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Wyoming coach Branch signs contract extension

Mark Branch (Photo/Wyoming Sports Information)

LARAMIE, Wyo. -- Wyoming wrestling coach Mark Branch has signed a contract extension that will keep him in the Brown and Gold through the 2022-23 season.

"I'm excited to have the opportunity to continue what we started here," Branch said. "The commitment that the University of Wyoming has made towards the wrestling program has given us the tools to be successful, and I'm excited about what the future holds."

Having just wrapped up his 10th season at the helm of the Cowboy wrestling program, Branch has amassed a 100-49 overall record and a 49-14 mark in conference action. Under his watch, Wyoming has sent 51 wrestlers to the NCAA Championships with 12 returning as All-Americans.

Branch was named Big 12 Wrestling Coach of the Year in March, following a season in which the Cowboys went 13-3 overall with a 7-2 mark against Big 12 opponents. The Pokes' 13 dual wins go down as the fourth-most in a season in program history and their winning percentage of 81 percent is the sixth-best in one season.

Branch's Cowboys have finished in the top five at the Big 12 Championships each of the last three years, which includes a fourth place finish in 2018. At the tournament, seniors Archie Colgan and Bryce Meredith were awarded the program's first two Big 12 individual titles.

At the 2018 NCAA Championships, Meredith was able to claim national runner-up at 141 pounds for the second time in his career while redshirt freshman Montorie Bridges earned All-America honors for the first time in his career. As a team, Wyoming tallied its best finish under branch as the Cowboys placed 17th. It was the 20th top-25 finish and third in a row for the Brown and Gold.

Prior to the program joining the Big 12, Branch was named Western Wrestling Conference Coach of the Year for guiding the team to stellar seasons in 2010, 2011 and 2012. From Branch's arrival in Laramie in 2009 to the program's departure to the Big 12 in 2015, he oversaw six WWC team championships and 24 Cowboys taking individual conference titles.

Before coming to Wyoming, Branch was the associate head wrestling coach at Oklahoma State where as a student-athlete he was a four-time NCAA finalist and a two-time NCAA Champion. As a member of the OSU coaching staff, Branch was named the NWCA Assistant Coach of the Year in 2004. He helped coach OSU to seven Big 12 Championships, four NCAA Championships and three Dual Team Championships.

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