Wyoming football coach Craig Bohl retiring after bowl game

Wyoming coach Craig Bohl, who won three FCS national titles at North Dakota State and led the Cowboys to a record six bowl appearances, will retire following the Arizona Bowl.

The school promoted defensive coordinator Jay Sawvel to replace Bohl after the bowl game. Sawvel is finishing his fourth year as Wyoming's defensive coordinator after similar posts at Minnesota and Wake Forest.

Bohl, 65, is completing his 10th season at Wyoming, which has reached a bowl game in six of the past eight seasons and will face Toledo on Dec. 30 in Tucson, Arizona. Wyoming has won three bowl games under Bohl, the most under any coach in team history. Bohl, a Nebraska assistant under Tom Osborne and Frank Solich, and a Nebraska defensive back under Osborne, came to Wyoming after going 104-32 at North Dakota State and capturing FCS national titles in each of his final three seasons there (2011, 2012, 2013).

His six winning seasons at Wyoming are the second most in team history behind Lloyd Eaton's seven. Bohl's final Cowboys team recorded the first 7-0 mark in team history, and set a single-season attendance record (162,144).

"Being the head football coach of the Wyoming Cowboys has been a privilege," Bohl said in a statement. "I felt like now was the time for me step away and entrust the program to new leadership. I want to thank all the young men who have worn the Brown and Gold over the past 10 years for their dedication and for their passion in representing this football program, this university and this state. Many thanks to all the assistant coaches and staff who have helped build Wyoming football into a consistently winning program over this past decade."

Sawvel's defenses at Wyoming have finished in the top 25 nationally in several categories, including takeaways this season with 21. A former player at Division III power Mount Union, Sawvel was a longtime assistant for Jerry Kill.

"I'm excited and honored to be the next head football coach at the University of Wyoming," Sawvel said in a statement. "I have loved working and learning under head coach Craig Bohl for the last four years. The infrastructure Coach Bohl has put into this program makes me very excited to be the next leader of this program."

Bohl is a leading candidate to become the next executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, according to sources. He served as AFCA president during the 2022 season and filled in for executive director Todd Berry when Berry went through health issues. The hire is pending board approval. Berry will step down from his position Jan. 25. Yahoo first reported Bohl as the likely successor to Berry.