(Riverton, Wyo.) – The Central Wyoming College Board of Trustees last night solicited information from the local sports community about whether or not the college should add to its athletics programs.
“We’re exploring the idea of expanding athletics,” Board Chairman Charlie Krebs said in introduction. The dinner meeting was held before the board’s regular meeting, and local coaches, former athletes and others attended the meeting.
Assistant Dean for Student Services Steve Barlow, who also oversees athletics, said the college has looked at a wide variety of possible sports to add ranging from soccer to softball to baseball to bowling to motocross.
He said the colleges goals for the athletic programs are to provide the best education possible, provide comprehensive growth for the student athletes, involve the community and be able to compete at a high level. He also said the college has to look at overall impact, not only on facilities, but also added work for all branches of the college.
Barlow said the sports options fall into two categories, easy to implement and difficult to implement. He said tennis, golf, cross country, and swimming could be low cost to start up. High cost sports would be soccer, baseball and softball. Each of Wyoming’s community colleges have some unique sports that most of the others don’t have. He said he believes every college will have soccer eventually.
There is no timeframe for deciding whether or not to add any sports, and when and if a decision is made, turn around for starting the program will depend on the sport.
Conversation surrounded the need to start in a sport that the college could be successful in rather quickly. If the college built a team in a sport that not many other Wyoming colleges have, CWC could have a better chance of advancing through regional competitions to the national level. The quicker a community sees success, the quicker it will be willing to back it.
Support was raised by a number of people for cross country and soccer. Cody Beers voiced support for baseball, noting a lot of Wyoming high schoolers are getting national scholarships for the sport, which means a good local recruiting pool.
Lars Flanagan, a former coach at Riverton High School, said there is a lot of local support for golf. While it wouldn’t be a large spectator draw, he said it could be an easy sport to add to the fold.
CWC President Jo Anne McFarland asked the crowd if anyone thought the college shouldn’t add any more sports and therefore put more resources into the rodeo, basketball and volleyball programs. No one at the meeting said they felt that way.