Craig Bohl announces coaching staff at Wyoming; Seven of nine coaching positions filled
Wyoming Head Football Coach Craig Bohl (UW)
Laramie, Wyo. (Jan. 8, 2014) — University of Wyoming head football coach Craig Bohlannounced seven members of his coaching staff and one administrative position on Wednesday. Of those eight individuals, seven came with Bohl from North Dakota State to join his new Wyoming staff. They will join Pete Kaligis, who has coached at Wyoming for the past five seasons and has been retained by Bohl. There are still two coaching positions that remain open on Bohl’s staff.
Kaligis will coach the Wyoming defensive tackles in 2014. Kaligis coached the offensive line and running backs during his past five seasons at Wyoming. Brent Vigen, who served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at North Dakota State under Bohl since 2009, will now serve as Wyoming’s offensive coordinator and QBs coach. Steve Stanard will be the Cowboys’ new defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. He was the linebackers coach at NDSU the past two seasons. Stanard has 18 years experience as a defensive coordinator at such schools as Tulane, Colorado State and New Mexico State. Kenni Burns will coach the Cowboy wide receivers. He handled the same role at North Dakota State, coaching the Bison wide receivers for the last four seasons. AJ Cooper will coach the Cowboy defensive ends and coordinate special teams — a similar position he served in at NDSU for the past five seasons (2009-13). Scott Fuchs, the offensive line coach at North Dakota State the past five seasons, will guide the Cowboy offensive line. John Richardson will coach Wyoming’s cornerbacks. He coached the Bison cornerbacks in 2012 and ‘13. Gordie Haug, who has been an offensive assistant under Bohl the past two seasons, will take over as Director of Recruiting for the Cowboy Football program.
Bohl’s staff members joining him from North Dakota State were part of three consecutive NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) National Championships in 2011, ‘12 and ‘13. Those three consecutive titles also tied the Bison with Appalachian State (2005-07) as the only two schools to win three consecutive FCS national titles.
By winning this year’s FCS National Championship, North Dakota State extended its current winning streak to 24 consecutive games, which tied both the NDSU and FCS records for consecutive victories. The Bison teams from 1964-66 originally set the school record with 24 straight victories. The University of Pennsylvania set the FCS record of 24 consecutive wins from 1992-95. That record was later tied by Montana from 2001-02.
The 2013 NDSU team also set a North Dakota State single-season record for wins, posting a perfect 15-0 record in 2013. The Bison became the first undefeated FCS National Champion since Marshall went 15-0 to win the 1996 FCS title.
The two coaching positions that remain open on Bohl’s staff are a coaching position for safeties and a position for a running backs/fullbacks/tight ends coach.
Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach
Brent Vigen brings 16 years of college-coaching experience with him to Wyoming and five years experience as an offensive coordinator. Vigen was the offensive coordinator for each of North Dakota State’s three consecutive FCS National Championships in 2011, ‘12 and ‘13. In 2013, Vigen’s offense at North Dakota State ranked No. 10 in the nation in scoring offense (38.7 points per game), No. 7 in rushing offense (257.3 yards per game) and No. 14 in total offense (457.5 yards per game).
He coached quarterback Brock Jensen, who earned Third Team All-America honors from the Associated Press in 2013. Jensen ranked No. 4 in the country in points responsible for in 2013 (264 points), No. 5 in the nation in passing efficiency (167.4 rating), No. 5 in passing TDs (34) and No. 9 in the nation in completion percentage (66.3 percent).
In each of the past two seasons, NDSU has featured a pair of 1,000-yard rushers each season and a 1,000-yard receiver each season, while Jensen set North Dakota State passing records each of the past two seasons.
Vigen, who played tight end at NDSU from 1993-97, began his college coaching career as a graduate assistant for the Bison from 1998-2000. He became a full-time coach in 2001, coaching the NDSU quarterbacks and tight ends for the 2001 and ‘02 seasons. He remained at his alma mater as the running backs coach in 2003 when Craig Bohl became head coach of the Bison. From 2004-08, Vigen was elevated to passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach, and in 2009 he was named offensive coordinator and continued to coach the Bison QBs.
Vigen earned his bachelor’s degree from NDSU in 1998 and completed his master’s degree, also from North Dakota State in 2000. He was part of three NCAA Division II Playoff squads for the Bison, helping lead NDSU to the 1994 North Central Conference Championship. He and his wife, Molly, have three boys, Jake, Grant and Luke. Molly played basketball at NDSU and was a member of the 1996 NCAA Division II National Championship team and three NCC title squads.
Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
Steve Stanard comes to Wyoming with 22 years of coaching experience at the college level and 18 years of experience as a defensive coordinator. His experience includes three seasons as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Tulane (2009-11), five years as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Colorado State (2003-07) under former head coach Sonny Lubick and three years as the defensive coordinator at New Mexico State.
As the linebackers coach at North Dakota State in 2012 and ‘13, Stanard helped the Bison rank No. 1 in the nation in scoring defense each of those two seasons, holding opponents to only 11.5 points per game in 2012 and only 11.3 points per game in 2013. NDSU led the nation in total defense in 2012, giving up only 234.5 yards per game, and ranked No. 3 in the country in total defense in 2013, allowing only 255.9 yards per game.
In 2013, Stanard coached Third Team All-America linebacker Grant Olson, who was honored as an All-American by the Associated Press. Olson set a school record with 29 tackles in NDSU’s 14-7 win over Wofford College in the 2012 NCAA FCS quarterfinals.
Stanard has been a part of nine bowl games as a player or coach. During his five seasons as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Colorado State, Stanard helped lead CSU to two bowl appearances and mentored four student-athletes who collected All-Mountain West Conference honors. Two of Stanard’s prized pupils were CSU linebackers Jeff Horinek and Eric Pauly. Pauly was a three-time Academic All-American.
Stanard began his college coaching career in 1988 as a student assistant coach at his alma mater, the University of Nebraska, under head coach Tom Osborne. At Nebraska, Stanard saw the Huskers earn seven bowl bids during his time as a student-athlete or coach. After beginning his coaching career at his alma mater, Stanard coached at Nebraska Wesleyan University for five years, serving as the school’s defensive coordinator, head coach and an assistant athletic director during that five-year span.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Nebraska in 1989 and completed his master’s degree in 1995.
Stanard and his wife Jennifer will be moving to Laramie this winter. He has four children, Austin, Paige, Max and Madison.
Defensive Tackles Coach
Pete Kaligis will be the defensive tackles coach on Craig Bohl’s staff at Wyoming. In 2013, he served as Co-Offensive Coordinator and Running Backs Coach for the Wyoming Cowboys. He added the offensive coordinator duties to his responsibilities in February of 2013. The 2013 season marked Kaligis’ 19th season as a college coach. He is entering his sixth season at Wyoming in 2014. He coached the Cowboy running backs in 2012 and ‘13. In 2013, sophomore running back Shaun Wick nearly reached the 1,000-yard plateau, rushing for 979 yards. Kaligis’ first four years at Wyoming, he coached the Cowboy offensive line.
In 2013, Wyoming ranked 22nd in the nation in total offense (472.8 yards per game) and 26th in passing offense (282.4 yards per game). The Wyoming offense ranked second in the Mountain West Conference and 38th in the nation in passing offense in 2012, averaging 265.4 yards per game. In 2012, Kaligis coached First Team All-Mountain West center Nick Carlson. Carlson was named to the Rimington Trophy Watch List for the second time his senior season. The Rimington Trophy honors the nation’s top center each season. Carlson was also named to the 2012 Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List, and was one of only 10 national finalists for the ARA Sportsmanship Award as a senior. Carlson (Tampa Bay Bucanneers) and senior offensive tackles Josh Leonard (Oakland Raiders) and Kyle Magnuson (Oakland Raiders) each were invited to NFL camps as free agents following their senior seasons.
In 2011 the Cowboy offense ranked No. 11 in the nation in fewest sacks allowed, allowing only 12 sacks in 13 games. Three UW offensive linemen earned Mountain West All-Conference honors in 2011. Senior tackle Clayton Kirven and junior center Nick Carlson were named Second Team All-Mountain West. Sophomore offensive guard Tyler Strong earned Honorable Mention All-Conference recognition. Carlson was named to the Rimington Trophy Watch List for the first time in 2011.
In 2010, Kaligis coached sophomore center Carlson, who went on to earn Honorable Mention All-Mountain West Conference honors. One of Kaligis’ 2009 Cowboys, offensive tackle Ryan Otterson, signed a free-agent contract with the San Diego Chargers following the 2010 NFL Draft.
During his 18 previous seasons coaching at the college level, Kaligis has been a part of 12 teams that advanced to postseason play, including five bowl appearances with NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision teams. In addition to the Cowboys’ appearance in the 2011 Gildan New Mexico Bowl and UW’s win in the 2009 New Mexico Bowl, Kaligis was a strength and conditioning coach at Washington when the Huskies played in the 1999 Holiday Bowl (losing to Kansas State, 24-20), won the 2000 Rose Bowl (defeating Purdue, 34-24) and played in the 2002 Sun Bowl (losing to Purdue, 34-24).
An outstanding college football player and track athlete, Kaligis started all 12 games at offensive guard for the Washington Huskies and former head football coach Don James when they captured the 1991 National Championship. The Huskies posted a perfect 12-0 record and defeated Michigan, 34-14, in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, 1992, to win the national title. He was a member of the Husky Football team from 1990-94.
He was an All-American in track and field in the shot put. He won the gold medal at the 1995 U.S. Olympic Festival, and placed third in the 1995 University Games. He participated in the 1996 Olympic Trials in track and field in the shot put.
Kaligis earned his B.A. degree in sociology and law enforcement at Washington in 1994. He and his wife Kristine have a daughter, Harlie Grace, and a son, Cooper.
Kenni Burns will coach the Cowboy wide receivers on Craig Bohl’s new coaching staff at Wyoming. Burns has coached the wide receivers the past four seasons at North Dakota State. He will be entering his eighth year as a college coach in 2014. Prior to joining the NDSU coaching staff in 2010, he spent two seasons as the tight ends coach at Southern Illinois. In addition to being part of three National Championships and three Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC) titles at NDSU, he was also part of two MVFC titles at Southern Illinois and two FCS playoff appearances with the Salukis.
In 2013, he coached 1,000-yard receiver Zach Vraa, who had 67 receptions for 1,191 yards and scored 15 touchdowns. He also coached former NDSU receiver Warren Holloway in 2011, who had 77 receptions for 1,003 yards and eight receiving TDs.
Burns began his coaching career at Millersvile (Pa.) University in 2007, where he coached the running backs.
He played running back himself at Indiana University from 2003-06. Burns was a three-year letterwinner for the Hoosiers.
A native of Springfield, Ill., Burns attended Sacred Heart Griffin (Ill.) High School. He was a three-time All-State player and was the first ever sophomore to receive All-State honors. He also received several All-America honors his senior year. He completed his bachelor’s degree at Indiana in December 2006.
Defensive Ends Coach/Special Teams
AJ Cooper comes to Wyoming after serving as a member of North Dakota State’s coaching staff the past eight seasons. His coaching career followed an outstanding playing career for the Bison. Cooper has been the defensive ends coach for NDSU the past five seasons and will continue that role at Wyoming along with coordinating special teams.
As the defensive ends coach at North Dakota State in 2012 and ‘13, Cooper helped the Bison rank No. 1 in the nation in scoring defense each of those two seasons, holding opponents to only 11.5 points per game in 2012 and only 11.3 points per game in 2013. NDSU led the nation in total defense in 2012, giving up only 234.5 yards per game, and ranked No. 3 in the country in total defense in 2013, allowing only 255.9 yards per game.
Prior to becoming the defensive ends coach in 2009, Cooper worked with the offensive line and tight ends as a student assistant and graduate assistant with the program from 2006-08.
An outstanding tight end for the Bison in the 2004 and 2005 seasons, he earned Honorable Mention All-America honors from the Football Gazette in ‘05. He caught 24 passes for 473 yards (19.7 yards per catch) and four touchdowns as a senior.
Following his college playing career, Cooper signed as an undrafted free agent with the Green Bay Packers in 2006 and received an extended look at training camp.
Originally from Phoenix, Ariz., Cooper began his college career at Glendale Community College. His final season of junior college, he led all JC tight ends in three different categories, catching 44 passes for 578 yards and eight touchdowns.
He earned his bachelor’s degree from NDSU in 2006, and was married in August 2010 to former NDSU women’s basketball player Amanda Girodat. The couple have one son, Carter Johnson.
Offensive Line Coach
Scott Fuchs brings a wealth of experience to the Cowboy coaching staff, with 17 years experience as a full-time college coach and three additional years as a graduate assistant. Fuchs has coached the North Dakota State offensive line the past five seasons, and has been an offensive line coach for 16 of his 17 years as a college coach. He was also an All-America offensive guard at NDSU in 1993.
In 2012 and 2013, Fuchs coached Consensus First Team All-America offensive tackle Billy Turner. In 2011, he coached All-America offensive tackle Paul Cornick, and former center Joe Lund was selected as the FCS Rimington Award winner, which is presented to the top center in the nation each season. All total, he has coached nine All-Americans and 31 All-Conference performers. He has been on coaching staffs that have won nine conference titles during his college coaching career.
In 2013, the North Dakota State offense ranked No. 10 in the nation in scoring offense (38.7 points per game), No. 7 in rushing offense (257.3 yards per game) and No. 14 in total offense (457.5 yards per game).
Fuchs offensive lines have helped pave the way for North Dakota State to have a 1,000-yard rusher for 11 consecutive seasons, including having two 1,000-yard rushers in each of the past three seasons 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Prior to returning to his alma mater, Fuchs coached one season at Southern Illinois in 2008. That team tied for the conference title and advanced to the FCS Playoffs. He also coached at Grand Valley State (2007), Nebraska-Omaha (2003-06), Minnesota-Crookston (2000-03), Wisconsin-Eau Claire (1999) and Valley City State (1997-98). The only school he did not coach the offensive line was his one season at Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
His first position as a college coach was as a graduate assistant at NDSU working with the tight ends from 1994-97.
He was named to the 1993 Kodak/American Football Coaches Association First Team All-America team as a senior, and was part of three North Central Conference Championships teams at NDSU.
Fuchs earned his bachelor of science degree from North Dakota State in physical education and social science education in 1995 and his master of education degree with a specialization in physical education and athletic administration in 1997.
Scott and his wife, Emily, have three boys, Hank, Jack and Gus.
John Richardson takes over as cornerbacks coach for the Wyoming Cowboys in 2014. He was a defensive assistant at his alma mater, North Dakota State, in 2012 and 2013. He has been a member of the NDSU staff since 2009, spending the 2009 and ‘10 seasons as a student assistant before becoming a graduate assistant coach in 2011.
As a full-time coach at North Dakota State in 2012 and ‘13, Cooper helped the Bison rank No. 1 in the nation in scoring defense each of those two seasons, holding opponents to only 11.5 points per game in 2012 and only 11.3 points per game in 2013. NDSU led the nation in total defense in 2012, giving up only 234.5 yards per game, and ranked No. 3 in the country in total defense in 2013, allowing only 255.9 yards per game.
This past season, Richardson coached Consensus First Team All-America cornerback Marcus Williams, who received All-America honors for the third consecutive season.
A starting cornerback at NDSU in 2007 and ‘08, Richardson made 85 tackles over his two-year career, with 57 solo tackles, 19 passes defended, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries. He began his college career in his home state of California at Mt. San Antonio Community College.
Originally from Compton, Calif., Richardson completed his bachelor’s degree in sports and recreation leadership in December 2010. He earned Missouri Valley Football Conference Honor Roll honors his senior year of 2008.
He and his wife, Sahfiya, have one son, John Michael.
Director of Recruiting
Gordie Haug will serve as the Director of Recruiting for the Wyoming Football program in 2014. He has been a member of Coach Craig Bohl’s coaching staff each of the past two seasons, working with the offensive staff.
He worked with the running backs the past two seasons at North Dakota State. Each of those two seasons, NDSU had two individuals rush for over 1,000 yards. In 2013, Sam Ojuri rushed for 1,398 yards and John Crockett rushed for 1,277 yards. The 2012 season saw Ojuri rush for 1,047 yards and Crockett rush for 1,038.
Before joining the North Dakota State staff, Haug spent five years (2007-11) coaching at his alma mater, Bemidji State University in Minnesota, where he started as a student assistant, moved into a graduate assistant role and them became an assistant coach on the staff.
At Bemidji State, Haug was also involved in recruiting and assisted with the strength and conditioning program.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in 2009 and master’s degree in 2011 from Bemidji State.
–UW Sports Information Office