* University of Wyoming press release

LARAMIE -- The University of Wyoming Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame will hold its annual banquet on Sept. 1 in the Gateway Center on the campus of the University of Wyoming.

Tickets for the event are now on sale by clicking here.

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This year's class features two of the best basketball players ever to play at Wyoming, a dynamic running back, an influential coach, and three conference championship teams comprise the Hall's 30th Class.

This year's inductees are Dabby Dawson (Football, 1988-89), Chad Lavin (Women's Basketball Coach, 1986-98), Larry Nance, Jr. (Men's Basketball, 2012-15), Aubrey Vandiver (Women's Basketball, 2007-11), the 1968-69 Western Athletic Conference Champion Men's Basketball Team, and the back-to-back Western Athletic Conference Champion wrestling teams of 1984-85 and 1985-86.

A total of 186 individuals and 22 teams have been inducted into the Hall of Fame since its inception in 1993.

Following is the Class of 2023:


Football, 1988-89

Hometown:  Wichita, Kansas

The first Cowboy to rush for 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons, Dawson starred at running back and earned all-Western Athletic Conference honors both years at UW. He led the league in rushing yards as a junior, and was fourth in the league his senior year. Dawson was instrumental in the Pokes’ WAC championship in 1988 while winning conference Newcomer of the Year. He is second all-time in average rushing yards per season, and also averaged 25.9 yards per kickoff return. A favorite among fans and teammates, Dawson was a team captain in 1989. After graduating from Wyoming with a degree in Business, Dawson founded and leads the LID Foundation (“Leaders in Development”) aimed at providing resources to children who are aging out of the foster care system.


Women’s Basketball Coach, 1986-98
Hometown:  Clear Lake, SD

Chad Lavin was named head coach of the Wyoming Cowgirls basketball team in 1986 and had an immediate impact on the program. He produced a 175-162 overall record, with one conference championship in 1989-90 (still the only regular-season conference championship in Cowgirl history), and four top-three conference finishes. He was the High Country Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 1986-87 and 1989-90. Among the standout players he coached are Michelle Hoppes, Christine Fairless, Yvette Plumlee, Marie Kauffman, Amy Burnett, Jesseca Cross, and Courtney Stapp. Lavin also had a major influence on girls’ basketball in the State of Wyoming, conducting numerous coaching clinics in Laramie and around the state. His Cowgirl basketball camps were the largest in the area for many years, helping to raise the level of play of girls’ basketball in the region.


Men’s Basketball, 2012-15
Hometown:  Akron, Ohio

One of the most exciting student-athletes ever to play at Wyoming, Larry Nance, Jr., was a tremendous all-around player. The Mountain West Defensive player of the year in 2014-15, he was a two-time all-conference player as well as a two-time all-defensive team honoree. He led Wyoming to the Mountain West Conference tournament championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament in 2015, earning all-MW Tournament honors in the process. He finished his career at Wyoming as a 1,000-point scorer, and in the top ten all-time in rebounds, blocked shots, and steals. A prolific dunker and fan favorite, he was featured numerous times on ESPN’s Top-10 highlights. He was drafted in the first round of the 2015 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Lakers, and is now a member of the New Orleans Pelicans.

Women’s Basketball, 2007-2011
Hometown:  Laramie, WY

One of the best all-around players in Wyoming history, Vandiver was a three-time all-Mountain West conference selection. As a senior, she was named conference Player of the Year after averaging 19.6 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in conference play. She recorded double-figures in both scoring and rebounding in 27 of 28 games her senior season. During her career at Wyoming, she also earned Academic All-District VII honors, all-conference academic honors, and was named a Mountain West Scholar-Athlete. As a freshman in 2007, she played a key role coming off the bench during the WNIT championship run. After graduation, she played professionally in Spain before embarking on a military career to serve her country.



Coached by Bill Strannigan, the 1968-69 Cowboy Basketball team tied for the Western Athletic Conference championship with an overall record of 19-9 and a conference record of 6-4. The Cowboys led the league in team defense in conference play, allowing 72.1 points per game.  Selected to play in the National Invitation Tournament in Madison Square Garden, they faced a tough Army team in the first round, and fell 51-49 in a hard-fought contest. The team featured all-conference first-team players Carl Ashley and Harry Hall, and second-team all-conference honoree Stan Dodds. Others on the team were Eli Bebout, Terry Childers, Steve Eberle, Bill Lazzeri, Steve Mountjoy, Steve Popovich, Brad Smith, Gary von Krosigk, Bob Wilson, and Roy Wilson. Bill Purden served as the assistant coach.



The 1984-85 Cowboy Wrestling team finished with an 8-3 dual record and won the Western Athletic Conference and Mountain Intercollegiate Wrestling Association championships. They crowned six conference champions – Bill Hodges, Scott Rardin, Scott Chipperfield, Mike Hamel, Ron Whitman, and John Bragg. Qualifying six wrestlers for the NCAA Tournament, the Cowboys finished 52nd overall nationally. The 1985-86 team finished 7-0-1 and was ranked 9th in the country. The Cowboys also won the WAC and the MIWA and featured six conference champions – Mike McNaney, Mike Hamel, Brian Wilson, Joe DeCamillis, John Bragg, and Jon Cogdill.  With six qualifiers, they tied for 32nd at the NCAA Tournament.

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