How Long Does Craig Bohl Plan to Coach at Wyoming?
LAS VEGAS -- "Thanks for reminding me."
That was Craig Bohl's reaction when asked what it's like to be the longest-tenured coach in Wyoming football history.
Lloyd Eaton once held that title. He roamed the sidelines at War Memorial Stadium for nine seasons from 1962-70. For Bohl, this will be Year 10.
He called the situation "unique." Only Air Force's Troy Calhoun -- 16 seasons -- has a longer stint at one institution in the Mountain West Conference. Iowa's Kirk Ferentz (24), Utah's Kyle Whittingham (18) and Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy (18) lead the way.
"It's comfortable for me," said Bohl, adding he coached at North Dakota State for 11 seasons before coming to Laramie.
Bohl turned 65 years old on Thursday. He's the eldest coach in the league and seventh oldest in the FBS. His contract -- one that expires after the 2024 campaign -- became a topic of discussion at the annual media days event in Las Vegas.
Bohl said the energy and fire is still there. The day it isn't, he added, he doesn't want to suffer the same fate as some of his colleagues.
If he's worried about his current deal with UW, he isn't showing it.
"For me to have the energy to be on a sideline on a Friday night up in who knows where and fly back, do a game and be up at work drinking coffee at six in the morning and go until nine o'clock at night, It's all I've known," he said. "If that would ever dissipate or I start to lose that edge, then I go. I think that there are coaches who have tried to hang on quote 'too long' and that's kind of a sad place.
"I think we've got a good football team coming back and we've recruited well. I think this freshman class is outstanding and I see a real bright future."
Tom Burman appeared on the Roaring Repeater Podcast in mid-April. Wyoming's Athletic Director said he had yet to speak with Bohl about a contract extension. That doesn't mean that topic won't come up in the future.
"Coach Bohl is at that stage in his life where I think we will sit down after each year and figure out where he wants to go and what's next for him," Burman said. "I love having him as the head coach at the University of Wyoming and he represents us very well nationally. I mean, obviously, the name of this game is winning, but we're pretty darn productive. I think we're going to be very good this year and having him on our sidelines is valuable."
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Bohl, who is 52-56 overall in Laramie and sports a 32-38 record in conference play, said he is in a different position than he was in his early days at UW. He said the "biggest compass" is the administration and the state's comfortability with his leadership. That doesn't mean the old dog hasn't had to learn a few new tricks along the way. The NCAA Transfer Portal, along with Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) legislation being the main culprits.
"I think it's important for me to evolve in the changing landscape of college athletics," Bohl said. "You know, the term old school probably would fit pretty well with my DNA, And as a result, some of the things that, you know, I traditionally believed in -- good, bad, whatever -- those things have changed some."
Wyoming will open the regular season Sept. 2 when Texas Tech pays a visit to the high plains. If you want to know where Bohl's focus is currently, look no further.
Contract talks can wait.
"I know there's not a lot of 65-year-old coaches out there, but there's some that are doing pretty good," he said with a grin. "You know, I think, (Alabama) coach (Nick) Saban (71) is still rocking along. I mean, I started looking at the guys that are my age that are doing it, and some of them have been removed. And some of them have removed themselves. That's not where I want to be."
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