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George Howard

University of Wyoming rodeo coach George Howard, pictured roping in 2013, died Sunday at a Casper hospital.

University of Wyoming rodeo club coach George Howard likely died from a gunshot wound, the coroner handling the case said Thursday.

Converse County Coroner Ross Gorman said Howard’s death “probably was” the result of a gunshot wound, but that he would not know for certain until he receives the results of an autopsy that was performed in Loveland, Colorado.

Gorman said autopsy results typically do not come back for four to six weeks.

“We’re kinda in a waiting mode,” Gorman said.

Howard, 59, was in an area southwest of Douglas on Nov. 24 when emergency personnel responded to a report of a man with a gunshot wound, according to a Monday statement from Converse County Under Sheriff Nathan Hughes. Howard was transported to Converse County Memorial Hospital and then taken to Wyoming Medical Center, where he died on Sunday.

Authorities have offered few details about the circumstances surrounding Howard’s death.

Hughes said the case was still under investigation and that his office was “waiting for some stuff to get back to us.” He declined to say for whom or what he was waiting.

Hughes would not say whether Howard was alone or with other people at the time he was shot. He then declined further comment.

Howard was the university’s head rodeo coach for 20 years. He coached eight College National Finals Rodeo champions and the Wyoming women won the team championship at CNFR in 2007 and 2009. The Wyoming men finished second in 2003.

Follow crime reporter Shane Sanderson on Twitter @shanersanderson


Crime and Courts Reporter

Shane Sanderson is a Star-Tribune reporter who primarily covers criminal justice. Sanderson is a proud University of Missouri graduate. Lately, he’s been reading Cormac McCarthy and cooking Italian food. He writes about his own life in his free time.

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