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Published April 12, 2018
Beau Clark, whose current Laramie County Community College (LCCC) men’s team is on the brink of winning the Central Rocky Mountain Region (CRMR), has been selected as the head rodeo coach at the University of Wyoming.
He begins his duties heading the Cowboys’ and Cowgirls’ programs the day after the College National Finals Rodeo June 19. Clark replaces former Coach George Howard, who unexpectedly passed away late last year in Converse County. Former UW Cowgirl Lydia Coe, who was Howard’s assistant coach for three years, has been UW’s interim coach this spring.
“I am confident that the University of Wyoming rodeo program has the opportunity to become one of the elite rodeo programs in the country -- a program that the Laramie community and the entire state of Wyoming will be proud to stand behind and support,” Clark says. “I firmly believe that together, we can create an environment that is structured with attention to detail, competitive in the rodeo arena and committed to education, with an appreciation for lifelong learning.”
Clark has been LCCC’s head coach the past two seasons and has built the Golden Eagles’ program, especially the men’s team, into a regional contender in his short time at the helm. The LCCC men are currently second in the CRMR behind defending champion Sheridan College, with just two rodeos left this spring. The LCCC women’s team has improved steadily this season and has climbed to fourth place in the latest CRMR standings.
For much of the season, the UW women have been in second place in the region, but they recently dropped one position to third with two events left in the fall/spring schedule. The Cowgirls finished second in the nation last season. The Cowboys have moved slowly up in the rankings, currently sitting sixth in the regional standings.
“We are very excited to have a coach of Beau’s caliber ready to join our program as we continue to work at bringing our rodeo program to the next level,” says Frank Galey, dean of the UW College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
“The excitement regarding Beau taking the reins of our rodeo program extends across UW, the current and future UW rodeo student-athletes, and the Wyoming rodeo community,” says Mike Day, head of the UW Department of Animal Science, which oversees the rodeo program.
Clark says his goals for the UW rodeo program “align with the vision I have for an elite collegiate rodeo program.”
“The primary goal is to build the most complete rodeo program in the country,” he says. “In order to achieve this goal, I will recruit outstanding student-athletes who are welcomed by the community, work hard academically, relentlessly pursue college rodeo championships and benefit from their University of Wyoming experience.”
Additional goals, he adds, include holding to high standards, expectations and accountability for student-athlete well-being, growth, academics, graduation and achievements in the rodeo arena.
Before being named LCCC’s head coach, Clark was a three-year assistant at his alma mater, Montana State University (MSU) in Bozeman. He graduated (2007) with an agriculture business degree from MSU and is working on his master’s degree in educational, school and counseling psychology, with an emphasis in positive coaching, through the University of Missouri.
Clark came to MSU on a football scholarship, earned all-Big Sky Conference honors as a defensive tackle and also was named team captain for the Bobcats. He was an all-state football player in Belgrade, Mont., and a dual champion in the discus and shot put events.
Clark says that he’s a “unique college rodeo coach” because he did not compete in rodeo at the collegiate level.
“The experience as a college football athlete provided me with great insight into building an elite-level rodeo program,” Clark says. “My time as a college football player instilled in me the importance of team dynamics regarding structure and attention to detail, student-athlete well-being, leadership, community support, fundraising and commitment to academics.”
He competed as a professional steer wrestler at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in 2012 and is still a competitive bulldogger.
Clark and his wife, Charli, have a son, Caysen, 2, and daughter, Kyler, 1.