Riley Grabau was fortunate to have his basketball career bring him back to his alma mater at Boulder High.
Now it’s happening a second time, only at a different alma mater.
On Friday afternoon, it was announced that Grabau, who spent the past two seasons coaching the boys basketball team at Boulder, would be leaving to take a job at the University of Wyoming, where he spent his collegiate years as a player. Grabau will be the Cowboys’ new director of recruiting.
“It’s a very interesting situation,” Grabau said. “Being at my alma mater at Boulder was an awesome experience. And going back up and giving back to Wyoming is kind of the same thing and it’s a special feeling to be able to give back to all the people that have taken care of me. It’s funny how things fall into place and I’m really excited.”
Grabau said he officially accepted the job Thursday night and signed the paperwork Friday morning.
As a senior at Boulder in 2011, Grabau led the Panthers to the Class 5A state championship game. As a senior at Wyoming in 2015, Grabau led the Cowboys to a Mountain West tournament championship and a berth in the NCAA tournament. He has coached the Boulder boys for the past two seasons, leading the program to a 20-5 record this past winter and a spot in the Sweet 16.
“The decision was really tough being isolated in the house all day because of COVID-19 and just walking around thinking it,” Grabau said. “I just know that these opportunities don’t come around that often to coach at the collegiate level. My heart is honestly really broken that I can’t coach at Boulder High anymore. I love the players, the coaching staff, all my dudes and everything about Boulder and I’ll miss them. But I just think I’ve got to take this opportunity and do this.”
Grabau finished his career at Wyoming second in made 3-pointers with 171 and fifth all-time in 3-point percentage with a .368 average. In his return to Wyoming, Grabau will join head coach Jeff Linder and his staff. Linder is also a local product as a graduate of Centaurus.