University Of Wyoming Rodeo Coach Resigns Three Weeks Before College National Finals Rodeo

Beau Clark is resigning as the University of Wyoming rodeo coach comes less than a month from the College National Finals Rodeo.

Jake Nichols

May 11, 20233 min read

Former University of Wyoming head rodeo coach Beau Clark.
Former University of Wyoming head rodeo coach Beau Clark. (Cowboy State Daily Staff)

University of Wyoming Athletics Director Tom Burman has announced that Beau Clark has resigned as head coach of the University of Wyoming’s highly ranked rodeo teams.

Clark’s departure after five years with the program was unexpected as the men’s and women’s teams are set to compete at the College National Finals Rodeo next month.

“I wish to thank the University of Wyoming for the opportunity to be the rodeo coach for the past five years,” Clark says in a UW press release announcing the resignation. “At this time, I wish to resign my position to pursue other opportunities for myself and our family.”

Clark did not elaborate on what those opportunities might be, nor did he return numerous phone calls and emails from Cowboy State Daily.

The 41-year-old Montana native was hired for the position after two years at Laramie Community College. He replaced George Howard, who was killed in a hunting accident in Converse County in 2017.

UW A Top Contender

Wyoming rodeo student-athletes have high hopes for nationals in Casper June 11-17.

After finishing No. 1 in the Central Rocky Mountain Region this season, the men are expected to do well at the CNFR. Led by bareback riders Donny Proffit and Brice Patterson, along with all-around cowboys John Jensen and Bodie Mattson, the men’s team should finish strong next month.

The women’s team had a bit of an off-year by UW standards, but standouts like barrel racers Emme Norsworthy and Halle Hladky, along with roper Faith Hoffman, make the Cowgirls a threat any time they ride into the arena.

The timing of Clark’s departure is more than troublesome less than a month from national competition and the official close of the 2023 season.

It is unclear who will take over head coaching duties for the UW program. As late as February, the university was still looking for an assistant to Clark and someone to concentrate on running the women’s program.

Speculation of conflict between Clark and Burman has surfaced in the Wyoming rodeo community ever since the university assumed control of the rodeo program in July 2022.

Despite not being sanctioned by the NCAA as a college sport, rodeo was moved under the direction of UW’s Athletics Department at that time.

Burman was unavailable for comment at press time. He did issue a written statement.

“We want to thank Coach Clark for his contributions to our rodeo program, and we wish him and his family the best in their future,” Burman stated.

Visit Cowboy State Daily this weekend for Wyoming college teams competing in the College National Finals Rodeo.

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Jake Nichols

Features Reporter