There’s a new sheriff, or rather a head football coach in town for the Wind River Cougars. Rod Frederick takes the helm as the 14th head coach for the Wind River program since Morton and Pavillion consolidated 52 years ago.
Frederick is a 1986 graduate of Guernsey-Sunrise High School and a 1996 University of Wyoming graduate. He began his coaching career in the fall of 1999 at Silver Valley High School, a Division 12 school of approximately 600 students between Las Vegas, Nevada, and Barstow, California.
He work as defensive coordinator at Silver Valley for two seasons before moving to Rawlins in 2001. He spent just a single year in Rawlins then returned as the head coach at Silver Valley from 2002 to 2004.
He had a decade-long hiatus from varsity coaching and then returned to the gridiron as an assistant coach at Cheyenne Central in 2004.
Three years ago he took a position at Wind River and has been athletic director and is currently a first-grade teacher. He volunteered as an assistant coach under head coach Mykah Trujillo. Trujillo resigned his coaching and teaching position to take a job in Evanston and Frederick was hired as the new head coach.
His varied background in football has established some set patterns in his coaching philosophy. “Defensively we want to attack, protect our gaps and stop the ball,” Frederick said. “Offensively, when you average 400 yards a game and pretty much have everybody back, we’ll tweak it a little bit and add some stuff to it, spread it out a little bit, and throw the ball.”
Running the ball worked well for the Cougars last season as they posted a 7-3 overall record, and advanced to the state semi-finals. Their only losses came to state champion Shoshoni and runner-up Rocky Mountain in 2021.
“Coming back, we’ll have eight returners on offense,” Frederick said. “The whole line is back and bigger.”
Along with solid teams coming back from Shoshoni and Rocky Mountain, Big Piney drops down from Class 2-A 11-man to 1-A 9-man this fall.
“I’m interested to see what Big Piney brings,” Frederic said.
Frederick’s wife Laura is the principal at Wyoming Indian High School and his son Cooper and daughter Karina are both juniors at Wind River.
Earlier in his career, he coached his sons Tucker and Parker.