Together Again: Linder and DeWeese Reunite on Wyoming Basketball Staff

Tracy Ringolsby

Ken DeWeese established his ability as a premiere recruiter at a young age -- as an assistant to his father Ken DeWeese at Mary Hardin-Baylor from 2005-09. And he built fan impact resume over the years.

Jeff Linder, hired as the Wyoming basketball coach a week ago, knows first hand the impact of DeWeese, who was on Linder's staff at Northern Colorado the last four years, and will continue to work with Linder in Laramie.

DeWeese's hiring was announced by the Cowboys on Tuesday. He becomes the second assistant hired by Linder, who a week ago announced he was retaining Shaun Vandiver, who had been on the staff of former Wyoming coach Allen Edwards.

Linder and DeWeese teamed up at Northern Colorado to take the Bears to three consecutive 20-plus win seasons, one more than the Bears had managed in their combined history prior to that run, and a school-best 15 Big Sky wins in back-to-back seasons. In the 2017-18 season, UNC won a school record 26 games and claimed the CIT championship, the first Division I school from Colorado to win a post-season tournament since 1940.

"I'm excited to have coach DeWeese on board with me here at Wyoming," Linder said in a release issued by the University of Wyoming. "He has been with me since day one at UNC and was a huge part of what we did there. He will do the same here with the Cowboys. It will be great to continue this journey with him and his family."

In addition to the time on his father's staff from 2005-2009, DeWeese's coaching resume includes a season as the Director of Basketball Operations at Idaho (2004-05), a year as an assistant at Utah Valley (2009-10) and and six years at UTEP (2010-2016) before joining Linder at Northern Colorado.

DeWeese helped guide the UTEP to three seasons of 22 wins or more and two NIT appearances. Known for his recruiting at UTEP, DeWeese signed 26 players that were on Conference USA commissioner's Honor Roll selections.

In his first year as an assistant at El Paso, DeWeese recruited four-student athletes who went on to earn All-Conference USA honors, including 2014-15 C-USA Defensive Player of the Year Julian Washbrun. DeWeese recruited a consensus national Top 100 recruit, Vincent Hunter, who was C-USA Freshman on the Year in 2013-14 and First Team All-Conference in 2014-15. 

In back-to-back years, DeWeese was ranked as the top assistant in C-USA by NextUpRecruits.com and was the second ranked assistant in 2013-14 and 2014-'15. In six seasons at UTEP the Miners defeated nationally ranked opponents Oregon, Nebraska, Michigan, Texas Tech, New Mexico State, Auburn, Memphis, Tennessee, Xavier and Washington State.

DeWeese coached NBA players Hunter and Julian Washburn of the Memphis Grizzlies and Julyan Stone, who played for the Nuggets, Raptors and Hornets. Two of his players also play in the NFL -- Cederik Lang of the Eagles and Aaron Jones of the Packers.

As an assistant at Mary Hardin-Baylor (2005-09), under his father, the Crusaders finished with an 85-27 (.758) record in DeWeese's four seasons, and erarned two NCAA (Division III) tournament berths. DeWeese was solely responsible for the recruitment of four student-athletes who helped UMHB reach the 2013 D3 National Championship game.

"One of the cool things about growing up was my father being an assistant coach UTEP in the old Western Athletic Conference and hearing all the stories about how much Don Haskins enjoyed coming to Laramie," said DeWeese. "So before even taking this position I always thought of Wyoming as a great college athletics community."

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