REPORT: Sundance Wicks Finalist for Head Coaching Position
LARAMIE -- Wyoming assistant Sundance Wicks is a finalist for the head coaching vacancy at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, according to Scott Venci of the Green Bay Press Gazette.
Wicks, who has been a member of Jeff Linder's staff in Laramie since 2020, is thought to be one of five finalists for the position, joining John Brannen, John Tharp, Ben Johnson and Doug Gottlieb.
UWGB wrapped up its season with a 3-29 record and Will Ryan was fired in late January after just two-plus seasons on the job. He was replaced by Freddie Owens, who won just one of the 10 games he coached.
Current UWGB Athletics Director Josh Moon spent nine in that same position at Northern State, a Division-II school in Aberdeen, S.D. That also happens to be Wicks' alma mater (1999-2003 )and a place he roamed the sidelines as an associate head coach from 2016-18. Wicks also made stops at Colorado (2006-07), Northern Illinois (2007-11) and San Francisco (2015-16). Wicks' first head coaching opportunity came back in 2018 when he took over the program at Missouri Western.
Under Moon's watch, Wicks helped lead Northern State to the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference regular season and postseason championships. The Wolves claimed the Central Region Championship and appeared in the National Championship for the first time in program history in 2018.
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Wicks, a Gillette native, just completed his third season at Wyoming. During his brief stint on the high plains, he has helped lead the Cowboys to an appearance in the First Four of the NCAA Tournament and coached the Mountain West Freshman of the Year, Marcus Williams, and the conference's preseason Player of the Year, Graham Ike.
“There is a dream job for everyone and for me being at the University of Wyoming with a coach like Jeff Linder is mine,” Wicks said after he joined Linder's staff. “Coach Linder is regarded to be one of the smartest coaches in college basketball and his vision as a coach has made himself and his teams very successful everywhere he has been. I’m honored to be a part of his staff here in my home state."
"To be able to go back to your home state, where you were raised, in a place where the whole state gets behind you, is special,” he continued. "Wyoming is a place that is dear to my heart and my family’s heart. This truly is a dream come true."
Wicks served as the Cowboys' acting head coach in last week's league tournament in Las Vegas. He stepped in for Linder, who was back home in Denver with his ailing father. Wyoming fell to New Mexico 87-76 in the quarter-finals, capping a forgettable season that saw the program finish 9-21 overall and 4-14 in conference play.
"For people that are going to be back on this roster and coaches that are going to be in our program, we're going to go make things happen. That's our job," an emotional Wicks said postgame. "We're going to use that as an edge going forward because we're going to remember every single thing that happened this year. It's blazed inside you. It's just burned inside you. You feel these things at such a high level that, you know, if it's June 18th and we're in the middle of a summer practice and we start to see a little bit of slippage, we're going to talk about, all right, so we remember what last year was. We remember how we felt last year. So let's crank it up right now. Let's get it going.
"That's all you need to spark a little bit of fire. To spark a little bit of, you know what, it's not going to be like this again. That's our responsibility as coaches and our responsibility as leaders, is to constantly remind and reinforce what it was when we felt like this, so we try to not feel like this again next year."
This news comes just days before sophomore guard Noah Reynolds and redshirt freshman forward Nate Barnhardt announced they would be entering the NCAA Transfer Portal, joining Max Agbonkpolo, Ethan Anderson and Jake Kyman, who left the program in early February.
Wyoming currently has seven available scholarships. It appears the team may soon have a coaching vacancy, too.