Wyoming Hires Jeff Linder as its Men’s Basketball Coach
Jeff Linder is the new men’s basketball coach at the University of Wyoming announced by the school on Tuesday.
Linder becomes the 22nd head coach in program history. He comes to Laramie after four seasons at Northern Colorado where he led the Bears to three straight 20-plus win seasons the last three years.
In a release from the University of Wyoming, Athletics Director Tom Burman pointed Linder’s success in his last two stops.
“Jeff (Linder) turned around the basketball program at Northern Colorado and developed his team into one of the premier programs in the Big Sky Conference. Jeff possesses many important qualities I was looking for in a new head coach for Cowboy Basketball. First and foremost, he is a proven winner as a head coach. Jeff also has great knowledge of the region and the Mountain West Conference. His brand of basketball will be great for our Cowboy fans to watch, as his teams play with great offensive efficiency and play a tough hard-nosed style of defense. We couldn’t be more excited to have Jeff lead Wyoming Basketball into a new era.”
Linder said in the release, “I’m extremely excited for the opportunity to be the men’s basketball coach at the University of Wyoming. Wyoming has a rich basketball tradition which at a young age I was introduced to on the Sports Illustrated cover that featured Cowboy great, Fennis Dembo. From that time on growing up down the road in Denver, I was always rooting for the Cowboys. For me to now have the opportunity to lead this acclaimed program is an honor that I won’t take for granted. I will work to build on the storied past built and laid before me and diligently work to make Wyoming basketball a force to be reckoned with.”
The native of Lafayette, CO, Linder went 80-50 (.615) in his tenure at UNC. He was named the Big Sky Coach of the Year in 2018-19. The Bears have won 15 conference games each of the past two seasons, which is a program record. He also guided Northern Colorado to its first post-season title in 2017-18, when the Bears won the College Invitational Tournament (CIT).
Linder is no stranger to the Mountain West Conference. He spent six years at Boise State, the first three as an assistant and the last three as associate head coach under Leon Rice. He helped the Broncos to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances and their first MW Championship.
Linder added, “Cowboy fans will see a team that will play hard and play together as a team. We will look to play to our player’s strengths and put them in position to best utilize those strengths. Having coached against the current Wyoming players the past three seasons I am confident that they will really fit and flourish in this system. There is great talent on this team and I’m looking forward to coaching them.”
Linder has also coached at the University of San Francisco, Weber State, Midland Junior College in Texas, and Emporia State. He got his coaching start as an assistant director of men’s basketball operations at the University of Colorado under Ricardo Patton.
He played collegiately at Mesa State (1 year) and Western State (3 years). He received All-Rocky Mountain Conference honors three times, both on the court and in the classroom.
Linder and his wife, Kelli, have four children, two daughters, and two sons.