Wyoming Cowboys


Wyoming Cowboys

Infobox college athletics
name = Wyoming Cowboys/Cowgirls

university = University of Wyoming
conference = Mountain West
division = Division I
director = Tom Burman
city = Laramie
state = Wyoming
stateabb = WY
teams = 15
stadium = War Memorial Stadium
arena = Arena-Auditorium
mascot = Cowboy Joe (Horse) and Pistol Pete (Character)
nickname = Cowboys, Cowgirls
fightsong = Ragtime Cowboy Joe
color1 = Brown
color2 = Gold
hex1 = 593D2B
hex2 = DDCCA5
pageurl = http://wyomingathletics.cstv.com/
pagename = Wyoming Athletics

Wyoming Cowboys is the name given to the sports teams of the University of Wyoming. The women's teams use the name Cowgirls. The University is a member of the Mountain West Conference and competes in NCAA Division I, fielding 15 varsity teams. Wrestling is the only varsity sport that is not a member of the Mountain West Conference. It competes in the Western Wrestling Conference. The logo that adorns uniforms of the athletes is one of the most distinctive in the nation. The football helmets were chosen as the third best logo helmet (no letters) by Sports Illustrated's 10 Spot.Cite web | url=http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2004/writers/pete_mcentegart/11/19/ten.spot/index.html | title=The 10 Spot: Nov. 19, 2004 | publisher="sportsillustrated.cnn.com"] On October 12, 2006, Tom Burman was named the University's athletic director.

History

Nickname

The nickname Cowboys was used as early as 1891 when a true cowboy assisted the Wyoming football team against a team from Cheyenne, Wyoming. One of the Cheyenne players allegedly yelled "Hey, look at that cowboy," and the name stuck.Cite web | url=http://wyomingathletics.cstv.com/trads/cowboys.html | title=Cowboys | publisher="wyomingathletics.com"]

Mascots

Wyoming is unusual in having two school mascots; "Cowboy Joe" (a pony present primarily at football games) and "Pistol Pete" (a cowboy). The athletic teams are cheered on by the school song "Ragtime Cowboy Joe" and the fight song "Fight, Wyoming, Fight". Men's athletic teams are known as "Cowboys" and women's teams are called "Cowgirls". Teams of either gender are also referred to as "Pokes", short for Cowpokes.

Football

Football began in 1893 at UW, and games were played against local high schools and Front Range colleges. War Memorial Stadium was built in 1950 with an original capacity of 20,000 fans.Cite web | url=http://wyomingathletics.cstv.com/facilities/warmemorial.html | title=Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium | publisher="wyomingathletics.com"] The stadium sits at 7,200 feet above sea level, and is the highest Division I football stadium in the United States. Currently the stadium holds 32,580 fans. The Wyoming Cowboys have two teams that are considered rivals. Wyoming and Colorado State meet annually in the Border War; the winner receives the Bronze Boot trophy. The series is at an even 20-20. Brigham Young University is also considered a rival. Fans in western Wyoming tend to believe that BYU is the biggest rival, while fans in the rest of the state believe it is CSU. In 2004, the Cowboy football team ended a 38-year bowl game victory drought by defeating the University of California, Los Angeles in the Las Vegas Bowl on December 23, 2004.

Men's Basketball

Wyoming's Men's Basketball team has also had its share of success. In 1943 it defeated Georgetown University 46-34 to win the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship. Fennis Dembo was a popular player in the mid 80's.

Women's Basketball

The Women's Basketball team hosted and won the 2006-2007 WNIT (Women's National Invitation Tournament) after not receiving a bid in the 2006-2007 NCAA Tournament. The Cowgirls finished with a 27-9 overall record and 11-5 in the Mountain West Conference. They also finished second among Division I institutions with one of the largest increases from the previous season. They averaged 1,699 during the 2005-06 season compared to 4,638 during the 2006-07 Season. They also finished 22nd among NCAA Attendance leaders, averaging 8,757 fans a game.

In 2008, the Cowgirls finished the season with a 24-7 record overall, 12-4 in conference play. This earned them an at large bid for the NCAA tournament for the first time in history. They lost in the first round to Pittsburgh.

Cross Country

The Cowboy Men's and Women's Cross Country teams have had notable success over the years.

University of Wyoming Cross Country Deaths

In 2001 the team lost 8 runners in an accident involving another Wyoming student, Clinton Haskins. Haskins was drunk at the time and is currently serving 14-20 years for his crime.Cite web | url=http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/02/03/earlyshow/contributors/tracysmith/main671470.shtml | title=Killer Drunk Driver Tries To Atone | publisher="CBS"]

Olympic Sports

University of Wyoming athletics has also been represented on the Olympic stage by swim sensation Scott Usher. Usher was a member of the University of Wyoming Men's Swimming and Diving team from 2000 to 2004 where he was a 5-time NCAA All-American and six time Mountain West Conference individual champion and record holder.Cite web | url=http://wyomingathletics.cstv.com/sports/c-swim/mtt/usher_scott00.html| title=Player Bio: Scott Usher | publisher="www.wyomingathletics.com"] In 2004 he qualified for the Athens Olympic Games in the 200 breast stroke and missed qualifying in the 100 breast stroke by .29 of a second.Cite web | url=http://www.olympic-usa.org/26_22036.htm| title=United States Olympic Committee - Usher, Scott | publisher="www.olympic-usa.org"] At the Athens Olympics, the Nebraska native swam to an impressive 7th place finish in the 200 breast stroke. He is currently a U.S. national team member and was recently named to the 2007 U.S. World Championship Team.Cite web | url=http://www.tyr.com/scottusher.php| title=Athletes: Scott Usher | publisher="www.tyr.com"]

Rugby

Although technically UW Rugby union is a club sport, founded in 1972, it has consistently been one of the more successful programs at Wyoming. The team competes in Division I and are a member of the Eastern Rockies Rugby Football Union (ERRFU) along with Colorado State, Colorado, and Air Force. While UW rugby is a club sport, it competes against scholarship teams such as New Mexico. The team regularly makes it the national tournament. In 2000, they were runner-ups to the University of California at Berkeley. In 1991 and 2002, they placed fourth in the nation.Cite web | url=http://calbears.cstv.com/sports/m-rugby/archive/cal-m-rygby-champs.html | title=National Collegiate Rugby Championships | publisher="calbears.cstv.com"]

Women's Rugby

There is also a Women's rugby team at the University of Wyoming known as Wyoming Women's Rugby Football Union (WWRFU) which started in 1985. They are a club sport but like the men, compete at a Division 1 level. As a member of the Eastern Rockies Rugby Football Union(ERRFU) they play teams like Colorado State University, Air force, and the University of Colorado. Another recently added team to ERRFU is the University of New Mexico. Though the women's team has far less numbers than the men's team, they continue to grow making it to their first regional tournament in 2007 where they finished in third place in the union and fourth place in the West Rugby conference. [ [http://uwadmnweb.uwyo.edu/Clubsports/main/women_rugby.asp University of Wyoming Web Templates ] ]

National Championships

*Skiing (2): 1968, 1985
*Men's Basketball (1): 1943 [ [http://wyomingathletics.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/wyo-m-baskbl-body.html WyomingAthletics.com : Men's Basketball :: University of Wyoming : Official Athletic Site ] ]
*Hockey (1): 2001 [ [http://www.uwyo.edu/UWYOHOCKEY/ Wyoming Cowboys Hockey ] ]

Traditions

Wyoming's fight song is Ragtime Cowboy Joe. [http://wmedia.uwyo.edu/marchingband/cowboyjoe.mp3 Ragtime Cowboy Joe MP3] . In football, the fight song is sung throughout the game including when the team runs on the field, at kickoff, and after a touchdown. A cannon in the north end zone fires every time a point is scored. When the football teams runs from the RAC locker room to Jonah Field, they touch the Steamboat bronze statue for good luck. The beer song is a long-standing tradition with the students. The students will occasionally chant "Beer Song, Beer Song" until the band plays it. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmR7Ts8Q7NE UW Beer Song at the 2007 WNIT Championship Game]

Ragtime Cowboy Joe

"He always sings
Raggy music to the cattle
as he swings
back and forward in the saddle,
on a horse - a pretty good horse!
He's got a syncopated gaiter,
and you ought to hear the meter
to the roar of his repeater;
how they run - yes run! -
when they hear him 'a-comin',
cause the western folks all know,
he's a high-falootin', rootin, tootin',
son of a gun from ol' Wyoming,
Ragtime Cowboy
Talk about your Cowboy,
Ragtime Cowboy Joe.
C!
O!
W!
B!
O!
Y!
S!
Cowboys! Cowboys! Cowboys!

OR for the Cowgirls:
C!
O!
W!
G!
I!
R! L! S!
Cowgirls! Cowgirls! Cowgirls!

Beer Song

In Heaven there is no beer, NO BEER!
That's why we drink it here, RIGHT HERE!
And when we're gone from here,
All our friends will be drinkin' all the Be-e-eer

Facilities

Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium

Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium, capacity 32,580, was built in 1950. The playing field is at an elevation of 7,220 feet (2200m), the highest in Division I football. The natural grass field was replaced by artificial turf in 2005. The new surface, known as Desso Challenge Pro 60 Monofilament Synthetic Turf, is the first of its kind in Division I.

Near the north end zone is a bronze statue depicting the Steamboat and rider logo. At the beginning of the game and at halftime, the team runs from the locker room in the RAC to the field and the statue is touched as a token of good luck.

Arena-Auditorium

The Wyoming basketball teams have always enjoyed playing on the "Highest Courts" in the nation. Built in 1982 at a cost of $15 million, the Arena-Auditorium commonly called the A-A (or "Dome of Doom") seats over 15,000. It has been home to the Cowboys since its opening, and to the Cowgirls since 2003. In the yard outside the A-A, is a beautiful statue named "Fanning a Twister." This statue is a cowboy on top of bucking bronco, similar to the sports logo.

UniWyo Sports Complex

The UniWyo Sports Complex serves as the facility for Cowboys wrestling and Cowgirls volleyball, and was also home to the Cowgirls basketball team before it moved into the Arena-Auditorium in 2003. The seating capacity is approximately 1,200 people. It is situated north of the Field House, south of the Arena-Auditorium, and northwest of War Memorial Stadium. Formerly the Multi-purpose Gymnasium, it was renamed in 2005 to the UniWyo Sports Complex thanks in part to a $1 million gift.

Rochelle Athletics Center

Commonly called the RAC (pronounced "Rack"), it opened its doors on August 31, 2001. It serves as the training facility for all varsity sports. It also contains the football locker room, an academic and counseling center, and a sports medicine facility. It began construction May of 2000, and was competed at a cost of $9.4 million.Cite web | url=http://wyomingathletics.cstv.com/genrel/rac.html | title=Building Wyoming's Athletic Legacy into the 21st Century, The Rochelle Athletics Center | publisher="www.wyomingathletics.com"]

Indoor Practice Facility

Construction on the new Indoor Practice Facility (also called the IPF) began in Fall of 2006. It is located on the north portion of the War Memorial Stadium parking lot, north east of the stadium. It is 82 feet high, and has a total of 85,000 square feet. Due to the potential for inclement weather in Laramie, it will be a highly useful tool in recruiting and protection from the elements. When completed it will incorporate a plaza area between the RAC and lobby of the IPF that will be beautifully landscaped. It was completed at the end of 2007 at a total cost of $11 million.

Glenn "Red" Jacoby Golf Club

Named after the legendary University of Wyoming Athletics Director Glenn "Red" Jacoby (1946-73), the Jacoby Golf course one of two golf courses in Laramie, Wyoming. It is located just east of the University of Wyoming campus and it is home to the University Men's and Women's Golf Team. The University of Wyoming Physical Plant maintains upkeep on the course. The golf course is not only used by the university, it is open to the public as well. The total length of the course measures 6,855 yards.

Larry V. Birleffi Press Booth

The press booth was named in 1992 for Larry Birleffi (1918-2008), a radio and television broadcaster known for nearly a half century as the orignal "Voice of the University of Wyoming Cowboys". In 1996, Birleffi was inducted into the UW Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame. In 2001, he was named "Outstanding Alumni" for the UW College of Arts and Sciences. In 2003, he was inducted to the Wyoming Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame. [Obituary of Larry V. Birleffi, Cheyenne "Wyoming Tribune-Eagle", September 29, 2008:http://www.wyomingnews.com/articles/2008/09/28/obituaries/01obit_09-28-08.txt]

Future Facilities and Improvements

Currently the athletic department has several projects regarding athletics facilities on its platter. Continual improvements to War Memorial Stadium are being planned. The addition of luxury boxes are in the planning stages, as well as a facade on the east side of the stadium. Paving the parking lot is also planned for the near future. Indoor tennis facilities are also on the agenda. In a recent interview, Tom Burman also mentioned that he would like the Arena-Auditorium to be state of the art, and would like to add luxury suites.

See also

*University of Wyoming
*Bronze Boot
*University of Wyoming Soccer

External links

* [http://www.wyomingathletics.com Official University of Wyoming Athletics Site]
* [http://wyoming.rivals.com Rivals Wyoming Sports Message Board]
* [http://www.wyonation.com Wyoming Athletics and Message Board]

References


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