UW Football Scrimmage

Russell Dennison, the former director of sports performance for Wyoming athletics, jogs across the field April 8 during a scrimmage at Natrona County’s Cheney Alumni Field in Casper.

Alan Rogers, Star-Tribune

Former Wyoming director of sports performance Russell Dennison had philosophical differences with head football coach Craig Bohl that led to Dennison’s departure, an anonymous source told the Star-Tribune on Wednesday.

Dennison had been with the team for just one season — a division championship year that followed a 2-10 season — and was a favorite of the players. The differences could not be reconciled and the decision was made, leaving the players “devastated,” the source said.

Bohl and Dennison disagreed on the time it took players to return from injury, with Bohl pushing for shorter recovery times, the source said.

On Thursday, however, the university released a statement from Athletics Director Tom Burman that disputed those claims.

Dennison, formerly an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Oklahoma, left the program July 1, the source said. His resignation was announced Tuesday by the Wyoming athletics department, citing Dennison’s desire to “seek other career opportunities.”

Tuesday evening, Wyoming cornerback Rico Gafford tweeted “Definitely going to miss this guy man...” in reference to a story about Dennison leaving, followed by a frowning emoji and a “#Respect” hashtag. He later deleted the tweet.

Dennison’s departure gives Wyoming less than a month to hire a new director of sports performance before the beginning of fall camp. There is some concern among the players, the source said, that Wyoming could take a similar approach to filling the spot as it did in summer 2015. That June, receivers coach Kenni Burns resigned and was replaced on an interim basis by recruiting director Gordie Haug.

Dennison was hired in January 2016 to fill the position left by Zach Duval, who left Wyoming three weeks earlier for the same job at Central Florida.

Follow University of Wyoming athletics reporter Brandon Foster on Twitter @BFoster91


Star-Tribune reporter Brandon Foster covers University of Wyoming athletics.

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