* University of Wyoming press release

LARAMIE -- University of Wyoming head football coach Jay Sawvel announced the promotion of linebacker coach Aaron Bohl to the role of defensive coordinator on Thursday.

Bohl has served as linebackers coach for the Cowboys for the last four seasons and has been with the program since 2017 and will continue to coach the position group.

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“Aaron Bohl is an outstanding football coach and that has shown in the development and the play of our linebackers over the past few years,” Sawvel said. “His knowledge of the defense is outstanding along with the knowledge of the concepts we have in place. He has grown as a coach in his time at Wyoming and I’m excited for him to have this opportunity with our program.”

Bohl just finished his fourth season as the linebackers coach in 2023. He was named the Wyoming Cowboys’ full-time linebackers coach in January 2020.

He originally joined the Wyoming coaching staff in the January of 2017 as a Defensive Graduate Assistant, making the 2023 season his seventh as a college coach. He was elevated to the position of interim linebackers coach in October of 2019. Bohl has been part of six bowl-eligible teams for the Cowboys in 2017, ‘18, ‘19, ‘21 ’22 and ‘23, four bowl championship teams -- the 2017 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Champions, the 2019 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl Champions and the 2021 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Champs and 2023 Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl Champs.

“I’m very excited to be in this new role,” Bohl said. “We have an outstanding tradition at Wyoming of playing great defense and I look forward to continuing that with the staff that we have intact here. Our expectation is to keep moving forward as a defensive unit and I’m thankful for the opportunity coach Sawvel for giving me the opportunity.”

A former college linebacker himself at Minnesota State Moorhead from 2013-16, Bohl was a four-year starter and three-year captain.

In 2023, Bohl helped mentor linebacker Easton Gibbs to First Team All-Mountain West honors. He finished the season with 109 total tackles and ranks amongst the best in Cowboy Football history in career tackles.

Wyoming’s second highest tackler was also a linebacker in Shae Suiaunoa, as he recorded 93 on the season. The Pokes would go on to win nine games for the most since the 1996 season.

Wyoming’s 2022 defense ranked No. 2 in the Mountain West and No. 21 in the nation in sacks, averaging 2.85 per game. UW’s defense also ranked No. 2 in the MW and No. 33 in the FBS in defensive touchdowns scored, with two.

Bohl coached All-Mountain West linebacker Easton Gibbs in ‘22. Gibbs earned First Team All-MW honors from conference head coaches and media. He also received First Team All-MW honors from Phil Steele in ‘22. Gibbs ranked No. 3 in the conference and No. 22 in the nation in tackles in the 2022 season, averaging 9.3 tackles per game. His 121 total tackles on the season marked Gibbs first 100-tackle season of his career and ranked as the 18th best single-season total in school history.

Gibbs became the third Wyoming linebacker to earn First Team All-Mountain West in the past four seasons -- Logan Wilson (2019), Chad Muma (2020 and ‘21) and Gibbs (2022).

The Wyoming Cowboys entered the 2022 college football season as the fourth youngest team in the country. But given that, the Cowboys went on to record a 7-6 record, finish second in the Mountain West Conference Mountain Division and earn a spot in the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl.

Along the way the ‘22 Pokes defeated rivals Air Force, Colorado State, Hawai’i, Utah State and American Athletic Conference member Tulsa. Wyoming’s 7-6 record gave them their fifth winning season in the past seven seasons.

 

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The Cowboy defense in 2021 was one of the top pass defenses in the nation. Wyoming allowed opponents only 189.8 passing yards per game to rank No. 1 in the Mountain West and No. 12 in the nation. The Cowboy defense was also No. 13 in the nation in defensive touchdowns scored, with three.

Wyoming held opponents to 23.7 points per game in the 2021 season to rank No. 5 in the MW and No. 43 in the country out of 130 FBS programs. The Cowboys posted a 7-6 record and won their third consecutive bowl game, with a convincing 52-38 win over Kent State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

Linebacker Chad Muma was one of six national finalists for the Butkus Award in 2021. Muma earned Second Team All-America honors from the Walter Camp Football Foundation and Pro Football Focus and was a Third Team selection by Associated Press.

He was selected as the Sixth Pick in the Third Round (70th overall) by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2022 NFL Draft. Muma ranked No. 4 in the nation in tackles (10.9 per game), No. 3 in solo tackles (6.5 per game) and tied for No. 2 in the country in interception returns for touchdowns (2 total).

Muma’s accomplishments in 2021 made him the second Wyoming linebacker in three seasons to earn All-America honors, be named a finalist for the Butkus Award and be selected in the third round of the NFL Draft as former Cowboy Logan Wilson achieved all those honors in 2019.

The 2020 season saw Bohl coach Muma as he earned First Team All-Mountain West Conference and led the Mountain West and ranked No. 3 in the nation in tackles, averaging 11.8 tackles per game. The 2020 Wyoming defense was among the best in the country, ranking No. 16 in the nation in total defense, allowing opponents only 328.0 yards per game. UW’s defense also ranked No. 21 in rushing defense (125.3 yards per game), No. 24 in scoring defense (21.0 points per game) and No. 29 in pass defense (202.7 yards per game).

In 2019, Bohl coached All-America linebacker Wilson and Honorable Mention All-MW linebacker Cassh Maluia. Wilson was one of six national finalists for the 2019 Butkus Award, honoring the nation’s top collegiate linebacker. Wilson earned multiple All-America honors, including being named a First Team All-American by Pro Football Focus, a Second Team All-American by USA Today and a Third Team All-American by Associated Press. Wilson was the No. 1 pick in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals.

In 2022, Wilson was the starting middle linebacker in Super Bowl LVI for the Cincinnati Bengals. Maluia was a sixth-round selection by the New England Patriots in the 2020 NFL Draft. UW concluded the 2019 season with an 8-5 record and a 38-17 win over Georgia State to capture the 2019 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl Championship.

The 2019 Cowboy defense ranked No. 2 in the Mountain West and No. 11 in the nation in scoring defense, allowing opponents only 17.8 points per game. The UW defense also ranked No. 3 in the conference and No. 11 in the nation in rushing defense, giving up only 107.1 rushing yards per game to opponents. Wyoming’s defense ranked No. 6 in the country in red-zone defense and scored three defensive touchdowns to rank No. 12 in the FBS.

As a defensive graduate assistant in 2018, Bohl helped coach a Cowboy defense that ranked No. 19 in the nation in total defense (allowing opponents only 326.2 yards per game), were No. 25 in the NCAA in rushing defense (129.5 yards per game), ranked No. 28 in scoring defense (giving up only 22.0 points per game) and were No. 32 in pass defense (196.7 yards per game).

The UW defense also ranked No. 16 in the country in fewest first downs allowed to opponents (223) on way to a 6-6 record to earn bowl eligibility for the third straight season.

In 2017, Bohl was part of a Wyoming team that posted an 8-5 record and won the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Championship. Bohl aided in coaching a defense that ranked No. 1 in the nation in takeaways in 2017, forcing 38 opponent turnovers. The Pokes ranked No. 9 in the country in scoring defense, allowing opponents only 17.5 points per game.

UW ranked No. 1 in the NCAA in fumbles recovered (18), No. 2 in the nation in interceptions (20), No. 8 in defensive touchdowns scored (4 TDs), No. 13 in pass defense (174.9 passing yards allowed), and No. 23 in total defense (335.2 total yards allowed).

Bohl came to Wyoming from Minnesota State University Moorhead, where he completed his collegiate playing career in 2016. As a linebacker, he started all 11 games each of his four seasons. Bohl earned Second Team All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) honors his senior season, while recording 71 total tackles (34 solo tackles and 37 assists), 4.5 sacks, 7.5 tackles for loss, two pass breakups, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble.

He helped lead Minnesota State Moorhead to a 7-4 overall record and 5-2 conference record placing third in the North Division of the NSIC in 2016. For his career, Bohl was credited with 273 career tackles, 8.0 sacks, 22 tackles for loss, eight pass breakups, one interception, two fumble recoveries and four forced fumbles. Bohl graduated in December 2016 from MSUM with a math education degree.

As a high school player at Lincoln East High School in Lincoln, Neb., Bohl was an Honorable Mention All-State honoree and earned All-Conference and All-City honors. He served as a team captain in high school, earning three letters in football. Bohl also lettered in basketball and track.

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