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Shyatt steps down as Wyoming men's basketball coach - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

Shyatt steps down as Wyoming men's basketball coach

Posted: Updated:
LARAMIE, Wyo. -

University of Wyoming Athletics Director Tom Burman announced Monday that Larry Shyatt has decided to step aside as head coach of the Cowboy basketball team. During his six seasons at the helm, Shyatt returned the Pokes to national prominence with renewed success on the court and in the classroom.

“We are extremely grateful to Coach Shyatt for what he has done for these past five seasons in building Wyoming basketball into a program Cowboy fans are proud of,” Burman said. “From leading his team to the Mountain West tournament championship and an NCAA berth last year, to the academic success of the young men who have played for him, he has built this program the right way. We thank him and his wife, Pam, for their years of service to the University of Wyoming, and we wish them all the best in the next phase of their lives.”

Shyatt leaves Wyoming as one of the most successful coaches in program history. He led the Cowboys to five postseason berths, including the NCAA Championships last March. That 2014-15 season included winning the Mountain West tournament title to secure the Pokes’ first appearance in the NCAA tournament since 2002. Under his direction, the Cowboys have eight wins over top-25 opponents, including three against top-10 foes, as he is the fastest coach ever to reach 100 wins at UW.

Individually, Shyatt coached eight Wyoming players to 18 all-conference honors, including a MW Player of the Year and two MW Defensive Players of the Year. He also recruited and coached Larry Nance Jr., who was picked 27th overall in the first round of last year’s NBA draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. Shyatt finished with a 117-78 overall record in his six seasons at Wyoming.

In the classroom, Shyatt has helped the Pokes to a four-year average APR of 951, the highest mark in the program’s history, as a total of 15 players have earned their degrees since his return. Current Cowboys Josh Adams and Jason McManamen are also on track to graduate this spring. The team has earned above a 2.8 grade-point average each of the last six semesters.

Shyatt issued the following written statement:

This is a very emotional moment for me and my family. As has been announced, I am
stepping aside from my position as head basketball coach. This is not a decision that was made
impulsively. Rather, it is a move that was arrived at after much soul-searching and discussion. I
am ending my career here with the reluctant blessing of Tom Burman and the administration,
and while they did their best to convince me to stay on, I believe that the timing of my decision is
in the best interests of everyone involved.
When we made the decision to return to Laramie 5 years ago, we had some unfinished
business. First and foremost, we wanted to help restore respect, excitement, and
competitiveness to this proud basketball program. I wanted us to build a championship team…
something that we were able to accomplish last season. I did not do this alone…I was fortunate
to assemble an incredible staff who had the same visions as I did. Few programs have a staff of
such loyal, smart, and committed individuals as do the Cowboys. The players we recruited were
aware of the challenges they faced in their quest for success, but, for the most part, they stayed
the course, and their focus and determination not only led to individual and team
accomplishments over the past 5 years, but have resulted in attracting a new group of talented
young men who have committed themselves to continuing this success.
My second piece of unfinished business was to be able to coach with my son. It was
always a dream of mine to work side by side with Jeremy, and while we haven’t always agreed
on things, I consider this time with Jeremy to have been the best time of my 43-year coaching
career.
I have all the confidence that the Wyoming basketball program will not skip a beat, as I
know the competence of this talented staff and the potential of our current players will result in
nothing less than success.
Very few coaches survive in this profession for 43 years. Fewer get to exit on their own
terms. I have been so fortunate to be able to do both. But, I have not been on this journey alone.
The true “heroes” through all of this are my wife, Pam, and my sons, Jeremy, Geoff, and Philip.
They sacrificed much over the years…my time, my attention, my presence during important life
events. Because of me they had to move many times, leaving behind friends and places they
called “home”. But, through it all, they remained my biggest supporters and without their
strength and love, I would have left coaching long before this.
I also owe a debt of gratitude to my “mentors” who, showed me what to do to be
successful, what mistakes should be avoided, but more importantly, to never trade integrity for
wins. While there were many times I experienced the pain and pressures of losing, I was not
willing to trade success for self-respect.
Pam, who is my best friend, and I do not know, yet, what the next “chapter” of our lives
will be. Spending some much needed time with Geoff and his wife, Susie, in Atlanta, Philip in
South Carolina, my mother, age 90, and Pam’s mother, age 95…both in Ohio…is at the top of
the list. But, with Jeremy and Felicia here, we will certainly not be strangers to Laramie and
Cowboy basketball.
Please know that Pam and I are truly grateful to everyone for allowing us to return and
give back to all of you some of what you have given to us. I know that there will be many who
might be distressed by my decision. I hope that when all is said and done, you will believe how
much we will always love this school, the state, and all who are a part of both, and wish us well.
Thank you and Go Pokes.
Coach Shy
WEATHER
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