Laramie High officially announced on Tuesday Rod Tyson recently resigned as head basketball coach for the Lady Plainsmen.
It was Tyson’s second stint at the helm of the LHS girls basketball squad, and according to LHS activities director Ron Wagner it was because of personal reasons.
“We are disappointed to report that Coach Rod Tyson has stepped down as the Laramie High School Girls Varsity Basketball Head Coach,” Wagner said in a statement. “Coach Tyson has had an opportunity professionally that he could not pass up. For that, we are very excited for him.”
Efforts by WyoSports to contact Tyson Tuesday were unsuccessful.
Wagner said a search for a new head coach has begun with consideration of local circumstances associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With the current uncertain climate of school closures, we will try to be as diligent as possible in getting a new head coach hired,” Wagner continued. “The position at this time is open and we will be working on moving forward. We thank Coach Tyson for all his time and dedication to Laramie High School and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
Tyson, and his longtime assistant coach Doug Roehrkasse, were in the process of coaching a young team in a rebuilding mode for the program. The Lady Plainsmen were 11-34 the past two seasons.
Tyson first coached the Lady Plainsmen from 2008-13 for an 89-43 record. Roehrkasse was also with Tyson during that span that included four straight trips to the state tournament. Roehrkasse was a teammate of Tyson when the two won the only state title for the Plainsmen in 1985.
It was one of the best stretches in program history, including a program-best 23-4 season in 2011-12 and the only state title for LHS girls basketball. That championship game was a stunning 38-35 upset of top-ranked, top-seeded and undefeated Casper Natrona.
Tyson, who has also been a longtime girls basketball coach at the middle school level, returned to the Lady Plainsmen before the 2018-19 season.
Former senior forward Jennifer Aadland led the Lady Plainsmen that season with 17.7 points and 10.4 rebounds for double-figure averages to go with team-highs of 4.5 blocks and 2.2 steals per game. She ranked first in blocks, second in points and third in rebounds in all of Class 4A for her second straight all-state honor. Aadland now plays for Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois.
A pair of then-sophomores were second and third in scoring in 2018-19 in guard Kylee Cox and guard/forward Kayla Vasquez. Cox averaged 8.2 points, and Vasquez had 4.9 points and 3.9 rebounds. Cox was second team and Vasquez was honorable mention all-conference selections.
The two returned as juniors last season to help lead the Lady Plainsmen.
Cox was named first team all-conference with a team-high 11 points to go with 3.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.5 steals per game. She tied for seventh in the East Conference in points, fourth in 3-point percentage at 35% and third in free-throw percentage at 81%, which was also fifth in all of 4A.
Vasquez earned all-conference honorable mention with 5.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, and team-highs of 2.1 steals and 1.3 blocks. Her blocks per game were fourth in the conference and tied for fourth 4A.
Sophomore forward/center Morgann Jensen and sophomore point guard Janey Adair were also all-conference honorable mention selections last season.
Jensen had 5.1 points and a team-high 8.4 rebounds. Her rebounds ranked third in the conference and fifth in 4A. She also had a conference sixth-best 0.8 blocks per game.
Adair had 6.7 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.9 steals. She also had a sixth-best 34% in 3-point shooting in the conference.