Craig Bohl Hired as Wyoming Head Football Coach
Dec. 8, 2013
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Craig Bohl was introduced by University of Wyoming Athletics Director Tom Burman as the new head football coach of the Wyoming Cowboys on Sunday. Bohl has been the head coach at North Dakota State since 2003, and has built a national power at NDSU. His teams have won back-to-back National Championships at the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level the past two seasons. His team entered the 2013 FCS Playoffs as the No. 1 seed and is currently 12-0 entering the third round of the playoffs.
"Rarely do you get an opportunity to hire a head coach who has won multiple National Championships and has a reputation as a program builder," said Burman.
"I am absolutely confident we hired one of the best football coaches in the country. All you have to do is look at his record, including several wins over FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) programs."
Not only has Bohl won two national titles at the FCS level, but he was the linebackers coach at his alma mater, Nebraska, when the Huskers won the 1995 and 1997 National Championships.
Bohl, who is the 32nd head football coach in UW history, agreed to terms with Wyoming this weekend. His contract as new head coach of the Pokes will pay him a guaranteed $750,000 his first year. The contract will escalate each successive year with incentives. The term of the contract is five years.
Bohl is in his 11th season as head coach of the NDSU Bison. He has built a 101-32 (75.9 percent) record as head coach at North Dakota State. He has guided the Bison to the FCS Playoffs each of the last four seasons, posting an 11-1 record in the FCS Playoffs. His last three teams have posted records of 14-1 (2011), 14-1 (2012) and 12-0 (2013) as they seek their third consecutive national title.
The Bison have had great success against FBS teams to go with their elite status at the FCS level. In each of the past four seasons, Bohl's Bison have defeated all four of the FBS teams they faced, and captured all of those wins on the road. NDSU won at Kansas in 2010 (by a score of 6-3), at Minnesota in 2011 (37-24), at Colorado State in 2012 (22-7), and at Kansas State (24-21) earlier this season. Overall during his 11 years at North Dakota State, Bohl's teams have built a 7-3 record against FBS teams.
In 2012, Bohl received both The Sports Network Eddie Robinson FCS National Coach of the Year Award and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) FCS National Coach of the Year Award. His other National Coach of the Year honor came in 2006, when he was recognized by the Football Gazette as the FCS National Coach of the Year and the Northwest Region Coach of the Year.
He was also a finalist for The Sports Network Eddie Robinson Award in 2011, 2007 and 2006, and was the 2011 AFCA Region 4 FCS Coach of the Year. Bohl currently serves on the AFCA Board of Trustees.
His North Dakota State teams have been built on an exciting West Coast offense and a physical, aggressive defense. This season, North Dakota State ranks No. 18 in the nation in scoring offense (37.1 points per game), No. 1 in the nation in scoring defense (11.5 points allowed per game) and No. 2 in the nation in total defense (243.0 yards per game). The Bison have led FCS in scoring defense in each of the past three seasons (2011-13).
In addition to his 11 years of experience as a head coach at North Dakota State, Bohl has 19 years of experience as a full-time assistant coach at the collegiate level. His last eight years as an assistant coach were spent at Nebraska where he was the linebackers coach under head coach Tom Osborne for five seasons and was part of the 1995 and `97 Nebraska National Championship teams.
Bohl's final three seasons (2000-02) at Nebraska, he served as the Cornhuskers' defensive coordinator under head coach Frank Solich, before accepting the head-coaching job at North Dakota State in 2003. Bohl was part of 11 bowl-game appearances while at Nebraska -- eight as an assistant coach from 1995 to 2002 and three as a graduate assistant coach for the Huskers from 1981-83.
Bohl's North Dakota State teams have been ranked in The Sports Network or FCS Coaches Top 25 polls for 106 weeks since beginning FCS play in 2004, and earned the No. 1 ranking in both the final 2011 and 2012 polls. The Bison's record versus FCS Top 25 ranked teams is 27-8.
From 2004-2007, Bohl helped lead North Dakota State through its transition to the NCAA FCS level. During that transition period, his teams posted back-to-back 10-1 seasons in 2006 and 2007, but weren't eligible for postseason play due to NCAA rules regarding teams moving up a division.
During his time in Fargo, N.D., he has coached 11 Academic All-Americans and 14 All-Americans, while six student-athletes in the last nine years have been named to the Allstate/AFCA Good Works team.
Bohl grew up in Lincoln, Neb., and went on to attend the University of Nebraska where he was a reserve defensive back from 1977 to 1979 under Osborne. Bohl was part of Nebraska's 1979 Orange Bowl and 1980 Cotton Bowl teams.
The 2013 season is Bohl's 33rd year coaching at the college level -- 11 years as a head coach, 19 as a full-time assistant coach and three seasons as a graduate assistant. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater in 1981, assisting with the Nebraska linebackers and defensive backs for three seasons from 1981-83. His first full-time coaching position came at North Dakota State in 1984, coaching the defensive backs. He moved on to coach the linebackers at the University of Tulsa for the 1985 and `86 seasons. In 1987 and `88, Bohl was the linebackers coach at the University of Wisconsin. He earned his first defensive coordinator position in 1989 at Rice, where he served as the defensive coordinator for five seasons from 1989-93. In 1994, Bohl accepted the defensive coordinator position at Duke. The following season in 1995, he had the opportunity to return to Nebraska as the linebackers coach, and in his first season back in Lincoln the Huskers won the National Championship. Two seasons later, they captured their second National Championship during Bohl's time as an assistant coach.
Born July 27, 1958, Bohl is 55 years old. He earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from Nebraska in 1982. Bohl's family includes wife Leia, twin daughters Mallory and Morgan and son Aaron.
Craig Bohl's Career Coaching History
2011: Finalist for The Sports Network Eddie Robinson FCS Coach of the Year
2007: Finalist for The Sports Network Eddie Robinson FCS Coach of the Year
2006: Football Gazette FCS National Coach of the Year
National Championship Teams
Conference Championship Teams
Postseason Coaching Experience