Heather Ezell era has begun in Laramie
LARAMIE -- University of Wyoming Director of Athletics Tom Burman announced Friday afternoon Heather Ezell will be the eighth head coach of the Wyoming Cowgirl basketball program.
Ezell has spent the past seven seasons on the Cowgirl bench, including the last three as associate head coach.
This announcement came just moments after Gerald Mattinson announced his retirement after 19 seasons in Laramie, including the last three as head coach. The Cowgirls season came to an end less than 24 hours ago after an 82-81 loss in three overtimes to visiting UCLA in the Sweet 16 of the WNIT.
“I’m excited to announce Heather Ezell as the new head coach of the Wyoming Cowgirls,” Burman said. “I thought it was important that we keep this hire within the Cowgirl basketball family. Coach Ezell has been a part of this program for the past seven years and knows the Cowgirl basketball culture. She has the work ethic, attitude and relationships with our student-athletes to keep this program operating at the highest level.
"She knows what it takes to be successful and at this university and in the Mountain West Conference.”
This is the second straight former Joe Legerski assistant Burman has hired to take over the reins of the program.
“First and foremost, I want to thank Tom Burman and the University of Wyoming for believing in me and giving me this opportunity to lead the Cowgirls,” said Ezell. “I want to thank coach Gerald Mattinson and coach Joe Legerski for the chance to learn and grow under their leadership. I am looking forward to continuing the success of the Cowgirl basketball program and to keep building this team to new levels.”
In her seven seasons with the program, the Cowgirls have won 130 games, including a run of three-straight 20-plus win seasons from 2017-19 and a Mountain West Tournament title and NCAA Tournament appearance in 2020-21. UW has played in the postseason five times (4 WNIT, 1 NCAA) with Ezell on staff, has had 10 All-Mountain West performers and 48 MW Scholar-Athletes.
Prior to arriving in Laramie, Ezell spent four seasons as an assistant coach at Southeast Missouri State, where she helped mentor the Redhawks’ first all-conference honoree in four seasons. Before SEMO, Ezell spent a season at Fairfield University.
Ezell had a highly decorated career both collegiately and professionally, which began as a four-year letterwinner at Iowa State University (2005-09).
She finished her career tied for the Cyclones' career record with 287 made 3-pointers and finished 10th in program history with 1,339 points. During her senior season, Ezell earned Second Team All-Big 12 honors. She ranked 27th nationally with 2.5 made 3-pointers per game and was eighth in the Big 12 with 3.5 assists per contest. Ezell also earned a spot on the 2008 Big 12 All-Tournament Team and helped the Cyclones to three NCAA appearances, including the Elite Eight in 2009.
Ezell moved onto the professional level in 2009-10, playing in Iceland for Haukar where she was named Best Player in the Iceland Express League. She led the league in points and steals while finishing second in assists and rebounds. She also earned Most Valuable Player recognition in the league's All-Star Game.
A native of Springfield, Mo., Ezell led her Kickapoo High School team to two state championships and a 113-7 record during her prep years. She was named “Miss Show Me Basketball” as Missouri's top player in 2005. Ezell graduated from Iowa State in 2009 with bachelor's degrees in management and marketing.
Heather, and her wife Justine, reside in Laramie.
The Ezell File
2010-11 – Fairfield University assistant
2011-15 – Southeast Missouri State University assistant
2015-19 – University of Wyoming assistant coach
2019-22 – University of Wyoming associate head coach
Postseason Berths (5)
NCAA Tournament: 1 appearance (2021)
Women’s National Invitational Tournament: 4 appearances (2017, 2018, 2019, 2022)
2005-09 – Iowa State University
2009-10 – Haukar (Iceland Express League)
* University of Wyoming Athletics media relations release
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