The 1976 Wyoming Cowboy football team brought gridiron success and excitement back to UW for the first time since the Black 14 incident in 1969. The Cowboys went 8-4 overall and were co-champions of the Western Athletic Conference with a 6-1 conference record. Led by quarterbacks Don Clayton and Marc Cousins, they beat BYU in Provo, a tough Arizona State team in Laramie, Arizona in Tucson, and finished the season with a win over UTEP in El Paso. Their only conference loss was a 19-16 heartbreaker at rival Colorado State. Coached by Fred Akers, who was named WAC and Region IX Coach of the Year, the Cowboys ran the Wishbone offense and featured All-American linebacker Paul Nunu, All-American offensive tackle Dennis Baker, as well all-conference performers Walter Howard (tight end), Nunu, Baker, Ray Stawowy (tackle), and Kevin McClain (safety). The team competed in Wyoming’s first bowl game in ten years, losing the Fiesta Bowl to national power Oklahoma on Christmas Day in 1976.