Finnerty named rodeo head coach

Dean FinnertyThe Laramie County Community College rodeo team will have a familiar and well-respected leader at the helm as Dean Finnerty was named head coach. 

Finnerty, who began serving as interim head coach in summer 2023, came to the team as an assistant coach in 2018. During his assistant coaching tenure, the Golden Eagles became enduring contenders in the Central Rocky Mountain Region and, alongside assistant coach Vickie Segelke, helped coach the men’s and women’s teams to third-place finishes in the region. In the 2021-2022 season, Finnerty was named the Central Rocky Mountain Coach of the Year.

LCCC’s rodeo team had a standout 2024 season with Finnerty as interim coach. The team performed well as a unit, including strong individual performances from Rayne Grant and Dixon Tattrie. The women's team consistently finished in the top three and the men's team performed admirably throughout the season. 

Looking at the success over his years as a Golden Eagle, Finnerty said he’s excited to see the heights of the team’s potential. 

“We’ve got the capabilities to get better each year,” he said. “It’s going to be fun to see where this goes.” 

The success, Finnerty said, can be attributed to the team members’ dedication. Finnerty’s philosophy as a coach is to develop the student-athletes into well-rounded adults, whose positive attributes outside the rodeo arena translate into athletic achievement. 

“Mainly, I want them to be good people,” he said. “Go to class, treat others the way they want to be treated and work hard. I think that’ll get you a long way in life, including in rodeo.”  

Mark Puev, LCCC Athletics director, said the rodeo team is fortunate to have a coach with Finnerty’s experience and quality character. 

“We could not be happier with the LCCC rodeo team continuing on with Dean as the full-time head coach,” Puev said. “He is a genuine person that has a wealth of knowledge as well as a sincerity for everyone he is associated with. We are lucky to have him on board going forward”.

Finnerty lives on the same family ranch he grew up on south of Wheatland. Watching both of his parents rodeo, Finnerty entered the sport at an early age, eventually focusing on team roping, calf roping and steer wrestling. In 1984, he went to the University of Wyoming to join the wrestling program for two years before taking a year off and later heading to Chadron State College where he was a part of the rodeo team. Finnerty competed in rodeo professionally for many years, and still competes at Cheyenne Frontier Days in steer wrestling.