April 1, 2004
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
An unprecedented five University of Wyoming head coaches earned Coach of the Year honors in their respective fields during the 2003-04 athletic seasons.
Wyoming swimming and diving head coach Tom Johnson, UW's head soccer coach Anne Moore, Cowgirl basketball head coach Joe Legerski, Cowboy wrestling head coach Steven Suder and UW's head track and field coach Don Yentes all received the honor, as selected by their peers.
"When I arrived last fall, I was impressed with our coaches across the board," said Wyoming Athletic Director Gary Barta. "I'm so proud of the accomplishments of these five and the fact that they are getting their due. The momentum of Wyoming Athletics continues to build."
Johnson, who is in his sixth season as head swimming and diving coach, was selected as the 2004 Mountain West Conference Men's Coach of the Year. At the 2004 MWC Championships, he led the Pokes to three individual conference championships and 18 top-five finishes. This is the second Coach of the Year award for Johnson; he was named the 2000 MWC Women's Coach of the Year.
Following her fifth year as the head women's soccer coach at UW, Anne Moore was named the 2003 Mountain West Conference Soccer Coach of the Year. She directed the Cowgirls to a 10-9 record in 2003, the best finish in the programs nine year history. The Cowgirls finished the MWC regular season in a second place tie with BYU with a conference record of 4-2, UW's best conference finish ever. Also for the first time in program history, three Cowgirls were named first team All-MWC.
Legerski just completed his first season as the head women's basketball coach at UW. He guided the Cowgirls to an 11-18 record overall and a 6-8 mark in the Mountain West Conference while earning Coach of the Year honors. Wyoming finished 5th in the MWC standings, the program's best conference finish since the 1996-97 season. Legerski also coached the program to its first ever win in the MWC Basketball Tournament with a 67-61 victory over Colorado State. Two Cowgirls also garnered All-MWC honors in his first year with the program.
UW's head wrestling coach Steven Suder, who has been heading the program for 15 seasons, was selected as the 2004 West Regional Coach of the Year. The honor is the sixth of his career as he was named the 2001 West Regional Coach of the Year and was a four-time WAC Coach of the Year. Suder led the Cowboys to a 10-5 dual record this season and a second place finish at the 2004 NCAA West Regional Tournament. The Pokes finished the 2002-03 season with a 10-7 dual finish; the back to back ten win seasons is a first in program history. Four UW wrestlers took home individual West Regional titles, and six total wrestlers qualified for the 2004 NCAA Wrestling Championships, the most UW has sent to the tournament since 1996.
Yentes, who has been at the helm of the UW track and field programs since 2000, was selected as the MWC Women's Indoor Track and Field Coach of the Year. Six Cowgirls earned All-MWC honors in nine events at the 2004 MWC Indoor Track and Field Championships. Since taking over the program four years ago, Yentes has produced 15 All-Americans, 24 conference champions, 21 NCAA Championship participants, and 110 Academic All-Conference honorees. Five of Yentes' athletes earned All-American honors at the 2004 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.