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Libby Winchell: CC’s First Women’s Rodeo Coach

By Faythe Fowler

The women’s rodeo team added a new member to their roster this year; a women’s coach. Hired just this year, Libby Winchell is the first Women’s Rodeo Coach at Casper College. Winchell is originally from Scottsbluff, Neb., where she grew up surrounded by the rodeo lifestyle. 

“My mom rodeoed,” Winchell said. “I have an older sister, and she was rodeoing before I was.”

Winchell continued her rodeo journey in college by goat tying, breakaway roping, and running barrels for Eastern Wyoming College before transferring to Tarleton State University. Winchell found success in the arena from the of her collegiate career.

“I made the college finals my first year,” said Winchell. “I was a 6.5 in the first round…and like a 7.5 my second round.”

After her graduation from Tarleton State in May of 2023, she wanted to continue her rodeo career and didn’t plan on coaching at CC.

“My kind of game plan was just to go rodeo,” Winchell said. “Then, a phone call changed everything, you could say.”

Spanning over just a few weeks, Winchell received calls from various CC staff members, offering her a position as the new women’s rodeo coach. 

“Sandy Bob (Forbes) called me and inquired if I would be interested,” Winchell said. “And Jhett (Johnson) called too. Then I got a call from Paul (Marble), the athletic director… and I was here two days later, interviewed, and got the job.”

Since her hire at CC, coaching the women proved successful. Winchell said she enjoys her time here, enjoys her team, and thinks the school and facilities are great. 

“The opportunities are endless if they want to come to school here,” said Winchell. “They get to rope and practice every day. A lot of other schools don’t get to do that.”

Waci Thomson, a freshman from Alberta, Canada, runs barrels, breakaway ropes, and ties goats for the women’s team. 

“She pushes us to do our best,” said Thomson. “She’s good with a rope, so she can see something and help.”

Winchell offers her help every day and is there for her team. Thomson said she helps with horses, setting up and running practice, roping swing techniques, and anything else she can. She wants to see her team improve and succeed more than anything. 

As well as coaching the women’s team, Winchell also offers her help to the men’s team.

“She usually helps the calf ropers a lot, knowing what calf horses should and shouldn’t do, she’s there to help,” said Hayes Hammond, a team roper and calf roper on the men’s team. 

Winchell, as well as the other rodeo coaches, are there for the benefit of the athletes.

“All of the coaches here, they don’t teach, so our coaching is our full-time gig,” said Winchell. “So we’re here as much as we can be, and if kids do need anything, we’re only a phone call away.”

Winchell strives to bring personal improvement to her athletes and truly wants to see them succeed in all areas of their personal, school, and rodeo careers.

“She overall has helped me and the girls a ton, inside and out of the arena,” said Thomson.

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