the Wyoming Cowboys has been a privilege,” said Bohl. “I felt like now was the time for me step away and entrust the program to new leadership.

Bohl has enjoyed a great run at the helm. He has racked up more bowl victories – three—and more bowl appearances – six – than any coach in UW’s history. He has also notched six winning seasons, the second most of any Cowboy football coach, and seen more of his players graduate to the National Football League than any other Wyoming Coach.

All in all, Coach Bohl’s time in Laramie was a job well done.

Bohl was introduced as Wyoming’s 32nd head football coach on December 9, 2013 –almost ten years ago to this day–after being recruited from North Dakota State where he led the Bison to two national championships.

Bohl delivered a historic level of consistency at Wyoming. With a 60-60 record in Laramie, he is the winningest coach in program history. After a 6-18 record in his first two seasons, Wyoming mustered a 54-42 mark over the last eight. Outside of the pandemic season, the Cowboys have finished .500 or better every year. Bohl leaves with the best winning percentage of any Wyoming coach since Joe Tiller over the last 30 years.

In 2023, Wyoming went 8-3, which included an upset victory over Texas Tech at home. With a win in the Arizona Bowl, the Cowboys would capture their first nine-win season since a 10-win campaign in 1996.

Stepping into the head coaching position following the Arizona Bowl on December 23rd  will be Wyoming Defensive Coordinator Jay Sawvel. The announcement was made during a team meeting on Wednesday morning.

Sawvel has served as the defensive coordinator and safeties coach since February of 2020. Over his career, he has been part of 21 teams who advanced to post-season play, including 14 bowl appearances and seven NCAA Playoff appearances. Sawvel has worked for seven head coaches during his career, including Craig Bohl, Lou Holtz, Roy Kidd and Jerry Kill.

Sawvel said he is excited to be Wyoming’s next head football coach, saying “the infrastructure Coach Bohl has put in this program makes me very excited to be the next leader of this program.”

Sawvel has earned the promotion.   The 2023 Cowboy defense ranks No. 17 in the nation in turnovers gained. The Cowboys rank sixth in the country with 11 fumble recoveries. The defense ranks No. 24 nationwide with fewest yards allowed per pass attempts.

Sawvel’s 2023 defense ranks No. 2 in the Mountain West Conference in scoring defense (allowing only 22.9 points per game) and ranks No. 3 in the MW in total defense (allowing opponents only 360.2 yards per game).

He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Eastern Kentucky in 1994 and moved to Notre Dame as a graduate assistant coach for the 1996-98 seasons. Sawvel owns master’s degrees from both Eastern Kentucky and Notre Dame, where he completed his master’s in administration.

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