Grant Promoted to Offensive Passing Game Coordinator

Sep 28, 2019; Laramie, WY, USA; Wyoming Cowboys wide receivers coach Mike Grant against the UNLV Rebels at War Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-UW Media-Athletics

by staff–19 Feb ’21

University of Wyoming head football coach Craig Bohl announced on Thursday the promotion of Mike Grant to the position of Offensive Passing-Game Coordinator.  Grant has been on the Wyoming coaching staff since 2016 and will be entering his sixth season on the Cowboy coaching staff in 2021.  This coming season will be Grant’s 29th as a college coach.  He will continue to coach the Wyoming wide receivers. 

“As Cowboy Football continues to make strides in re-engineering our offense, Mike Grant will take on the new role of Passing-Game Coordinator,” said Bohl.  “He will coordinate an aggressive passing game within our offense.  Mike has been part of our system for many years now and has a great understanding of our personnel.  He also has an excellent understanding of the Mountain West Conference and will be a valuable resource for our offensive coaching staff as we move Cowboy Football forward in 2021.”

“I am incredibly honored to be promoted to Passing-Game Coordinator because I understand this program’s ability to be successful and what it will take to reach new levels,” said Grant.  “I’m grateful to Coach Bohl for this opportunity and putting trust in me and expanding my capacity to impact the passing game.  I can’t wait to contribute in this elevated role with the players and take on this new challenge with Coach (Tim) Polasek and the rest of our talented coaching staff.  I am excited for this season and am excited to help lead our team’s offense to new heights. Go Pokes!”

Wyoming’s offense will return a wealth of experience in the passing game.  Quarterbacks Sean Chambers and Levi Williams both return with starting experience.  Grant’s receiving corps returns a talented group who gained valuable experience last season led by senior Ayden Eberhardt, junior Gunner Gentry and freshmen Isaiah Neyor, Alex Brown, Joshua Cobbs and Devin Jennings.  Neyor returns after earning Honorable Mention All-Mountain West honors in 2020 from Mountain West head coaches and media.  His 31.0-yard average per reception was among the best in the nation in 2020.

During his time at Wyoming, Grant has coached former Cowboy standout receivers Tanner Gentry, Jake Maulhardt, Austin Conway and Raghib Ismail Jr.

Over his previous 28 seasons as a college coach, Grant has helped the teams he has coached to 15 bowl bids, including three bowl appearances at Wyoming in his first five seasons with the Cowboys.  Grant has been part of 20 total bowl appearances, including five as a player at his alma mater, the University of Nebraska, where he played quarterback for the Huskers.

In his four seasons (1993-96) as a recruiting assistant and graduate assistant at Nebraska, he was part of Husker teams that won National Championships in 1994 and ‘95.  Nebraska posted back-to-back undefeated seasons in 1994 (13-0) and ‘95 (12-0), and posted an 11-2 record in 1996, finishing that season ranked No. 6 in the national polls.  He was on the same staff at Nebraska in 1995 and ‘96 as Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl.

Grant’s first year at Wyoming was the 2016 season.  The Cowboys won the Mountain Division of the MW in 2016 and earned the right to host the Mountain West Championship Game as the highest ranked team in the conference.  Wyoming went on to earn a bid to the 2016 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.  That season saw the Pokes average 35.9 points per game to rank No. 2 in the Mountain West and No. 25 in the nation.  The Wyoming passing game behind quarterback Josh Allen averaged 15.3 yards per completion in 2016 to rank No. 8 in the NCAA.  In the red zone, the Pokes converted 90.6 percent of their red-zone opportunities into scores to rank 14th in the country.  Wyoming’s offense also ranked No. 1 in the MW and No. 22 in the NCAA in first downs, with 312, was No. 32 in the nation in time of possession (31:34), ranked No. 33 in the country in passing efficiency (143.82 rating) and No. 36 in the nation in rushing offense, averaging 205.4 yards per game.  

Tanner Gentry was named Second Team All-Mountain West as a wide receiver in 2016.  Gentry was named to the Biletnikoff Award Watch List.  He caught 14 touchdown passes to lead the Mountain West and rank No. 9 in the nation.  Gentry’s 1,326 receiving yards in 2016 also led the MW and ranked 12th in the NCAA.  His 94.7 receiving yards per game, ranked him No. 21 nationally.  Gentry is currently a member of the Buffalo Bills along with Allen.  In 2016, Grant also coached senior wide receiver Maulhardt, who was invited to the New Orleans Saints rookie camp in the spring of 2017.

The 2020 Wyoming offense ranked No. 7 in the nation in passing yards per completion, averaging 14.84 yards.  UW was also No. 14 in the NCAA in rushing offense, averaging 219.5 yards per game.  The Cowboy offense scored on 88.5 percent of its red-zone opportunities to rank No. 32 among FBS teams, and the Pokes committed only nine turnovers to rank No. 24 in the nation in fewest turnovers.

The 2019 season saw the Cowboy offense rank No. 2 in the Mountain West and No. 23 in the nation in rushing offense, averaging 214. 8 yards per game.  The Cowboy offense also ranked No. 10 in the NCAA in passing yards per completion (14.75 yards per completion), No. 14 in fewest tackles for loss allowed (4.62 per game), No. 26 in fewest fumbles lost (6), No. 32 in third-down conversions (43.3 percent), No. 32 in fewest sacks allowed (1.62 per game) and No. 33 in fewest turnovers committed (15).  The Cowboys concluded the season with an 8-5 record and captured the Arizona Bowl championship.

In 2018, the Wyoming Cowboys would win their last four games of the season to earn bowl eligibility at 6-6.  In spite of the UW offense being in transition after former Cowboy quarterback Josh Allen became the No. 7 overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Wyoming offense hit its stride during a four-game winning streak to end the 2018 season.  During that four-game win streak, the Pokes averaged 31.0 points and 415.5 yards per game.  UW’s 2018 offense also ranked No. 1 in the MW and No. 4 in the nation in fewest turnovers, committing only 11 total turnovers for the year. 

Grant helped coach a Wyoming offense in 2017 that was extremely efficient in the red zone, scoring on 33 of 34 red-zone opportunities to rank No. 2 in the nation.  The offense also did an excellent job of protecting the ball, committing only 14 turnovers to rank No. 19 in the country.  UW’s offense combined with its defense (38 turnovers forced) to rank No. 1 in the nation in turnover margin, with a +24 turnover margin.  Wyoming would record eight wins for the second straight season, and the Pokes posted a convincing 37-14 win in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl over Central Michigan.  In that bowl victory, all three of Wyoming’s offensive touchdowns came on touchdown passes to Wyoming wide receivers.

Mike Grant’s Coaching History

2021-                   Wyoming                   Offensive Passing-Game Coordinator/Wide Receivers

2016-20                Wyoming                   Wide Receivers

2014-15                North Texas                Wide Receivers/Recruiting Coordinator

2013                    North Texas                Wide Receivers

2011-12                North Texas                Running Backs

2008-10                Western Michigan      Assistant Head Coach/WRs

2007                    Southern Miss            Wide Receivers

2001-06                Iowa State                 Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

2000                    Iowa State                 Running Backs

1999                    Iowa State                 Outside Linebackers

1998                    Iowa State                 Secondary

1997                    James Madison           Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

1994-96                Nebraska                   Graduate Assistant

1993                    Nebraska                   Recruiting Assistant

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