Returning Home

Sept. 21, 2000


Jim House is coming home.

But it isn't a time for fun and games for the former University of Wyomingplayer and coach.

For House, who coaches centers and guards for the University Nevada, he hasone objective on this trip - for his football squad to beat his alma mater.

Kickoff is 7 p.m. Saturday at War Memorial Stadium.

House was born in Laramie, was a letterman for the Cowboys from 1966-68,coached high school football two years each in Green River and Douglas andat UW as an assistant from 1975-85.

But the ties to UW and Wyoming don't end there.

"I had one uncle who was in charge of War Memorial Fieldhouse and WarMemorial Stadium and another as a business manager," he said. "My mom workedin concessions."

House's fondest memories of UW are as a player. He was a two-time,all-conference linebacker and part of the glory years of UW football.

In 1966, House was part of the Cowboys defense that led the nation. UW beatFlorida State 28-20 in the Sun Bowl and finished the season 10-1.

In 1967, arguably UW's best team ever, the Pokes finished the regular seasonundefeated and played Louisiana State in the Sugar Bowl. The Pokes lost20-13 to finish 10-1.

House co-captained the 1968 team as a senior as the Pokes went 7-3.

"The memories and good times will never go away," he said. "I know when Isee the old Brown and Gold, it still sends the old goose bumps up and downthe back of my neck.

"I'm sure when I hear (UW's fight song) 'Cowboy Joe' on Saturday, the samekinds of things will happen."

House returns to Laramie as a coach for the first time since 1992, when UWbeat Nevada 25-6.

House said he has tried several times to get back to Laramie to coach at UW.

He even made inquiries about joining new coach Vic Koenning's staff whenKoenning as hired in December.

But as much as House loves UW, he says he enjoys his job and life at Nevada.

He is in his 11th year as an assistant coach for the Wolf Pack and has seenthe program jump from I-AA to Division I during his time in Reno.

"In the years I've been here, we went from the Big Sky Conference to the BigWest Conference to the Western Athletic Conference," House said. "Any timeyou can do that, you're going in the right direction.

"Our facilities are second to none. We have a new turf on our field likeNebraska has. We also hired a strength coach from Nebraska."

A lot of things have changed since House was a player and coach at UW. ThePokes have changed head coaches five times and only a handful of UWathletics department personnel that House knew are still around.

Even War Memorial Stadium has changed. The knothole seats at the north endof the stadium have been moved to the south. A new video board has replacedthe small scoreboard on the north end. The stadium also will debut itspermanent lights in this game.

But for House, some things will never change.

"There's a place in my heart for the Cowboys, and there always will be,"House said.