Hometown: Laramie, Wyoming
Elsie Jo Bonger worked for seven different coaching staffs during her 16 years as secretary in the Wyoming football office. The success of any organization comes from dedication, discipline, hard work and a team-oriented mentality, and Elsie Jo fit the description perfectly. Always a warm smile, a listening ear and a word of encouragement, her attitude was never anything but positive. It didn’t matter whether she was dealing with a coaching staff that had just lost a big game, a homesick student-athlete, a fan, a parent, or someone in the athletics department, Elsie Jo was there for them. She was the glue that held the football office together, and kept it running smoothly. To the Cowboy players, Elsie Jo was “mom away from home”. So many Cowboys went to her with their problems, and she usually had the solution. When players could not make it home for the holidays, she opened her home for fellowship and hospitality. She was more responsible for keeping young, homesick Cowboys at UW, than any other single person. She also was a source of stability and calm for everyone during coaching transitions. Everyone shared in her kindness, wisdom, guidance, thoughtfulness and unconditional love that was so much a part of her spirit. She was symbolic of “Welcome to Big, Wonderful Wyoming” and all of its love and beauty.