When Revere senior Larry Nance signed a national letter of intent Saturday to play at the University of Wyoming it was a bit of a surprise, but Cowboys coach Larry Shyatt does have area connections.
Shyatt, 60, played at the College of Wooster and earned a bachelors degree in 1973. He received his masters degree from the University of Akron in 1975.
Shyatt is entering his second stint as Wyoming's coach after leading the Cowboys to a 19-9 record in 1997-1998. He was Clemson's coach from 1998-2003, and then was an assistant at Florida under Billy Donovan from 2004-2011. The Gators won national titles in 2006 and 2007. From 1975-1997 he was an assistant at Utah, Cleveland State, New Mexico, Providence and Clemson.
Wyoming Athletic Director Tom Burman hired Shyatt on March 31 to resurrect the Cowboys basketball program that was 20-42 overall and 6-26 in the Mountain West Conference the past two seasons under Heath Schroyer, who was fired on Feb. 8, and interim coach Fred Langley.
``Larry liked the staff, the campus and everything they have to offer,´´ Rahas said. ``They are basically starting from scratch. He is going to be part of a rebuilding process.´´
Nance, a 6-foot-7 and 205-pound forward, averaged 17 points, 10 rebounds, three blocks and two steals per game. He chose Wyoming over scholarship offers from Central Michigan, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Ohio, Bradley and James Madison.
The Casper Star-Tribune in Wyoming reported that Nance, Lekan Ajayi (Winston-Salem, N.C.), Riley Grabau (Boulder, Col.), Derrious Gilmore (Baltimore, Md.) and Tyrone Marshall (Denver, Col.) have committed to Shyatt.
``I am definitely looking forward to being a part of a class that turns that program around,´´ Nance said. ``Coach Shyatt and his staff just seemed very genuine in everything they said. They know what they want to do with the program.´´
The Cowboys recently had three players transfer away from the team, Daylen Harrison (St. Vincent-St. Mary), Desmar Jackson (Warren Harding) and Amath M'Baye.
Harrison and Jackson were recruited to Laramie by former assistant Anthony Stewart who was hired last month to be an assistant at Southern Illinois. Jackson has transferred to Southern Illinois and Harrison has not decided where he will go next.
Stewart was a basketball and baseball standout. He graduated from Archbishop Hoban, received a bachelor's degree in business management from Mount Union and completed an MBA from the Chancellor University College of Business in Cleveland.