Ryan Allen 4A Coach of the Year

Jackson Hole High School golf coach Ryan Allen was recently named the Wyoming 4A Coach of the Year. Allen will be honored next summer at an awards ceremony in Casper.

After etching himself into the history books as the newest Jackson Hole High School Broncs coach to help bring a state title to town, Ryan Allen has been named 4A golf’s Coach of the Year for the 2021 season.

An honor that typically follows a state title berth, Allen missed out last season as his boys team finished just strokes away from the top spot in the state. This season, the Broncs had their eyes set on the title from the very first day of practice, and saw their goals come together as the boys hoisted their second state championship trophy in program history over their heads at their home tournament in Jackson.

While Allen expectedly handed out the credit to the rest of his staff and players, his accolade is remarkable considering where the program was just a few seasons ago. With a youthful roster entering the 2020 season, the Broncs weren’t expected to be a factor at the conference tournament in Casper, let alone finish in the top two, but the team surpassed expectations and put Jackson golf back on the map.

Under Allen’s leadership, the program has completely flipped the script from chasing the top of 4A competition to being chased. The boys team entered the 2021 season as favorites to win it all, and ended the season ahead of every other team at the highest level of high school golf in Wyoming.

Allen follows a recent trend of Jackson Hole coaches to be honored with the award, most recently with Matt Hoelscher of Broncs soccer and Jeff Brazil of the Broncs boys and girls cross-country team.

Allen — who found out about the recognition over email — was voted on by his coaching peers around the state and is set to receive the award at a ceremony in Casper next summer.

The leader of a five-coach staff — one of the largest in the state — Allen says the recognition speaks volumes to the commitment of his athletes, along with his loyal team of assistant coaches in Nick Bath, Steve White, LB Haney and H.S Russell, who have all worked tirelessly to put Broncs student-athletes in a position to compete for championships.

“I think it’s a reflection of the time and energy that myself and the coaching staff have put in over the past three years since we took over. It’s also a reflection of our kids buying into our program,” he said.

While the third-year coach’s name will be the one etched on the trophy, Allen gave all the credit to his players, who got over the hump this season to capture the title. Players like Hayes Millham, Max French, Mason Evans, Ridge Kling and Adam Russell were all crucial pieces to the puzzle, and will undoubtedly leave a mark on the program after their time as student-athletes comes to an end.

After coming so close in 2020, Jackson Hole Activities Director Mike Hansen noticed Allen’s commitment to bouncing back from a near state title to put his team in a position to make another run at division supremacy.

“I think he’s done a tremendous job of setting those goals,” Hansen said. “I know it was a significant goal of theirs to win the state championship here in their hometown and they set their goal ahead of time and then they practiced and planned all year to achieve that goal.”

Hansen — who planned the state tournament alongside Allen for nearly three years — has witnessed firsthand the dedication he has shown to the program.

“[Allen] is extremely deserving of this honor,” Hansen said. “He’s done a tremendous job with our golf program over the past few years. His dedication, time and effort that he’s put into it has been phenomenal.”

Making the transition from 3A to 4A prior to the start of his coaching tenure in Jackson, Allen wasn’t sure how his team would respond to the promotion, but welcomed the challenges that came with it.

“I think we figured out pretty quickly that we could hang [with them],” Allen said. “We built that momentum and confidence to know that we can compete with these bigger schools and that we can compete with 4A competition.”

His activities director agreed.

“I think he embraced that challenge of beating the bigger schools in the state,” Hansen said. “I think he really enjoys being in 4A and being able to compete with the big schools and be successful at it.”

As a reward for their continued success, the Broncs boys will make their second consecutive trip to the Pinehurst Invitational this summer. With his eyes already set on the 2022 4A season, Allen let it be known he’s not satisfied with just one championship ... and he doesn’t expect his returning starters to be either.

“We’re not going to get complacent,” he said. “We’re going to keep doing what we’ve done to be successful. We’re going to learn from our mistakes that we’ve had in the past, and then we’re going to continue to try and get better.”

Contact Will Aldrich at 732-7065 or sports@jhnewsandguide.com.

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