The next head coach of the University of Wyoming Cowgirl basketball program is a longtime assistant who has been a key figure on the bench during the program's most successful era.

Gerald Mattinson has spent 16 years as an assistant coach, including the last 12 years as the associate head coach. Athletics Director Tom Burman announced Mattinson's promotion on Tuesday.

"In Gerald Mattinson, we have a coach on staff who has been through this process, plus he's served as a men's head coach and a school administrator, which coupled with 16 years of Division I women's basketball provides for a broad base of experience," Burman said. "He has the energy and experience to push this program to a championship."

Joe Legerski recently announced his retirement after 16 years as the head coach.

Mattinson will receive an annual base compensation of $220,000, though that figure could grow through performance-based incentives.

"I'd like to thank Tom and the administration for this great opportunity for me and my staff," Mattinson said. "We know the bar of excellence has been set high here by coach Joe and the previous teams, and we look forward to continuing to reach those goals. We're looking forward to a great season."

Also promoted Tuesday were Heather Ezell, who will work as associate head coach, and Fallon Lewis, who has been named the new assistant coach.

Mattinson's own college basketball career began at Casper College, where he played for head coach Oscar "Swede Erickson. One of those teams went 36-4 and finished sixth at the NJCAA tournament.

Mattinson also played at Weber State, where he graduated with a bachelor of science degree in business education in 1981. He then earned a master of sports science degree from the United States Sports Academy in 1988.

Mattinson joined the University of Wyoming coaching staff following the 2002-2003 season.