The Wyoming Cowgirls hoops team is excited for the start of the Heather Ezell era

Published: Oct. 13, 2022 at 12:16 AM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - The Cowgirls basketball team is heading into a new season following an impressive performance in the WNIT last March. However, there will be a new leader for them on the sidelines this time around

Heather Ezell is taking the reigns after seven years on the bench for Wyoming after former women’s basketball coach Gerald Mattinson announced his retirement. She said that her experience under Mattinson and his predecessor Joe Legerski has prepared her well for this opportunity.

“I think more than anything [I learned] just how to manage a team, how to lead a team how to lead a staff. Obviously I had two predecessors who were big time guys in doing that and being very successful with Joe and G. So I had great people to learn from and just tried so soak as much as I could in,” Ezell said.

The team had a lot of success when Ezell coached under Legerski and Mattinson. The Cowgirls won 130 games over that span, won a Mountain West tournament title, and made their second ever NCAA tournament appearance.

Junior forward Grace Ellis noted that Ezell wants to see each of her players reach their full potential.

“I think she’s a really tough and intense coach, so she really pushes us to be the best. She’ll let us know when we’re not up to standard, she won’t let you get away with going half speed. You’re either here and you’re training like you’re going to play or you shouldn’t be here training at all. And I think that’s really good is that she’ll tell you when she doesn’t think you’re doing good enough and pushes us to be the best we can be,” Ellis said.

Fifth-year graduate student guard Quinn Weidemann has plenty of experience with Ezell on the sidelines, and she said that she’s already seen noticeable strides in her new head coach’s influence on the team.

“I think that her leadership, her vocal leadership [has grown], she is making the decisions now. So I think that her growing from that is just huge, and I’m really excited to see what she does for us for the rest of the season,” Weidemann said.

Their season starts on the road at North Dakota on Nov. 11.