“This is going to be my last job,” Shyatt told Wyoming PBS producer Geoff O’Gara. “It’s where my wife and I want to be. And I’m not going to pull any punches.”
In an interview on Wyoming Chronicle, Shyatt does not, indeed, pull any punches. He describes a world of collegiate sports that has been corrupted by the commercial revenues of crowd-drawing sports like football and basketball. But he insists that Wyoming’s program under him will be conducted the right way.
And, if early results are any indication, in a winning way. The UW Cowboys are off to an 8-1 start under Shyatt. And while he decries the role of money in college sports, a high-caliber coach like Shyatt was hired for a salary of over $645,000 per year.
Shyatt coached for one year in his first stint as Wyoming basketball coach, leading the team to a 19-8 record and post-season tournament berth. His recruiting stocked the team for post-season tournament appearances for several years to come.
But Shyatt left Wyoming in the spring of 1998 for the one job he’d said from the beginning could lure him away from Laramie – the head coaching post at Clemson University, where he had previously been an assistant coach. Shyatt was eventually fired at Clemson and landed at the University of Florida. He served seven years as an assistant to Florida coach Billy Donovan, who gave Shyatt much of the credit for Florida’s two national championships during that period.
Critics have questioned the decision to re-hire Shyatt, but his recruiting skills, his coaching acumen, and his apparent new-found affection for Wyoming convinced UW Athletic Director Tom Burman. While expectations are not high for the 2011-2012 season – Wyoming was ranked 6th among eight teams in pre-season polls, with no players on the pre-season all-star teams – the team’s quick start has UW boosters hopeful that the team will rise quickly, even before Shyatt recruits begin joining the team next year.
Also on Chronicle, Producer John Little examines the impact foreign athletes are having in college sports, with a close look at Brazilian players now playing for the Central Wyoming College women’s volleyball team. Ana (Aninha) Tenorio, a 6-foot-5 freshman from Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil, talks about the leap from South America to central Wyoming. Central Wyoming College Lady Rustlers coach Tiffany Stauffenberg, recently named Conference Coach of the Year, describes recruiting and taking care of her foreign players, one of whom, Leticia Guimaraes, was recently recognized as a Second Team All-American by the National Junior College Athletic Association.
Despite losing the Region IX Championship game to Western Wyoming Community College, Guimaraes had 10 kills and 11 digs. The 5-foot-9 sophomore from Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil was also named a First Team All-Conference player and was named to the All-Region IX Tournament Team as well.
“I’m so proud of our team and what we have accomplished this year. They did a great job and have gone farther than any team here at CWC. Our players really need to be applauded for their effort at this tournament and thoughout the year,” Coach said.