He's Back: Riley Grabu Added to Wyoming Basketball Staff as Director of Recruiting

Tracy Ringolsby

Riley Grabu, a master of basketball fundamentals, is returning to his alma mater.

Grabu's hiring as the Director of Recruiting was announced Friday by new Cowboys' basketball coach Jeff Linder. Grabu was a stabilizing factor for the Cowboys team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2015.

“Riley is someone who knows what it takes to win at Wyoming,” Linder said “He lived it and saw what it looked like everyday as a student-athlete playing for Coach (Larry) Shyatt. The hard work paid off with a degree from the University of Wyoming, a Mountain West Championship trophy, and an opportunity to play in the NCAA Tournament. To have him on the coaching staff to where he can share those experiences with our student-athletes is invaluable.”

In his two seasons as the head coach at Boulder High School he guided the school to the Colorado 5A State Tournament in his first season advancing to the second round. This past season, Boulder recorded a 20-5 overall record and an 11-1 mark in conference. He also spent time at Boulder High School as an assistant coach.

Grabu and Linder developed a working relationship the last few years. Linder, the head coach at Northern Colorado the last four years, emphasized recruiting in Colorado. He, like Grabu, is a native of Colorado, growing up in the Denver area.

“I’m very excited to return to the University of Wyoming,” Grabau said. “Very few people get the opportunity to not only to work at the Division I level, but to do so at your alma mater. I’m excited to learn from coach Linder and the staff and make an impact on student-athlete lives. 

"Coach Linder and I have a great connection and I’m looking forward to taking advantage of the opportunity he has given me. He has had great success at every place he has coached.”

Grabu played professionally for the Glasgow Rocks of the British Basketball League following his senior season with the Cowboys.

Grabau was one of five seniors on the 2014-15 squad that helped lead Wyoming to a Mountain West tournament title and its first NCAA tournament since 2001-02. He started in 34 of the Cowboys' 35 games and averaged 9.1 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 33.9 minutes per game, while shooting 37 percent beyond the arc and Wyoming record 94 percent at the free throw line. His free-throw percentage led the MW and NCAA.

For his career, Grabau finished  second in Wyoming history in threes made (171), third in threes attempted (465), fifth in three-point percentage (.368), first in free-throw percentage (.882), ninth in games started (97) and 11th in games played (120).

Linder puts an emphasis on three-point shooting.

“Heading back to be a part of the Cowboys gives me goosebumps,” Grabau said. “The Wyoming fans are truly the best and I loved the support over the years. It was an honor to play in front of our fans and I’m excited to get back into the Arena-Auditorium. I just loved the pride and passion in the Wyoming community and I’m thrilled to be around that once again.”

Grabu graduated from Wyoming in 2015 with a degree in criminal justice.

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