Welcome to our series, #WHYoming, brought to you in partnership by Kaumo Law.
We are highlighting people from around our communities and asking them a few questions. We want to learn a little about them and see why they chose this great state to raise their families, start their businesses, or simply to ask — Why Wyoming?
This week, I had a chance to talk with Laurie Ivie, the Green River High School boys head basketball coach. Laurie has been head coach for the Wolves for four seasons. This season, Laurie and her team earned a state qualification, which is the first time the GRHS boys basketball team has qualified since 2009.
Laurie could not be more proud of her team, and she said they worked hard for their state qualification. Growing up in a basketball-loving family, Laurie has always wanted to be a coach. She found her place at Green River High School.
This community series is brought to you by:
Laurie, what do you enjoy most about coaching for the GRHS boys basketball team?
The most enjoyable part of coaching is interaction with the players. High school basketball is a long season. We start in November and finish in March. Off-season opportunities (open gym, camps, tournaments, weights, etc.) pick up in May, and continue until season starts back up in November. We get to spend a ton of time together, and there are many special relationships that are created along the way with players, families, and other coaches.
What does your background in basketball look like?
I come from a basketball-loving family. My dad was a basketball player and coached boys basketball at Rock Springs High School (assistant coach 1977-1979, head coach 1979-1982). Both my sisters and I played high school basketball, my niece played college basketball, and my little sister is married to the head men’s basketball coach at University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS).
For as long as I could remember, I wanted to be a teacher and a coach. I started coaching as soon as I graduated from college, and have coached middle school volleyball, girls basketball, and boys basketball. I have been coaching boys basketball the longest at a variety of different levels (Jr. Jazz, traveling teams, middle school, freshman, JV) before becoming the head boys basketball coach at GRHS.
You’ve turned the GRHS boys basketball program around, even taking your team to the state tournament for the first time since 2009. How did you and your team accomplish the success you all have seen this season?
Our team has worked extremely hard, both in season as well as during the off season. They have accomplished big things this year because they believe in each other, and they believe in what we are doing. They have been playing basketball together for a very long time, and they have a very special chemistry.
What do you do for a living when you’re not coaching basketball?
I am an educational consultant with Instructional Intensity Inc., and I work with students, teachers, and administrators from all over the state. I find it extremely rewarding to be in a position to focus my work on supporting educators in order to create positive and conclusive results for students.
How did you end up in Green River?
I was born and raised in Rock Springs. My husband and I had talked about moving to Green River for quite some time. Five years ago, our family decided the time was right.
What are some of your hobbies?
I love to spend time with my family outdoors. Camping, fishing, and hunting.
What do you appreciate most about our community?
I love the way our community supports and takes care of each other. Sweetwater County is an extremely kind, thoughtful, and generous community.
If you could give one brief piece of advice, what would it be?
Don’t let anyone convince you that you don’t have what it takes. Be a dreamer. Believe in yourself.
Where is your favorite place to hang out in Sweetwater County?
On my back porch. It overlooks the Green River.
Would you rather walk, ride a bike, take a horse, or drive a car?
Walk! I spend too much time in a car traveling for my job, and on a school bus traveling for basketball.
What would you sing at karaoke night?
Absolutely would not happen… I would never punish people like that.
How would your friends describe you?
Yikes! I’d hate to even ask.
What is one of your proudest accomplishments?
All of the amazing moments that come along with being a mother.
Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?
Mariska Hargitay. I love how she plays her character, Olivia Benson, on Law and Order SVU- intelligent, professional, firm, yet compassionate.
Why do you continue to live in Wyoming?
I love Wyoming- its history, wildlife, people, outdoor recreational opportunities, and all the memories my family and I have created here.