|Wyoming Cowboys football|
|Athletic director||Tom Burman|
|Head coach||Craig Bohl |
9th season, 52–55 (.486)
|Stadium||War Memorial Stadium|
|Field surface||Artificial turf|
|NCAA division||Division I FBS|
|Conference||Mountain West (1999–present)|
|Division||Mountain (2013–2019 and 2021–2022)|
|Past conferences||Independent (1893–1909)|
|All-time record||559–595–28 (.485)|
|Bowl record||9–8 (.529)|
|Rivalries||Colorado State (rivalry)|
Utah State (rivalry)
Air Force (rivalry)
|Colors||Brown and gold|
|Fight song||Ragtime Cowboy Joe|
|Marching band||Western Thunder|
The Wyoming Cowboys football program represents the University of Wyoming in college football. They compete in the Mountain West Conference of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of NCAA Division I and have won 14 conference titles. The head coach is Craig Bohl, who entered his first season in 2014.
The Cowboy football program has been among the most notable of "stepping stone" programs due to the success of its former coaches. Coaches such as Bowden Wyatt, Bob Devaney, Fred Akers, Pat Dye, Dennis Erickson and Joe Tiller were at Wyoming immediately prior to gaining notoriety at bigger football powerhouses.
See also: List of Wyoming Cowboys football seasons
In 1969, 14 black team members wore black armbands to a practice, intending to protest the racism they had been victims of at their last game with an upcoming opponent, BYU. head coach Lloyd Eaton threw them off the team, "triggering an uproar that consumed the rest of the football season and much of everything else in the tiny college town of Laramie, Wyoming."[who?]
In 2018, filmmaker Darius Monroe released a documentary short about the athletes: Black 14. The short "uses only archival footage to tell the story, mostly from local ABC and NBC affiliates in Wyoming, letting the principals – from the students, to the coach, to the school president and even the state’s governor – speak for themselves."
Wyoming has won 14 conference championships, ten outright and four shared.
|Season||Conference||Coach||Overall Record||Conference Record|
|1949||Mountain States Conference||Bowden Wyatt||9–1||5–0|
|1950||Mountain States Conference||Bowden Wyatt||10–0||5–0|
|1956||Mountain States Conference||Phil Dickens||10–0||7–0|
|1958||Mountain States Conference||Bob Devaney||8–3||6–1|
|1959||Mountain States Conference||Bob Devaney||9–1||7–0|
|1960†||Mountain States Conference||Bob Devaney||8–2||6–1|
|1961†||Mountain States Conference||Bob Devaney||6–1–2||5–0–1|
|1966||Western Athletic Conference||Lloyd Eaton||10–1||5–0|
|1967||Western Athletic Conference||Lloyd Eaton||10–1||5–0|
|1968||Western Athletic Conference||Lloyd Eaton||7–3||6–1|
|1976†||Western Athletic Conference||Fred Akers||8–4||6–1|
|1987||Western Athletic Conference||Paul Roach||10–3||8–0|
|1988||Western Athletic Conference||Paul Roach||11–2||8–0|
|1993†||Western Athletic Conference||Joe Tiller||8–4||6–2|
Wyoming won the Western Athletic Conference's Pacific division championship in 1996 and lost in the league's championship game. Wyoming shared the Mountain West's Mountain division championship in 2016 and lost in the league's championship game.
|1996||WAC – Pacific||Joe Tiller||BYU||L 25–28 (OT)|
|2016†||MW – Mountain||Craig Bohl||San Diego State||L 24–27|
|1893–1894, 1898||Fred Hess||3||4–4||.500|
|1894–1897, 1899||J.F. Soule||5||8–1–1||.850|
|1909–1911||Harold I. Dean||3||11–12–1||.479|
|1913–1914||Ralph W. Thacker||2||1–10||.091|
Main article: List of Wyoming Cowboys bowl games
The Cowboys have appeared in 18 bowl games and have a record of nine wins and eight losses (9–8). Their most recent bowl appearance was a 30 - 27 overtime loss to Ohio in the 2022 Arizona Bowl.
|1950||Bowden Wyatt||Gator Bowl||Washington & Lee||W 20–7|
|1955||Phil Dickens||Sun Bowl||Texas Tech||W 21–14|
|1958||Bob Devaney||Sun Bowl||Hardin-Simmons||W 14–7|
|1966||Lloyd Eaton||Sun Bowl||Florida State||W 28–20|
|1967||Lloyd Eaton||Sugar Bowl||LSU||L 13–20|
|1976||Fred Akers||Fiesta Bowl||Oklahoma||L 7–41|
|1987||Paul Roach||Holiday Bowl||Iowa||L 19–20|
|1988||Paul Roach||Holiday Bowl||Oklahoma State||L 14–62|
|1990||Paul Roach||Copper Bowl||California||L 15–17|
|1993||Joe Tiller||Copper Bowl||Kansas State||L 17–52|
|2004||Joe Glenn||Las Vegas Bowl||UCLA||W 24–21|
|2009||Dave Christensen||New Mexico Bowl||Fresno State||W 35–28 2OT|
|2011||Dave Christensen||New Mexico Bowl||Temple||L 15–37|
|2016||Craig Bohl||Poinsettia Bowl||BYU||L 21–24|
|2017||Craig Bohl||Famous Idaho Potato Bowl||Central Michigan||W 37–14|
|2019||Craig Bohl||Arizona Bowl||Georgia State||W 38–17|
|2021||Craig Bohl||Famous Idaho Potato Bowl||Kent State||W 52–38|
|2022||Craig Bohl||Arizona Bowl||Ohio||L 27–30 1OT|
War Memorial Stadium was built in 1950 with an original capacity of 20,000 fans; the current capacity is 29,181 after the completion of 2009-2010 stadium upgrades.
It is the highest Division I FBS football stadium in the nation; the elevation of its playing field exceeds 7,200 feet (2,195 m) above sea level. The playing surface was natural grass until 2005, when infilled artificial turf was installed.
Prior to War Memorial Stadium, the Cowboys played at Corbett Field, a small field located southeast of Half Acre Gym where the Business Building and the Student Union parking lot now sit. It was named for John J. Corbett, longtime all-sport coach and director of physical education at the school. The field was the first official stadium for the Cowboys; previously they had played on Prexy's Pasture, the main green of the school.
Main article: Border War (Colorado State–Wyoming rivalry)
The Bronze Boot is awarded to the winner of the college football game between Wyoming and Colorado State Rams in nearby Fort Collins, Colorado. The annual game has evolved into one of the most bitterly contested rivalries in college football. The teams have waged the "Border War" over 100 times since the schools began playing in 1899, playing every year except 1901, 1902, 1906, 1907, 1918, 1924, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1943, 1944, and 1945. This is one of the oldest interstate rivalries west of the Mississippi River. The series is the oldest rivalry for both schools and the "Border War" has been played in three different centuries. CSU leads the series 59-50-5.
Main article: Hawaii–Wyoming football rivalry
The Paniolo Trophy is awarded to the winner of the college football games played between Wyoming and Hawaii Rainbow Warriors football Hawaii. This rivalry started in 1979 when Hawaii joined the Western Athletic Conference WAC conference and was played annually until 1997, shortly before Wyoming joined the newly formed Mountain West Conference. Hawaii joined the MWC as a football–only affiliate member in 2012, renewing the rivalry. Wyoming leads the series 16–11.
Main article: Utah State–Wyoming football rivalry
Bridger's Battle is the name for the games played between Wyoming and Utah State, the winner of which is awarded the trophy of the rivalry, a .50 caliber Rocky Mountain Hawken rifle. The rivalry started in 1903, and renewed as an annual game in 2013 when Utah State joined the Mountain West Conference. However, with divisions going away in 2023, this streak of annual meetings ended. USU leads the series 40-28-4.
Air Force and Wyoming have played each other every year in this Front Range rivalry since 1980 and met an additional 18 times before that, for a total of 60 contests. Their proximity has made them division rivals in multiple conferences. Two-time WAC Defensive Player of the Year Mitch Donahue once said “I hated them more than CSU. They were good, fast and little. They would bite at your heels all the time.” In 1998, #23 Air Force defeated number #25 Wyoming to win the WAC championship 10–7. In 2012 after Air Force defeated Wyoming, former Wyoming coach Dave Christensen went on a profanity-laced tirade about Air Force coach Troy Calhoun that drew national attention and a $50,000 fine for Christensen. As of 2022, the 2012 game is the last time that Air Force has won a game in Laramie. The teams did not meet in the COVID-19 season, and UW won the 2022 meeting 17–14. This is a closely fought contest, with the Air Force Academy leading the all-time series 30-27-3.
Wyoming and Brigham Young have played each other 79 times, with BYU leading the series 46-30-3. BYU was arguably Wyoming's second biggest rival until BYU left the Mountain West to become an independent in 2011. Utah and Wyoming have played each other 85 times, which makes Utah Wyoming's most played opponent outside of Colorado State. Similar to the BYU series, the rivalry took a major blow when Utah left the MWC in 2010. UW'S record against the Utes is 32-51-1. New Mexico and Wyoming have played each other 76 times. The Lobos and Cowboys have faced off every year since 1949 except for a 4 year stretch from 1995-1998. UW holds the advantage over UNM 40-36.
Announced schedules as of July 20, 2023.
|Texas Tech||at Arizona State||at Akron||North Texas||at Utah||Idaho State||California||at Arizona||at California||Arizona|
|Portland State||Idaho||Cal Poly||Northern Colorado||Southern Utah||Akron||at UConn||North Texas||New Mexico State|
|at Texas||BYU||Utah||at Central Michigan||at North Texas||at Texas Tech||at UTEP|
|Appalachian State||at North Texas||at Colorado||UConn||Central Michigan||UTEP|
Nearly 50 years after a group of black Wyoming football players were kicked off the team for even contemplating a protest, a new documentary gives their courage an overdue spotlight.