The 1984-85 Cowboy Wrestling team finished with an 8-3 dual record and won the Western Athletic Conference and Mountain Intercollegiate Wrestling Association championships. They crowned six conference champions – Bill Hodges, Scott Rardin, Scott Chipperfield, Mike Hamel, Ron Whitman, and John Bragg. Qualifying six wrestlers for the NCAA Tournament, the Cowboys finished 52 nd overall nationally. The 1985-86 team finished 7-0-1 and was ranked 9 th in the country. The Cowboys also won the WAC and the MIWA and featured six conference champions – Mike McNaney, Mike Hamel, Brian Wilson, Joe DeCamillis, John Bragg, and Jon Cogdill. With six qualifiers, they tied for 32 nd at the NCAA Tournament.

1984-85 Wyoming Cowboys
1 st row: Steve Chastain, George Hara, David Shin, Brian Woods, Bill Stults, Scott Chipperfield, Hank Roney, Tawn Argeris.
2 nd row: Mike McNaney, Joe Robinson, Clint Proffit, Brian Sidwell, Andy Bell, Chad Taylor, Lonnie Currier, Sam Nuckolls, Dave Field.
3 rd row: Jim Blackwell, Ron Whitman, John Bragg, Bryan Wilson, Nick Metzler, Danny Jackson, Greg Bell, Shawn Perry, Mike Hamel.
4 th row: Assistant Coach Marvin Gasner, Joe DeCamillis, Bill Lingenfelser, Gordon Knopp, Dean Finnerty, Pete Park, Jim Skovgard, Jay Meyer, Scott Rardin, Head Coach Joe Dowler.

1985-86 Wyoming Cowboys
1 st row: George Hara, Tawn Argeris, Shawn Perry, Mike Hamel, Dan Jackson, Chad Taylor, Greg Bell, Andy Bell, Mike McNaney, John Bragg.
2 nd row: Mike Williams, Bryan Wilson, Dean Finnerty, Bill Stults, Scott Rardin, Mike Beck, Jim Skovgard, Steve Chastain, Joe DeCamillis, Gordon Knopp.
3 rd row: Dale Patterson, Troy Doughman, Craig Walters, Scott Ruff, Will Romero, Danny Montez, Don Julian, Lary Long, Todd Taylor, Chris Tognoni.
4 th row: Mark Voloshin, Ralph Campana, Joe Mejia, Brian Spaulding, Troy Lake, Greg McClure, Brad O’Melia, Bill Peters, Denny Childs, Duncan Irvine, Lyle Richardson.


Coached by Bill Strannigan, the 1968-69 Cowboy Basketball team tied for the Western Athletic Conference championship with an overall record of 19-9 and a conference record of 6-4. The Cowboys led the league in team defense in conference play, allowing 72.1 points per game. Selected to play in the National Invitation Tournament in Madison Square Garden, they faced a tough Army team in the first round, and fell 51-49 in a hard-fought contest. The team featured all-conference first-team players Carl Ashley and Harry Hall, and second-team all-conference honoree Stan Dodds. Others on the team were Eli Bebout, Terry Childers, Steve Eberle, Bill Lazzeri, Steve Mountjoy, Steve Popovich, Brad Smith, Gary von Krosigk, Bob Wilson, and Roy Wilson. Bill Purden served as the assistant coach.
1968-69 Men’s Basketball Team
1 st row: Eli Bebout, Steve Popovich, Gary von Krosigk, Carl Ashley, Stan Dodds.
2 nd row: Terry Childers, Bill Lazzeri, Harry Hall, Brad Smith, Steve Mountjoy.
3 rd row: Assistant Coach Bill Purden, Steve Eberle, Bob Wilson, Roy Wilson, Head Coach Bill Strannigan.


One of the best all-around players in Wyoming history, Vandiver was a three-time all-Mountain West conference selection. As a senior, she was named conference Player of the Year after averaging 19.6 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in conference play. She recorded double- figures in both scoring and rebounding in 27 of 28 games her senior season. During her career at Wyoming, she also earned Academic All-District VII honors, all-conference academic honors, and was named a Mountain West Scholar-Athlete. As a freshman in 2007, she played a key role coming off the bench during the WNIT championship run. After graduation, she played professionally in Spain before embarking on a military career to serve her country.


One of the most exciting student-athletes ever to play at Wyoming, Larry Nance, Jr., was a tremendous all-around player. The Mountain West Defensive player of the year in 2014-15, he was a two-time all-conference player as well as a two-time all-defensive team honoree. He led Wyoming to the Mountain West Conference tournament championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament in 2015, earning all-MW Tournament honors in the process. He finished his career at Wyoming as a 1,000-point scorer, and in the top ten all-time in rebounds, blocked shots, and steals. A prolific dunker and fan favorite, he was featured numerous times on ESPN’s
Top 10 highlights. He was drafted in the first round of the 2015 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Lakers, and is now a member of the New Orleans Pelicans.


Chad Lavin was named head coach of the Wyoming Cowgirls basketball team in 1986 and had an immediate impact on the program. He produced a 175-162 overall record, with one conference championship in 1989-90 (still the only regular-season conference championship in Cowgirl history), and four top-three conference finishes. He was the High Country Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 1986-87 and 1989-90. Among the standout players he coached are Michelle Hoppes, Christine Fairless, Yvette Plumlee, Marie Kauffman, Amy Burnett, Jesseca Cross, and Courtney Stapp. Lavin also had a major influence on girls’ basketball in the State of Wyoming, conducting numerous coaching clinics in Laramie and around the state. His Cowgirl basketball camps were the largest in the area for many years, helping to raise the level of play of girls’ basketball in the region.


The first Cowboy to rush for 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons, Dawson starred at running back and earned all-Western Athletic Conference honors both years at UW. He led the league in rushing yards as a junior, and was fourth in the league his senior year. Dawson was instrumental in the Pokes’ WAC championship in 1988 while winning conference Newcomer of the Year. He is second all-time in average rushing yards per season, and also averaged 25.9 yards per kickoff return. A favorite among fans and teammates, Dawson was a team captain in 1989. After graduating from Wyoming with a degree in Business, Dawson founded and leads the LID Foundation (“Leaders in Development”) aimed at providing resources to children who are aging out of the foster care system.

1988 Football Team

The 1988 football team finished the season with an overall record of 11-2, winning the Western Athletic Conference with a league record of 8-0 and playing in its second straight Holiday Bowl. With a high-scoring offense led by first-year starter Randy Welniak at quarterback and a ferocious defense, the Cowboys won their first ten games, including the first night game in the history of War Memorial Stadium, a 24-14 victory over Brigham Young University, and a remarkable 48-45 comeback win at Air Force. Ranked as high as 10th in the nation, the Cowboys had eight players named to the All-Conference team, as well as the offensive player of the year (Welniak), the Defensive Player of the Year (DT Pat Rabold), and the Newcomer of the Year (RB Dabby Dawson).  Nine Cowboys earned honorable-mention All-America honors with one (Rabold) being named Second Team All-America. Head Coach Paul Roach was named Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year for the second straight year. Wyoming’s defensive front four (Dave Edeen, Craig Schlichting, Rabold, and Mitch Donahue) accounted for 48 quarterback sacks on the year.


PHOTO ID – Front row, left to right:  Tony Kapushion, Gaston Gosar, Tom Kilpatrick, Dave Edeen, Mike Schenbeck, Shawn Wehrer, Rich Miller, Randy Welniak, Grant Salisbury, John Brasee, Brad Quiring.  Second row:  Trent Greener, Freddie Dussett, Steve McMillon, Eric Coleman, Pat Rabold, John Walsh.  Third row:  P. J. Wells, Mark Timmer, Dabby Dawson, Doug Rigby, Dan Cudworth, Mark Foos, Steve Slay, Craig Schlichting, Steve Addison, Mitch Donahue, Jon Cogdill, Shawn Wiggins, Crandelle Mack.  Fourth row:  Melvin Wells, Carl Bruere, Ted Gilmore, Matt O’Brien, Mitch Rosebrough, Lee Carter, Jim Scifres, Eric Worden, Derrick Spack, Ryan Vowers, Tyrone Fittje, Quentin Skinner, Bobby Fresques.  Fifth row:  Bryan Mooney, Scott Skavdahl, Kevin Schitoskey, Scott Addison, Darren Wehrer, Vic Mazurie, Jay Daffer, Justin Byleveld, Tom Kramer, Sean Fleming, John Gustin, Neron D. Miller.  Sixth row:  David Johnson, Pete Gosar, Willie Wright, Peter Rowe, Mike Eldridge, Matt Fowler, Scott Powers, Steve Roe, Matt Swenson, Kirk Van Roekel, Will Hutcheson, John Wade, Richard Sauls.  Seventh row:  DeWaine Jones, Gordy Wood, Andy Yoesting, Bobby Wright, Ty Muma, Cody Johnson, Tom Corontzos, Jim Pennington, Andy Metcalf, Pat Thomas, Rod Merchant, Kiowa Moore, Tim Taft.  Eighth row:  Damian Spencer, Dorrell Drake, Lance Jackson, Lee Hamilton, Pete Wilkie, Ross Crum, Craig Lockhorn, Steve Palluck, Shawn Dostal, Bob Hanson, Jarrod Thiele, Luke Weith, Joe Benedetti, Derrick Palmer, Brett Maynard.  Ninth row:  Cedric Duncan, Robert Midgett, General Jackson, Chris Mortimer, Matt Sims, Paul Wallace, Daryl Harris, Scott Gibson, Fred Harris, Steve Mann, George Dozier, Steve Bena, Steve Sikic, Vaughn Henderson.  Tenth row:  Glenn Hampton, Joe Irribarren, John Bruley, Chad Denton, Joe Wahlgren, Greg Peters, Andy Pett, Peter Gunn, Gregg Brown, Andre Rudolph, Davion Henson, Brady Jacobsen.


Not pictured:  Head Coach Paul Roach, Assistant Coaches Gregg Brandon, Greg Brown, Dave Butterfield, Scott Downing, Larry Korpitz, Joe Tiller, Mark Tommerdahl, Del Wight, and Bill Cockerham; Head equipment manager Michael Aanonsen; Head athletic trainer Bill Lyons; Student athletic trainers Traci Vorn, Dan Dalen, Julie Abbott, Wayne Petsch, Tony Bare, Syd Webb, Amy Garwood, Donna St. Clair, Kenna Tanner, and Todd Nalder; Student equipment managers Mike Corbin, Jeff Gallagher, Greg Gorney, Sherry Hartleip, Mark Rotellini, Rick Mitchelson, and Sam Mirich.

Leslie Paul “Les” Witte

Wyoming’s first nationally-recognized student-athlete, Les Witte dominated the college basketball world in the early 1930s.  A three-time All-American, he led Wyoming to the Helms Foundation national championship in 1934 and thrust Wyoming into the national spotlight.  Playing for his brother, Coach Willard “Dutch” Witte, Les Witte was Wyoming’s first 1,000-point scorer, first basketball All-American, and first consensus All-American in any sport.  He was a four-time, first-team All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference honoree, and led UW in scoring each of his four years (rewriting the UW record book in the process). The Cowboys were 82-15 during Witte’s playing career and won four RMAC Eastern Division titles and two outright RMAC championships, finishing second the other two times by a total of three points.  The 1932 RMAC title was Wyoming’s first conference championship in a major sport.  Witte graduated from UW with a degree in Geology and went on to a distinguished career with the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation.

Grant Salisbury

Salisbury was the center for the Cowboy football team during one of its most successful eras.

An honorable mention All-America in 1988, he was a two-time all-conference selection and was a major part of two championship teams.  He anchored an offensive line equally skilled in run and pass-blocking.  His head coach Paul Roach said of him at the time “he’s the main spoke, the heart of our offensive line.  Grant has developed into one of the best centers in college football, and he’s one of the finest guys I’ve coached”.  His offensive line coach, Joe Tiller, said “Grant is tough and he’s smart.  I don’t know that he’s smarter than he is tough or tougher than he is smart, but that combination makes him a fine football player and a heck of a guy.”

Erin Kirby

An extremely talented two-sport athlete, Erin Kirby earned honors and set records in both Volleyball and Track at UW.  As a middle blocker in Volleyball, she earned all-Mountain West Conference honors four times, and was named Player of the Week four times during her career.  She holds the UW career records for blocks and sets-played and is second in hitting percentage.  She had a single-season record-setting 225 blocks in 2013, leading the Mountain West Conference and second in the nation.  She also earned Academic All-Conference honors four times and was one of thirty NCAA Division I women student-athlete candidates for the Senior Class Award in college volleyball.  In Track, she was the Mountain West 400 meter hurdles champion as a freshman.  Over her career, she earned all-Conference honors in the Indoor 4×400 relay, the Outdoor 400 meter hurdles (twice), the Indoor 400 meter hurdles, and the Outdoor 4×400 meter relay (twice).  She holds nine top-ten marks in the UW record books.  Following graduation, she played one year of professional volleyball in Sweden.