CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Wyoming dipped into the past Thursday and hired back Larry Shyatt, an associate head coach at Florida, as the Cowboys’ head basketball coach.
Shyatt, 59, has agreed to a five-year contract and replaces Heath Schroyer, who was fired in February. Shyatt previously coached Wyoming during the 1997-98 season, when he led the team to a 19-9 record.
He spent seven years at Florida and helped the Gators win the 2006 and 2007 NCAA championships plus three Southeastern Conference tournaments.
“We are thrilled to bring Larry back,” Wyoming athletic director Tom Burman said. “One of the things that impressed our committee in our interview with Larry was how bad he wanted to be back at Wyoming.”
Shyatt said Wyoming was one of the few schools he would have considered leaving Florida to coach.
“I’m excited about the commitment of the administration and the passionate fan base I remember at Wyoming,” he said. “I can’t wait to meet, work with and develop a great relationship with the current team.”
Shyatt has spent 35 years as a college coach. He was associate head coach at Clemson before Wyoming hired him the first time. After his year at Wyoming, Shyatt returned to Clemson to be head coach there for five seasons.
He also has coached at Providence College, Utah and New Mexico.
Shyatt heads back to Laramie to try to revive a program in the dumps. Wyoming finished 10-21 and just 3-13 in the Mountain West Conference this season.
Over three and a half years under Schroyer, the Pokes were 49-68 with their only winning season coming in 2008-09. Burman said he fired Schroyer before the season was up rather than continue to “walk around on eggshells” on the subject.
Shyatt gave Wyoming a boost during his last stint in Cowboy country. Wyoming had finished 12-16 the year before he arrived.
“The experience my wife Pam and I had in Laramie, and the many people we met in the state, has always been among our fondest memories in over 30 years of coaching,” Shyatt said.
Shyatt will be in Laramie next week but hasn’t visited Wyoming lately.
His base pay will be $190,000 a year, up from $160,000 for Schroyer. He can earn as much as $645,000 a year with incentives.