LARAMIE -- Wyoming has found its next safeties coach.

Jason Petrino, who spent the 2023 season as the defensive coordinator at North Dakota State, will be the latest hire by new head coach Jay Sawvel, according to sources familiar with the situation. ESPN's Adam Rittenberg also reported the hire on Thursday.

This won't be Petrino's first stop in Laramie.

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He served as a graduate assistant under former head coach Joe Glenn in 2003 and '04. Petrino was also the program's Director of Operations in 2008 and 2009, the first year of Dave Christensen's tenure on the high plains.

That's not all.

His older brother, Mike Petrino, began his coaching career at Wyoming back in 2011, serving on Joe Legerski's women's basketball staff. He spent four years in Laramie and is currently an assistant at Boise State. Younger brother, Jared Petrino, was also a graduate assistant at UW. He now works for FieldTurf, the company that installed the new playing surface inside War Memorial Stadium.

He is also cousins with Paul and Bobby Petrino, both of which are current offensive coordinators at Central Michigan and Arkansas, respectively. His uncle, Bob Petrino Sr., was the head coach at Carroll College (Montana) from 1971-98. He was replaced by former Wyoming player and coach Mike Van Diest in Helena.

Jason Petrino played for Van Diest at Carroll.



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NDSU ranked ninth in the FCS -- out of 122 programs -- in total defense last fall, allowing just 302.6 yards per game while finishing 11-4 overall. The Bison held its opponents to just 116.5 yards an outing on the ground. That's an average of 3.88 yards per carry. Petrino's defense surrendered only 186.1 yards a game through the air.

NDSU safety Cole Wisniewski led the FCS with eight interceptions in 14 games in 2023.

Before heading to Fargo, he spent four years as the defensive coordinator and safeties coach at Southern Illinois. Petrino was also the head coach at Rocky Mountain College (Montana) from 2016-18, finishing with an 18-16 record. After his resignation, Petrino was replaced in Billings by former Wyoming quarterback Chris Stutzriem.

Petrino was part of the defensive staff at Wyoming that helped the Cowboys secure a Las Vegas Bowl victory over UCLA in 2004 and a New Mexico Bowl win over Fresno State in '09.

Sawvel officially hired new offensive coordinator Jay Johnson on Wednesday afternoon. Aaron Bohl, son of former Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl, was also named the next defensive coordinator in Laramie on Thursday. Bohl spent the previous four seasons as the Cowboys' linebacker coach.

Sawvel served as the team's safeties coach since arriving on campus in 2020.


Jason Petrino Year-by-Year Coaching History
2000Carroll CollegeDefensive Backs
2001Carroll CollegeDefensive Backs
2002Carroll CollegeDefensive Backs
2003WyomingGraduate Assistant/Safeties
2004WyomingGraduate Assistant/Safeties
2005UMaryDefensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs
2006UMaryDefensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs
2007UMaryDefensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs
2008WyomingDirector of Operations
2009WyomingDirector of Operations
2010Winona StateDefensive Coordinator/Linebackers
2011Nebraska-OmahaDefensive Backs
2012South DakotaDefensive Coordinator
2013South DakotaDefensive Coordinator
2014South DakotaDefensive Coordinator
2015South DakotaDefensive Coordinator
2016Rocky MountainHead Coach4-7
2017Rocky MountainHead Coach6-5
2018Rocky MountainHead Coach8-4
2019Southern IllinoisDefensive Coordinator/Safeties
2020-21Southern IllinoisDefensive Coordinator/Safeties
2021Southern IllinoisDefensive Coordinator/Safeties
2022Southern IllinoisDefensive Coordinator/Safeties
2023North Dakota StateDefensive Coordinator/Safeties

University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players

During the summer of 2021, counted down the Top 50 football players in University of Wyoming history, presented by Premier Bone & Joint Centers, Worthy of Wyoming.

The rules are simple: What was the player's impact while in Laramie? That means NFL stats, draft status or any other accolade earned outside of UW is irrelevant when it comes to this list.

This isn't a one-man job. This task called for a panel of experts. Joining 7220's Cody Tucker are Robert GagliardiJared NewlandRyan Thorburn, and Kevin McKinney.

We all compiled our own list of 50 and let computer averages do the work. Think BCS -- only we hope this catalog is fairer.

Don't agree with a selection? Feel free to sound off on our Twitter: @7220sports - #Top50UWFB

Gallery Credit:

- University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players

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