Larry Shyatt Returns as Head Basketball Coach at the University of Wyoming
March 31, 2011
LARAMIE, Wyo. - University of Wyoming Athletics Director Tom Burman announced on Thursday that Larry Shyatt, a proven winner at the highest level of college basketball, has been hired as the new head basketball coach of the Wyoming Cowboys. Shyatt, currently the associate head coach of the University of Florida Gators, was formerly the head coach at Wyoming in 1997-98. He has agreed to terms on a five-year contract to lead Wyoming Basketball. Shyatt's total compensation package could earn him up to $645,000 per year. Included in that package is a base salary of $190,000 per year.
Shyatt returns to Wyoming after being a part of the University of Florida coaching staff for the past seven seasons, joining the Gator staff on May 10, 2004. During his time at Florida, the Gators won the 2006 and 2007 NCAA National Championships, won Southeastern Conference (SEC) tournament championships in 2005, 2006 and 2007 and won SEC regular-season titles in 2007 and 2011. This past season, the Gators advanced to the "Elite Eight" of the NCAA Tournament. When Florida won back-to-back NCAA titles in 2006 and 2007, it became only the seventh men's basketball program in college basketball history to win back-to-back NCAA Championships. Over Shyatt's seven seasons in Gainesville, the Gators posted a record of 191-63 (.752), which was the best record in the SEC during that span of time, and they averaged 27 wins per season.
In his one season guiding the Wyoming basketball program in 1997-98, Shyatt took over a team that was 12-16 the year prior to his arrival and guided the Cowboys to a 19-9 (.678) record and an appearance in the 1998 National Invitation Tournament (NIT). Also during the 1997-98 campaign, Shyatt's Cowboys defeated eventual NCAA National Runner-up Utah by a score of 62-56 in Laramie. The Cowboys, who had been picked fifth out of eight teams in the Mountain Division of the Western Athletic Conference preseason poll, finished the season in third place behind Utah and New Mexico, posting a 9-5 conference mark. Wyoming also defeated the Lobos in Laramie that season. Shyatt was named the WAC Mountain Division Coach of the Year in 1998, and was selected by his peers as the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) District 13 Coach of Year. His `97-'98 Cowboys posted a 13-2 (.867) home record and were 6-1 (.857) in conference home games.
Shyatt's enthusiasm and involvement with Cowboy fans and the UW student body, combined with his team's blue-collar style of play, resulted in the Pokes attracting an average of 7,084 fans to home games. Included in that attendance were two crowds of over 10,000 -- 11,014 versus Colorado State and 12,201 against BYU.
"We are thrilled to bring Larry (Shyatt) back to the University of Wyoming," said Burman. "He did a great job in his one season at UW, taking us to the NIT, and the players he recruited to Wyoming paid dividends for our program throughout their careers. Over the past seven seasons, he has had the opportunity to sit next to and coach with one of the premier coaches in America in Billy Donovan.
"One of the things that impressed our committee in our interview with Larry was how bad he wanted to be back at Wyoming."
"I'm truly thankful for the opportunity given by President (Tom) Buchanan and (Athletics Director) Tom Burman to return to Laramie and the University of Wyoming," said Shyatt. "The experience my wife Pam and I had in Laramie, and the many people we met in the state, has always been among our fondest memories in over 30 years of coaching.
"I've spent seven great years at the University of Florida helping to build a championship-caliber program, and this is one of the only places I would have considered leaving for.
"I'm excited about the commitment of the administration, and the passionate fan base I remember at Wyoming, and I can't wait to meet, work with and develop a great relationship with the current team."
"For me personally there's both an excitement and sadness," said University of Florida head basketball coach Billy Donovan. "Larry is one of my closest friends, and his impact here at Florida over the last seven years has been immeasurable. He's one of the great minds in basketball and he deserves this opportunity.
"I'm happy for both he and his wife Pam that they will be able to return to an area they truly enjoyed and a program that is very special to them both."
Known as one of the outstanding basketball minds in the country, Shyatt was named by Basketball Times as the top assistant coach in the nation four different times. The respect he has among his college coaching peers resulted in him being the first assistant coach to be named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Board of Directors from 1987-90. Shyatt also has an outstanding reputation as a recruiter. During his time at Wyoming, the student-athletes he and his Wyoming staff brought to Laramie included: Anthony Blakes (NABC Second Team All-District, Second Team All-WAC), Josh Davis (Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American, NABC First Team All-District, First Team All-WAC), LeDarion Jones (First Team Academic All-District VII), Brett McFall (UW Career Top 10 in 3-Point FGs and Assists), Chris McMillian (UW Career Top 10 in Assists and Steals) and Ugo Udezue (Second Team All-WAC). He also coached two players at Wyoming who earned individual honors in Jeron Roberts (NABC Second Team All-District, First Team All-WAC) and Gregg Sawyer (Second Team All-WAC).
During his 35 years as a college coach, Shyatt has been a part of 22 teams that earned postseason bids. Of those 22 postseason teams, 10 made NCAA Tournament appearances, with four advancing to the "Sweet 16", three to the "Elite Eight" and two to the "Final Four". He coached 12 teams to National Invitation Tournament (NIT) appearances. Three of those NIT teams advanced to the semifinals at Madison Square Garden in New York City, and one played in the NIT Championship Game.
Between his time at Wyoming and Florida, Shyatt was the head coach at Clemson University for five seasons from 1998-99 to 2002-03. His first season as head coach of the Tigers, Shyatt led them to a 20-win season (20-15). The Tigers advanced to the 1999 NIT Championship Game before losing by one point, 60-61, to California. With his 20 wins that season, Shyatt became only the fourth first-year coach in Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) history to guide his team to a 20-win season. Also during his time as head coach at Clemson, the 2000-01 team set a school record for three-point field goals in a season and recorded one of the biggest wins in school history with a 75-65 win over No. 1 ranked North Carolina on Feb. 18, 2001, breaking an 18-game winning streak by the Tar Heels. His record at Clemson was 70-84.
Shyatt served as the Associate Head Coach at Clemson for three seasons from 1994-95 to 1996-97 under now University of Texas head coach Rick Barnes. His final season at Clemson, he helped the Tigers advance to the "Sweet 16" of the NCAA Tournament, before losing in the NCAA Regional Semifinals to Minnesota, 84-90 in double overtime. Clemson also earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament the year prior (1995-96). During those three seasons, the Tigers posted a record of 56-34.
Before moving to Clemson, Shyatt was an assistant on Barnes staff at Providence College for six seasons from 1988-89 to 1993-94. Providence advanced to postseason play five of those six seasons, including three NCAA and two NIT bids. The 1992-93 squad earned its way to the NIT Semifinals in New York City. The 1993-94 Friars captured the Big East Conference Tournament Championship, on way to a 20-10 record and an NCAA Tournament berth. Providence's record during that six-year period was 108-76.
Shyatt also brings with him experience coaching in the West. In addition to serving as head coach at Wyoming, Shyatt was an assistant coach at Utah (1975-76) and associate head coach at New Mexico (1982-83 to 1987-88). The Utes posted a 19-8 (.704) record in `75-'76 and tied for second in the WAC. The Lobos won 20 games three times during the six-year span Shyatt coached in Albuquerque, and appeared in five consecutive NITs from 1984-88. Between his time at Utah and New Mexico, Shyatt returned to his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, serving as an assistant coach at Cleveland State for six seasons (1976-77 to 1981-82). Over his final three seasons at Cleveland State, he helped the Vikings win 17, 18 and 17 games, respectively.
After playing college basketball at The College of Wooster for two years (1970 and 71), Shyatt had already made up his mind that coaching was the career he wanted to pursue. He became a student assistant coach at Wooster, and upon receiving his bachelor's degree in physical education, he was hired as a graduate assistant coach at the University of Akron. He served as a graduate assistant coach at Akron for two seasons (1973-74 and 1974-75) while completing his master's degree in secondary education. The next year he earned his first full-time coaching position at Utah.
Shyatt (April 8, 1951) will be 60 years old when the 2011-12 season begins. He and his wife, the former Pam Moore, have three sons -- Jeremy (May 15, 1981), Geoffrey (Jan. 5, 1984) and Philip (May 11, 1986). Jeremy just completed his second season as an assistant coach at the University of North Florida under head coach and former Wyoming assistant coach Matthew Driscoll. Prior to coaching at North Florida, the younger Shyatt was the Director of Basketball Operations at VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University), and before that held the same position at East Carolina University.
The University of Wyoming Athletics Department will host a press conference and fan reception to meet Coach Shyatt on Wednesday, April 6 at 5:30 p.m. in the Wildcatter Stadium Club & Suites on the UW Campus. The event will be open to the public.
2007--NCAA Champions at Florida as an Assistant Coach
2006--NCAA Champions at Florida as an Assistant Coach
1998--National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) District 13 Coach of the Year as Head Coach at Wyoming
1998--Western Athletic Conference Mountain Division Coach of the Year as Head Coach at Wyoming
1987-90--First Assistant Coach Named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Board of Directors
2011-, Wyoming, Head Coach
2007-11, Florida, Associate Head Coach
2004-07, Florida, Assistant Coach
1998-03, Clemson, Head Coach
1997-98, Wyoming, Head Coach
1994-97, Clemson, Associate Head Coach
1988-94, Providence, Assistant Coach
1982-88, New Mexico, Associate Head Coach
1976-82, Cleveland State, Assistant Coach
1975-76, Utah, Assistant Coach
(NCAA Tournament: 2 NCAA National Championships, 2 NCAA Final Four Appearances, 3 NCAA Elite Eight Appearances, 4 NCAA Sweet 16 Appearances, 10 NCAA Tournament Appearances) (National Invitation Tournament: 1 NIT National Championship Runner-up, 3 NIT Semifinal Appearances, 6 NIT Quarterfinal Appearances, 12 NIT Appearances)
2010, NCAA First Round at Florida
2009, NIT Quarterfinals (Final Eight) at Florida
2008, NIT Semifinals (Final Four) at Florida
2007, NCAA Champions at Florida
2006, NCAA Champions at Florida
2005, NCAA Second Round at Florida
1999, NIT Championship Runner-up (Final Two) at Clemson
1998, NIT 1st Round at Wyoming
1997, NCAA Sweet 16 at Clemson
1996, NCAA 1st Round at Clemson
1995, NIT 1st Round at Clemson
1994, NCAA 1st Round at Providence
1993, NIT Semifinals (Final Four) at Providence
1991, NIT Quarterfinals (Final Eight) at Providence
1990, NCAA 1st Round at Providence
1989, NCAA 1st Round at Providence
1988, NIT Quarterfinals (Final Eight) at New Mexico
1987, NIT First Round at New Mexico
1986, NIT First Round at New Mexico
1985, NIT Second Round at New Mexico
1984, NIT First Round at New Mexico
2007, SEC Regular-Season Champions, SEC Tournament Champions and SEC East Champions at Florida
2006, SEC Tournament Champions at Florida
2005, SEC Tournament Champions at Florida
1994, Big East Conference Tournament Champions at Providence
1973, The College of Wooster, Bachelor's Degree in Physical Education