UW Awards Joe Legerski a Contract Extension

May 14, 2007


Wyoming Head Coach Joe Legerski, who has elevated the Cowgirl basketball program to an unprecedented level, has received a contract extension through the 2012 season, Athletics Director Tom Burman announced Monday.

Legerski, whose Cowgirls put together a magical 27-win season and the WNIT Championship this past season, and his entire staff also received salary increases, Burman said. Legerski's base salary is being increased to $150,000 per year (from $130,008). The contract also includes an incentive package based upon ticket revenue, academic success, and competitive success. A buyout clause is included in the contract.

"We are honored to receive this kind of support," Legerski said. "Continuity is so important to the success of any program, and this kind of commitment makes that continuity possible. As a Wyoming guy, I'm extremely proud to be the head coach, and proud of what we have accomplished. I believe there are still better things to come."

According to Deputy Director of Athletics Barbara Burke, the extension is Wyoming's commitment to Legerski, and to the women's basketball program as well. "We wanted to demonstrate to Joe the commitment we have to the program, and to he and his staff," Burke said. "When you look at their work ethic, dedication and professionalism, it is very easy to support Joe and his staff. They have earned our appreciation and our respect."

Legerski, 49, became the sixth coach in Cowgirl history on May 1, 2003. He is 75-48 through four years at Wyoming. He has directed the Cowgirls to two straight 20-win seasons, a first in school history. Under his guidance, the Cowgirls have been in post-season play two years in a row, also a first for the program. Not only did the Cowgirls average a school-record 4,686 fans during the 2006-07 season, but they set the women's school record for largest home crowd (15,462 for the WNIT Championship game against Wisconsin). The 27 victories are a school record for a single season.

Associate Head Coach Gerald Mattinson, assistants Kristen Becker and Katie Kern, and director of basketball operations, Mary Grothe, also received raises.

Legerski, a native of Rock Springs, Wyo., came to UW following a highly-successful stint at the University of Utah. As an assistant (1991-1998) and later associate head coach (1998-2003), he was part of the most successful women's program in the history of both the Western Athletic and Mountain West Conferences. The Utes compiled a 254-96 record while he was there, including seven league titles.

Legerski earned a bachelor of science degree in business education from Wyoming in 1979. He was an assistant with the Cowgirls from 1987 through 1991, before taking the Utah position. He was the head women's basketball coach at Western Wyoming College (Rock Springs) for one season. Prior to that he was the head women's basketball coach at Rock Springs High from 1984 through 1986.