Linder out, Wicks in as new Cowboys head basketball coach

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University of Wyoming photo

May 12, 2024 — Wyo4News

The University of Wyoming has a new head basketball coach. He is Wyoming native Sundance Wicks. Today, UW Athletics Director Tom Burman made the announcement of Wicks hiring. He is taking the place of Jeff Linder, who has been in the process of finalizing a deal to become a coach at Texas Tech. In his four seasons with the Pokes, Linder was 63-59.

Wicks spent three seasons under Linder as an assistant coach (2020-23) at Wyoming. Last season, he was the head coach at Ach at Green Bay. He led the team to one of the best single-season turnarounds in college basketball history, guiding it to an 18-14 record after finishing 3-29 the prior season. He was named the 2023-24 Horizon League Coach of the Year.

Wicks, a native of Gillette, Wyoming, stated, “First off, please know that I am honored, humbled, and immensely grateful for this opportunity at the University of Wyoming. This opportunity would have never been possible without the belief that Green Bay Chancellor Mike Alexander and Athletics Director Josh Moon had in our mission and vision a year ago at UWGB. To that end, I would like to thank Director of Athletics Tom Burman and UW President Edward Seidel for their trust in me and what We will do for the University and this great state moving forward.”


 
“You cannot put into words what it means for a kid from the country roads outside of Gillette to represent the State of Wyoming and the Cowboys as their new head basketball coach,” said Wicks.
 
“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome back Sundance Wicks to Wyoming,” Burman said. “Sundance will bring a great energy to our program and the entire State of Wyoming. Being a native of this great state, Wicks knows the pride Cowboy fans take in the program and he will work tirelessly for his student-athletes and the community.”
 
“If there is one thing I learned growing up in Wyoming, it’s that when you honor the Brown and Gold, you are honoring so much more than just the University of Wyoming,” Wicks said. “You are honoring every single hard hat that woke up before the sun to work the coal mines. It means paying your respects to all the rough and rowdy ranchers that chose the Cowboy Way and Rode for the Brand before it became a popular phrase. Honoring the Brown and Gold is the understanding that a tip of the cap, a steering wheel wave, a hard handshake or a big hug is how you lift your people up in support of a hard day’s work. 

Wicks graduated from Campbell County High School in 1999, where he lettered in football, basketball, and track and field. He was a part of two high school basketball championships (1996-97 and 1998-99) and, in 1999, was named the Milward Simpson Athlete of the Year. He went on to play college basketball at Northern State in South Dakota, where he was twice named first-team All-NSIC.

Wicks and his wife Courteney have two children, Grace and Skywalker.