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School of Ropes

By contributor Charlie Coon

College rodeo’s spring season wraps up by early May setting the field for the College National Finals Rodeo this summer. A number of teams have student-athletes on the roster who are either PRCA card holders or will be in the near future. However, very few schools have ProRodeo world champions providing hands-on instruction like Powell, Wyo.’s Northwest College. In late March, the Big Sky Region squad was tutored by the 2011 Wrangler NFR team roping world champion and Team Wrangler member, Jhett Johnson.

This valuable instruction was available to the Northwest Trappers due to their coach’s teaching strategy. Coach Del Nose is a past Montana Circuit steer wrestling champion and a five-time qualifier for the Montana Circuit Finals in bareback riding and steer wrestling. Del is a Gold Card holder in the PRCA and serves as a Wrangler Pro-Reserve Official. But even with his strong rodeo resume, Coach Nose says it isn’t hard to tell when instructions begin to fall on deaf ears and the team is in need of the jolt a pro with a pedigree provides. Here you can see Jhett Johnson doing just that:

Over the last two months coach Del Nose has brought in no fewer than four former ProRodeo world champs including Dan Mortensen (saddle bronc: 1993-95, 1997-98, 2003; all-around: 1997), Kelly Timberman (bareback: 2004), Jason Miller (steer wrestling: 2007) and Jhett Johnson (team roping-heeler: 2011). Johnson is currently serving as an assistant rodeo coach at Casper (WY) College.

Special thanks to Mike McCrimmon who filmed and edited the above Wrangler Network video feature.

‘Travels with Charlie’ is a biweekly series of features by Charlie Coon produced exclusively for the Wrangler Network. Using the penname Curtis Scott, Mr. Coon has provided stories for the past 20 years to such outlets as The History Channel Magazine, American Heritage and the Denver Post. He is based in Cheyenne, Wyo., where he serves as coordinator for the state of Wyoming’s cowboy marketing program. Coon and cameraman Mike McCrimmon put together news, sports, and human interest features on a semi-regular basis for TV stations in Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota.