Jul 17, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorCharlie Gorzalka made his case Tuesday morning for becoming the next Central Wyoming College head rodeo coach.
Gorzalka is an assistant coach at Tarleton State University in Texas. The 25-year-old is one of three finalists for the CWC coaching vacancy.
Gorzalka said his age could be an advantage.
"I think that it's better. You still know kids that are coming up. You are still really involved in the rodeo world. It gives you an upper hand on recruiting," he told a coaching selection committee at a public interview on campus.
Gorzalka originally is from Clearmont, Wyo. He holds a degree in exercise and sport studies, health and physical education. He is working on a master of education degree in kinesiology from Tarleton.
Former CWC coaches Rick and Lynn Smith stepped down after this season. The pair moved to coach rodeo at Cochise College in Arizona.
"CWC has always had a great program," Gorzalka said. "I have always wanted to be a part of it."
He compered collegiately at Sheridan College, where he was recruited.
"I have been in all aspects of rodeo," Gorzalka said. "I'm very well-rounded in the sport. I enjoy the sport a lot. I'm very passionate. I enjoy spending all my time with rodeo."
The CWC women are coming off a second-place finish at the College National Finals Rodeo last month in June. The Rustler men qualified four rodeo athletes to the CNFR but didn't have any make the finals.
"Coach Smith was a great coach," Gorzalka said. "They were known everywhere. People talked about them in Texas. Everybody was talking about them."
The other two finalists for the head coaching job are Andy Carter and current CWC assistant Drew Schrock.
Schrock was the assistant CWC rodeo coach this past season under Smith.
Carter has been the head rodeo coach at Three Rivers College and Iowa Central Community College.
Schrock will give his presentation at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday at the Little Theater at CWC.
Carter will give his at 10:45 a.m. Thursday, also at Little Theatre.
The rodeo season starts with practice in August. The season kicks into high gear in September.
"It will be a huge challenge," said Gorzalka if he gets the job. "I will have to get familiar with the whole college. It was a great experience to be at Tarleton," Gorzalka said. "I learned a lot about coaching through Tarleton. I had a great coach as a mentor."
The head coach at Tarleton is Mark Eakin. Former CWC cowgirl Devin Nicholls has signed a national letter of intent to rodeo in the fall at Tarleton.
In the 2011-12 season, Tarleton had 111 rodeo team members on the roster.
Tarleton won the men's division in the Southwest region.
"We didn't place very good at nationals," Gorzalka said.
Gorzalka said Tarleton bareback rider Jake Self finished second.
"I really think that next year he will win a national title," Gorzalka said.
Gorzalka was a bull rider while he was at Tarleton and Sheridan College.
His best finish was fourth in the spring of 2008 in the Central Rocky Mountain Region in bull riding. The top three from the region make the CNFR.
Gorzalka competed one season at Tarleton after moving from Sheridan College.
"It was a really good experience," Gorzalka said. "I didn't draw good bulls, but I made some finals. I would have liked to have done a lot better. I was just getting adjusted to the whole program and the new region. "
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