March 12, 1997: 'I want to win right away'

1997-03-12T23:45:00Z 2011-03-30T14:26:33Z March 12, 1997: 'I want to win right away'By RON GULLBERG - Star-Tribune staff writer Casper Star-Tribune Online

New University of Wyoming men's basketball head coach Larry Shyatt proclaimed Tuesday, "I want it all, I want to win right away."

Then Shyatt acknowledged it may require several steps to rebuild the Cowboys' losing program.

"In the days and weeks ahead, we're hoping to recruit the best possible players to fit into this program and develop the best staff we can," Shyatt said at a press conference here to announce his hiring.

"But there may be a need for some patience so we can get to know the program and what it needs," he said. The press conference aired live nationally on cable sports network ESPN and on the Wyoming Radio Network.

UW Athletic Director Lee Moon said the former Clemson associate head coach was given a five-year contract at $98,000 per year. The deal includes a buy-out clause.

Shyatt, UW's 18th men's basketball head coach, earned about $90,000 per year at the South Carolina university.

Details on radio-TV and summer camp contracts have yet to be worked out, but Shyatt, 45, can expect to earn about $130,000 per year at UW, when radio and summer basketball camp earnings are included.

The university will pay its new President Phillip Dubois $140,000 per year, according to university officials.

Dubois has not arrived at UW yet. Outgoing President Terry Roark did not attend the Tuesday press conference.

UW's first-year football head coach, Dana Dimel, whom Moon hired on Dec. 7, also receives a base salary of $98,000 per year.

Moon said Shyatt was his No. 1 candidate to replace Joby Wright, who resigned last week after a 12-16 season.

"I think you'll find that [Shyatt's] credentials speak for themselves," said Moon.

Last year, when he was athletic director at Marshall, Moon offered Shyatt the Thundering Herd's head coaching job but was turned down.

"I believe it's important, as an A.D., that you always have a short list. You try to have that list with the highest qualified coaches, and I think Wyoming deserves that, and you'll see he has the highest credentials."

In four seasons, Wright was 53-60 overall, including an 0-4 mark in Western Athletic Conference tournament games.

Wright was paid a base salary of $90,000 per year.

Shyatt, an assistant for 24 years, has no head coaching experience, but he has worked in quality programs led by respected head coaches.

He spent the past nine seasons under Rick Barnes -- three at Clemson and six at Providence.

In that time, Clemson and Providence went to a combined eight post-season tournaments.

This season, 14th-ranked Clemson (21-9) was invited to the NCAA tournament. The fourth-seeded Tigers open Friday against Miami (Ohio) in the Midwest Regional at Kansas City.

In Barnes' and Shyatt's final season at Providence, the Fryars won 20 games, the Big East Conference tournament championship -- a program first -- and advanced to the NCAA tournament.

"I am losing a great friend and one of the best basketball coaches in the nation," Barnes said in a prepared release. "Larry has chosen Wyoming for all the right reasons, and will have a program there that the university will be proud of.

"... His experience in the WAC as an assistant at New Mexico and Utah will be an asset. Wyoming's gain is our loss."

Shyatt planned to rejoin the Tigers in Kansas City today, and remain with the team as long as it wins in the tournament.

Shyatt coached for New Mexico from 1982-88 under Gary Colson, and helped recruit center Luc Longley from Australia. Longley now plays for the National Basketball Association champion Chicago Bulls.

The Lobos won 105 games from 1982-86 and went to four National Invitation Tournaments in Shyatt's final five years.

"I would say Larry is one of the smartest guys I've ever been around," Colson said in a prepared statement. "He was going to be a success no matter what he did.

"I know he will be successful at Laramie, because it is a special place and he is a special guy."

Shyatt also coached at College of Wooster (Ohio) -- his alma mater -- and Cleveland State.

He is a past chairman of the NCAA Assistant Coaches Committee and sits on the National Association of Basketball Coaches board of directors.

He was named one of the top 15 assistant coaches in the nation by Basketball Times and one of the country's top 10 recruiters by Sport Magazine.

Copyright 2015 Casper Star-Tribune Online. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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