BY KATI RIVERA
Bronc Rumford will be stepping down as Head Coach of the Fort Hays State Rodeo Club and Team and moving to an assistant coach position at the conclusion of this season. Rumford has been involved in FHSU Rodeo for the last five decades – fourteen with the title of head coach. Rumford’s father was part of the original Rodeo Club at FHSU and Rumford has continued to follow in his footsteps since.
“Over all the years, probably my favorite thing is just the environment of Fort Hays State University,” Rumford said after being asked what he has enjoyed the most about coaching at FHSU.
Rumford will be passing the baton to Guy Forell, who has been acting as an assistant coach this season. Forell previously coached at competing schools, Colby Community College and Northwestern Oklahoma State Univerity. After applying for a teaching job at FHSU, Forell stayed in contact with some faculty members and heard about the rodeo coaching position.
“I have always wanted to coach at Fort Hays. I have watched the FHSU program for a long time and feel I can contribute in a positive way,” Forell said.
When asked about how the coaching will shift during this transition, Rumford said each coach on staff acts as a co-coach for each other. Each one is willing to step up and do what they need to do to make the team successful. Forell also commented on Rumford’s involvement with the team and said Rumford will always be a part of the team.
Looking at next season, the team’s biggest focus according to Forell will be growth and the improvement of some amenities. The rodeo team has both an indoor and outdoor arena which allows them to practice most of the year without much concern about the weather. A plan has already been written for the upcoming season but Forell hopes to stay focused on increasing the number of programs during each term and growing the team as a whole.
FHSU will also host its home rodeo this weekend, with the first events starting tonight.
In preparation for the rodeo, team members not only practice every day but are also expected to maintain the rodeo grounds and prepare the arena for both competitors and spectators. You can expect the FHSU Rodeo members to not only be putting in work in the arena but also outside the gates while helping work the rodeo throughout the whole weekend.
“I hope as a team we do really well and we show out and win for our hometown rodeo. Other than that I hope we can put the rodeo on without a hitch and we do well and put a good show on for the crowds,” FHSU Rodeo President Brent Hornbuckle said.
The FHSU Rodeo Team will compete at 7:00 PM, Thursday-Saturday in their home rodeo. Over five hundred competitors will be competing each day in what is known as the “long round.” This is when each cowboy or cowgirl will compete in their event once, the best score or times will then move to the finals Saturday night.
The rodeo will take place at the Doug Philip Arena, just passed the Hays Municipal Golf Course.
FHSU Rodeo will travel to Guymon, Oklahoma next to compete at Panhandle State University, April 28-30th