Pete Kaligis will coach the Wyoming defensive tackles for the second straight year in 2015. He coached senior defensive tackle Patrick Mertens in 2014. Mertens signed as a free agent with the Baltimore Ravens following his senior year. The 2015 season will mark Kaligis’ 21st season as a college coach.
Kaligis coached the Wyoming offensive line and running backs during his previous five seasons at Wyoming. In 2013, he served as assistant head coach, co-offensive coordinator and running backs coach. He added the offensive coordinator duties to his responsibilities in February of 2013. Kaligis coached the Cowboy running backs in 2012 and ‘13. In 2013, sophomore running back Shaun Wick nearly reached the 1,000-yard plateau, rushing for 979 yards. Kaligis’ first four years at Wyoming, he coached the Cowboy offensive line.
In 2013, Wyoming ranked 22nd in the nation in total offense (472.8 yards per game) and 26th in passing offense (282.4 yards per game). The Wyoming offense ranked second in the Mountain West Conference and 38th in the nation in passing offense in 2012, averaging 265.4 yards per game.
The 2012 season saw Kaligis coach First Team All-Mountain West center Nick Carlson. Carlson was named to the Rimington Trophy Watch List for the second time his senior season. The Rimington Trophy honors the nation’s top center each season. Carlson was also named to the 2012 Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List, and was one of only 10 national finalists for the ARA Sportsmanship Award as a senior. Carlson (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and senior offensive tackles Josh Leonard (Oakland Raiders) and Kyle Magnuson (Oakland Raiders) each were invited to NFL camps as free agents following their senior seasons.
In 2011 the Cowboy offense ranked No. 11 in the nation in fewest sacks allowed, allowing only 12 sacks in 13 games. Three UW offensive linemen earned Mountain West All-Conference honors in 2011. Senior tackle Clayton Kirven and junior center Nick Carlson were named Second Team All-Mountain West. Sophomore offensive guard Tyler Strong earned Honorable Mention All-Conference recognition. Carlson was named to the Rimington Trophy Watch List for the first time in 2011. Kaligis coached sophomore center Carlson in 2010. Carlson went on to earn Honorable Mention All-Mountain West Conference honors. One of Kaligis’ 2009 Cowboys, offensive tackle Ryan Otterson, signed a free-agent contract with the San Diego Chargers following the 2010 NFL Draft.
During his previous years coaching at the college level, Kaligis has been a part of 12 teams that advanced to postseason play, including five bowl appearances with NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision teams. In addition to the Cowboys’ appearance in the 2011 Gildan New Mexico Bowl and UW’s win in the 2009 New Mexico Bowl, Kaligis was a strength and conditioning coach at Washington when the Huskies played in the 1999 Holiday Bowl (losing to Kansas State, 24-20), won the 2000 Rose Bowl (defeating Purdue, 34-24) and played in the 2002 Sun Bowl (losing to Purdue, 34-24).
An outstanding college football player and track and field athlete, Kaligis started all 12 games at offensive guard for the Washington Huskies and former head football coach Don James when they captured the 1991 National Championship. The Huskies posted a perfect 12-0 record and defeated Michigan, 34-14, in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, 1992, to win the national title. He was a member of the Husky Football team from 1990-94.
He was an All-American in track and field in the shot put. He won the gold medal at the 1995 U.S. Olympic Festival, and placed third in the 1995 University Games. He participated in the 1996 Olympic Trials in track and field in the shot put.
Kaligis earned his B.A. degree in sociology and law enforcement at Washington in 1994. He and his wife, Kristine, have a daughter, Harlie Grace, and a son, Cooper.