With a background that features a lot of success, Cheyenne Central recently announced the hiring of Josh Bott as its new swimming and diving head coach.

Most recently, Bott was the head coach at Campbell County High School in Gillette from 2011-2018. He won eight state championships while directing the Camels’ program, five with the girls and three with the boys. Bott also coached seven All-Americans.

An opportunity in the classroom and a chance to go back home to Cheyenne, Bott left Gillette and has spent the past two years teaching in Laramie County School District No. 1.

“I was up in Gillette and everything was great, but I knew I always wanted to get back to my hometown. There were quite a few job openings a couple of years ago and was lucky enough to get a job, and come down here and teach. After a couple of years of being out of the swimming game, I had an opportunity to jump (back) into that, too, so it seems to be working out.”

Bott is no stranger to the Wyoming swimming family around the state. He was raised in the Capital City and swam for Cheyenne East High School. Bott also helped out with the Cheyenne Swim Club and at Cheyenne Central High School before he left town.

To be taking over this position with the Indians, Bott said he thinks it will be fun.

“I have a little bit of a tie, and I know quite a few people here in town (Cheyenne) after growing up here, so I’m really excited just to be back in my hometown and try to help these young students get better.”

Bott will replace Mark Miller (pictured above with his team at the 4A state meet back in February), who spent over three decades as part of the Wyoming swimming community.

“It’s never easy to take over a program, and it’s even tougher when you’ve got the tradition to follow that has been built there at Central,” said Bott. “I did it once up in Gillette and it seemed to work out. Taking baby steps, implementing the things I’d like to do, but I’m definitely not here to reinvent the wheel. I know that they do so many great things. I just want to try to step in and make the transition as smooth as possible for everybody.”

Bott believes both the girls’ and boys’ teams at Central are pretty strong, but he admits he hasn’t been following swimming as closely as here was when he was coaching.

“It’s really exciting to jump in there and get to know the kids a little better and hit the ground running.”

For him, it starts by selling the product they have available and get the student-athletes to ‘buy-in.’

“It’s a grind. I like to get right in, get to work, and put the hammer down for the entire season, and see where it ends up. It’s really got to start with trust and comradery with the families and the swimmers and the coaches.”

He always sees the Indians vying for a trophy at the state championships.

“I think we’ve got a great pool of athletes to pull from. We’re a little bit bigger town than everywhere else in the state. In my mind, Central’s always in the hunt and I think that’s the case right now with the teams.”

Bott was honored four-times by the Wyoming Swim Coaches Association (WSCA) as the Girls Swim Coach of the Year in 2013-2016. He was a five-time winner of the Wyoming Coaches Association (WCA) Girls Swimming Coach of the Year (2011, 2013-16). Three times Bott was named the Boys’ Swimming Coach of the Year by the WSCA and WCA (2012, 2016-17). He was a finalist for the National High School Athletic Coaches Association (NHSACA) Swim Coach of the Year in 2017.

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