Wyoming Cowboys

Craig Bohl
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Wyoming adds former Craig Bohl assistant Jake Dickert to staff

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Wyoming added one more piece to its coaching staff for 2017 with the addition of safeties coach Jake Dickert. Dickert joins Wyoming’s staff after previously coaching safeties and special teams at South Dakota State. He is also a former assistant of Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl when Bohl was the head coach of North Dakota State from 2008 through 2010.

“Coach (Jake) Dickert is a well-experienced secondary coach,” said Bohl in a released statement.  “He had the opportunity to coach in the National Championship Game at the Division II level at Minnesota State, Mankato. I’ve known Jake for many years. He’s a bright, ambitious young man. He communicates extremely well with players, and will add a great dimension to our defensive staff.”

Although Dickert has a decade of coaching experience, this will be his first job at the FBS level. In addition to his stints at North Dakota State with Bohl and South Dakota State, Dickert has also coached at Division 2 Minnesota State, Mankato, Augustana, Southeast Missouri State, South Dakota and Wisconsin-Stevens Point (his alma mater).

“My family and I are honored to have the opportunity to join Coach Bohl’s staff at Wyoming and continue to build on the foundation of Cowboy Football,” said Dickert.  “I am excited to get to know the players and have an impact on their lives on and off the field. Coach (Bohl) has created a culture of football here that I firmly believe in, and I can’t wait to get started.”

Wyoming named former NFL assistant coach Scottie Hazelton its new defensive coordinator this offseason.

Independents and Group of Five National Signing Day Recap: Irish bounce back, Memphis tops AAC

SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 15: Head coach Brian Kelly of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish is seen during the game against the Stanford Cardinal at Notre Dame Stadium on October 15, 2016 in South Bend, Indiana. Stanford defeated Notre Dame 17-10. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
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Outside of the Power Five conferences, recruiting went about as expected in 2017.

Notre Dame continued to pound the national trail and landed a top 12 class full of players who will be expected to play early. BYU managed another impressive group that was one of the most diverse out there. The schools with a talent-rich backyard to draw on did well in the AAC.  Boise State was once again tops in the Mountain West and did better than a few peers in the region. And yes, Lane Kiffin earned that recruiting reputation by pulling in the best class of Conference USA.

Though there wasn’t much drama outside the top schools, there nevertheless was plenty of action for many programs on National Signing Day.

Top recruits (all rankings via 247Sports Composite): No. 67 overall Brock Wright (TE, Notre Dame), No. 154 overall Chaz Ah You (DB, BYU), Aisa Kelemete (DE, Boise State), Nick Robinson (TE, Memphis), Nicholas Sims (RB, Toledo)

Top classes: Notre Dame (No. 11 overall), Memphis (No. 58 overall), Boise State (No. 60 overall), BYU (No. 65 overall), Florida Atlantic (No. 71 overall), Toledo (No. 74 overall), Texas State (No. 87 overall)

Biggest storyline: Irish still land solid recruiting class

Despite the worst season in South Bend since Charlie Weis and a nearly brand new coaching staff, Notre Dame still managed to cobble together a top 12 class on Signing Day. Tight end Brock Wright was the highest rated player and should see early playing time but the number of quality offensive linemen was really evident in the group Brian Kelly signed. Will it be enough to help with a big turnaround? We’ll see.

Biggest surprise: Memphis runs away with things in the AAC but new coaches still fared well

Given all the turnover in the American this year, it should probably come as no surprise that the Tigers pulled the top recruiting class in the conference. That’s a testament to what Mike Norvell is building with the program and the fact that they don’t have to go far for players. Many of the same factors played a role in Scott Frost landing the second-best class at UCF. It was also pretty impressive what Luke Fickell did on the recruiting trail at Cincinnati and Charlie Strong did at USF given those two didn’t have a ton of time to get things lined up.

Don’t sleep on: Boise State, Colorado State

The Broncos were once again the class of the Mountain West on the recruiting trail and fended off several Pac-12 schools for prospects. That will put them firmly in the mix to win the league again in 2017 but don’t overlook another good job by Mike Bobo and staff at Colorado State in landing 17 three-star players.

We’ll see about: Everybody else

Mountain West commissioner says Chargers’ move to LA played role in Poinsettia Bowl folding

SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 21:  President of the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl Ted Tollner congratulates Harvey Langi #16 of the Brigham Young Cougars  for winning the Defensive Player of the game after defeating the Wyoming Cowboys 24-21 in a game on December 21, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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One of the bigger surprises this offseason has been the announcement that the Poinsettia Bowl was closing its doors and folding for good this year after a strong dozen year run.

The move has left several in college athletics scrambling as a result of the shakeup to the postseason picture and the league most directly affected is the Mountain West. Perhaps not surprisingly, commissioner Craig Thompson isn’t too thrilled with the big hole in the bowl lineup now and went on 93.1FM/1350AM The Ticket up in Boise, Idaho to discuss the move and some of the reasoning behind it.

What’s most interesting there is the fact that Thompson thinks the Chargers move from San Diego to Los Angeles played a role in the decision to cancel the game. The Holiday Bowl, run by the same organization, has denied that is behind folding the game but has already begun to explore moving from Qualcomm Stadium to the San Diego Padres’ home of Petco Park in case the city decides to close the football stadium after next year.

“This is purely a decision made for our organization,” Mark Neville, executive director of the bowl game association, told the Associated Press last week.”It’s a completely different environment. Doing two games in San Diego, in the span of a week, is becoming more and more challenging in relation to ticket sales and sponsorships.”

The truth is probably somewhere in the middle, as it has no doubt become much tougher to operate two bowl games in one city and the fact that the local pro football team is heading up the 405 certainly doesn’t help matters. In addition to the Mountain West needing to find a new spot for bowl eligible teams in 2017, BYU — which beat Wyoming in the final Poinsettia Bowl last December — is also looking for a new bowl game to go to next season.

Wyoming loses assistant to FCS head-coaching job

LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 12:  Safety Andrew Wingard #28 of the Wyoming Cowboys tackles quarterback Kurt Palandech #14 of the UNLV Rebels during their game at Sam Boyd Stadium on November 12, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. UNLV won 69-66 in triple overtime.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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Craig Bohl has an opening on his Wyoming coaching staff, although the reason for the attrition is certainly understandable.

Monday, Indiana State officially announced that Curt Mallory has been hired as the Sycamores head football coach. As ISU plays at the FCS level, Mallory will be eligible to coach immediately in 2017.

“We want to congratulate Curt and his wife Lori as they open a new chapter in their lives and in Curt’s coaching career as he becomes the head coach at Indiana State,” said the Cowboys head coach in a statement. “Curt’s efforts in his two years at Wyoming were greatly appreciated and had a significant impact on our program as we benefitted both from his coaching and his recruiting abilities.

“Curt is a well-experienced coach, who has a great understanding of players from the Midwest. He’ll be a great fit at Indiana State, and he will make them competitive in the Missouri Valley Conference.”

Mallory, the son of former Indiana head coach Bill Mallory, spent the past two seasons as the Cowboys’ defensive pass-game coordinator and secondary coach. A former Michigan linebacker, Mallory came to Laramie after spending four seasons in Ann Arbor as the Wolverines’ secondary coach.

Craig Bohl ‘excited’ QB Josh Allen’s returning to Wyoming

LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 12:  Quarterback Josh Allen #17 of the Wyoming Cowboys throws against the UNLV Rebels during their game at Sam Boyd Stadium on November 12, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. UNLV won 69-66 in triple overtime.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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If you listened to some of the growing draft chatter, Josh Allen had the kind of talent that wowed scouts and could’ve led to the redshirt sophomore being the first quarterback taken in the upcoming draft. Instead, he decided a little additional seasoning is in order.

Allen confirmed to Craig Bohl Thursday that he will indeed be returning to Wyoming for his fourth season, with the school confirming the news in a press release. This past season was Allen’s first full year as the starter and, while it didn’t prevent Mitch Trubisky of North Carolina from leaving early, it was likely a wise decision on his part to eschew the NFL and return to Wyoming — especially as it’ll give him another year in a pro-style offense.

“We always support our student-athletes in pursuing their potential professional options,” said Bohl in a statement. “We’re excited that Josh and his family have made the decision for him to return to Wyoming for next year and help continue to build on the success that our program enjoyed this past season.

“Now we’re looking forward to getting ready to play Iowa in our season opener next fall.”

In 2016, the 6-5, 222-pound Allen was first amongst Mountain West quarterbacks with 28 touchdowns; second in passing yards with 3,203; and third in passing efficiency (144.9). Those numbers were tied for 20th, 32nd and 33rd nationally.

Barring an unexpected development, 2017 will likely be Allen’s last season at the collegiate level.