Welcome to our series, #WHYoming.
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?
For this week’s #WHYoming, I had a chance to talk with Tim Cassity, Green River High School industrial arts teacher. Tim has also been a coach for 35 years, coaching basketball, football, and track and field. For Tim, teaching and coaching came hand in hand as career options. After over three decades of coaching and teaching, he knows it was the best possible route for him. And the students would agree, as he is beloved in the classroom, as well as on the filed, court, and track. (I myself had Coach Cassity as a high-jump coach during my time at Lincoln Middle School, and I found the experience to be very valuable and a lot of fun.)
Tim was born and raised in Wyoming, growing up on a dairy farm, and he has spent all but one year of his career teaching in Green River. He loves this community and the people in it, and he cannot see himself living anywhere else. Wyoming has provided the perfect place and environment to raise his family alongside his wife, and he is thankful to this state and community. Those who have had the privilege to work with Tim, be coached by him, or take one of his classes over the years would surely agree that it is people like Tim and his family who make Green River and Sweetwater County such a great place to live.
Tim, what do you do for a living?
I am a Career and Tech Ed teacher (Industrial Arts) and a football, basketball and track coach. Thirty-five years for football, 33 for basketball, and 34 for track.
Why did you choose teaching and what do you enjoy about your job?
Well, my wood shop teacher in high school always kept telling me I should be a teacher, and he thought I would be good at it, but all I could see was me having to go to school for the rest of my life and at the time that didn’t sound all that enticing. I always wanted to coach and really admired my high school coaches, and I thought you had to be a teacher to coach so that helped me decide that. I started college in something else and quickly felt really bored with that and just felt inside I wanted to teach and coach.
The greatest thing about teaching is the kids! Green River has been blessed with some of the most outstanding young people you could ever ask to teach. They have just been a pleasure to teach and coach. Ninety-nine percent of them are outstanding. Pretty good odds, I would say. They are respectful and love to learn and are willing to listen. They call me Mr. C or Papa Cass so they are pretty fun to be around and good to me. They don’t bring me apples, but they do bring me chocolate chip cookies so it’s always a good day! The good kids make it a pleasure to be a teacher!
What sports did you coach this past year?
This year I coached football, basketball and track. I have coached them all for my entire career, but I took two years off for a break in basketball between varsity girls and freshman boys.
How did you get into coaching?
As I said, I was always that kid that was telling everyone how to shoot correctly, how the correct way to do this and that, and I loved my coaches in junior high and high school. I started taking the coaching classes in college and figured it would help me get a job teaching also.
This past basketball season, you hit the 700 mark for the number of games you’ve coached. What did that mean to you?
Well, it means I’m old, I guess. It was a surprise when I found out. One of my students saw my score books that I have kept for all these years and looked up her mom that I had coached many years ago to see how many points she had scored. Then the kids started counting and then my son found out and said that was a big number and let it out. I didn’t figure it was that big of a deal but he said it was so he told on me. I had kept the records of all my teams, but never really kept the overall total.
We are now at 712 after this year.
How did you end up in Green River?
I was lucky to be assigned to student teach at GRHS under the best woodworking teacher in the country and after teaching my first year at Crown Point High School in New Mexico, I got a chance to teach at Lincoln Middle School. After six years there, I got the job at Green River High School. Never planned on staying here but after a few years I never planned on leaving. I loved my job and the community and it has been a great place to raise our family and to live. Love it here!
What do you appreciate most about our community?
I found the people here very kind and nice. It always felt to be a friendly and close-knit place, and a safe place to live. Close to the best fishing and hunting. It is quiet, and I like quiet. I grew up in a place with lots of trees everywhere and big mountains. Everyone always asked, how can you live there without any trees? I just say, have you seen the rock formations? Looking at the skyline towards White Mountain? And the view from Wolves stadium during a Friday night football game? Makes you appreciate living here real fast!
What are some of your hobbies?
I love to golf, fish, hunt, hike, shooting guns and woodworking.
If you could give one brief piece of advice, what would it be?
“Know when to shut your mouth.” Given to me by my dad when I left home. He was an expert at it but his son is not. Still working on that one!
Where is your favorite place to hang out in Sweetwater County?
I love FMC Park, Ten Mile Canyon and the Flaming Gorge because they are beautiful and there is a lot of wildlife.
Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?
Kevin Costner. My wife says I look like him and act like him but I’m not sure about that.
What would you sing at karaoke night?
“Like A Rock” by Bob Seger, and “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey.
What are some of your proudest accomplishments?
Graduating from the University of Wyoming.
Winning the 2004 5A State Football Championship as offensive coordinator for the Wolves!
Getting to coach in the 2002 South All Star game for varsity girls’ basketball.
When one of my students place third in the nation in cabinetmaking at Skills USA 2021.
What’s something unique about you?
I grew up on a dairy farm.
Why do you choose to live in Wyoming?
I was born in Wyoming and I love the wide open spaces, mountains, the great hunting and fishing, and the fact there are not a lot of people. And also that most people don’t know where it is!