‘This truly is a dream come true’
LARAMIE -- University of Wyoming head basketball coach Jeff Linder announced Wednesday the addition of Wyoming native Sundance Wicks to the Cowboy coaching staff. He has spent the last two seasons as head coach at Missouri Western.
“To have the opportunity to bring someone who dreamed of being a Cowboy and embodies all the characteristics of what it means to be a Cowboy back to his home state like coach Wicks is a special deal,” Linder said. “His passion and juice for the game of basketball will be felt the day he steps foot on campus. He has experienced every level of basketball and has thrived at every stop along the way. He’s a proven winner who finalizes an assistant coaching staff that will work tirelessly for our players, the state of Wyoming, and the University of Wyoming. I want to give a big Cowboy welcome to coach Wicks and his family!”
A native of Gillette, Wicks led the Griffons to 18 wins in 2019-20, as it was the most by the program in 10 years. In his first season at the helm of the program his team doubled their win total from the prior campaign. In his two seasons, Wick helped mentor six All-MIAA players and an NABC All-District selection.
“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. “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.”
Prior to his time at Missouri Western, Wick spent time at his alma mater Northern State University, where he was associate head coach during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons.
In 2017-18, Wicks helped lead Northern State to the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference regular season and postseason championships. Northern State also claimed the central region championship en route to the program's first-ever appearance in the national championship game.
Wicks has been an assistant coach at the Division II and Division I levels. After lettering four years as a student-athlete at Northern State from 1999-2003, Wicks held assistant coaching positions at Northern State, Colorado (2006-07), Northern Illinois (2007-11) and San Francisco (2015-16).
He also built the Arizona Power Basketball Academy, serving as a skill instructor and director from 2011-15. Prior to launching the APBA, he spent five months training NBA pre-draft prospects at the Impact Basketball Academy in Las Vegas.
Wicks' draft class trainees included Kawhi Leonard, Alec Burks and Isaiah Thomas.
Wicks began his collegiate coaching career as a graduate assistant at Northern State under the legendary Don Meyer.
As a student-athlete, Wicks was twice named first team All-NSIC, scoring 1,174 points and pulling down 665 rebounds in his career. He was also a two-time All-NSIC performer in the 400-meter hurdles at Northern State. After graduation, Wicks played for the Sodertalje Kings in Sweden. He led the team in points and rebounding.
Wicks graduated from Campbell County High School in 1999, where he lettered in football, basketball and track and field. In 1999, he was named the Millward Simpson Athlete of the Year.
Wicks was a part of two high school basketball championships (1996-97 and 1998-99), and in his senior season, won a trio of state championships in football, basketball and track and field, where he captured the individual state title in the 300-meter hurdles, and was the state runner-up in the 110-meter high hurdles.
“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,” Wicks said. "Wyoming is a place that is dear to my heart and my family’s heart. This truly is a dream come true."
Wicks received a bachelor's degree in international business from Northern State in 2003 and a master's degree in health, physical education and coaching from Northern State in 2006.