Apr 25, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorPat Rafferty is a Wyoming native with 33 years of coaching experience.
Pat Rafferty wants to bring his junior college men's basketball head coaching record of 291-196 to Central Wyoming College.
Rafferty was on the CWC campus Thursday for a public presentation and interviews.
He and current CWC head coach Shelby Lindley are the two finalists out of a pool of 89 applicants for the job. Lindley was hired in October as the interim CWC men's head coach.
Rafferty is a graduate of Buffalo High School. His parents, Jack and Iz Rafferty, are retired teachers and live in Buffalo.
"I have been at great places where they have given us a healthy opportunity to have successful teams and have some great players," Rafferty said. "This is a players game. As a coach you can give them some direction and put them in situations. They are the ones that are going to make the plays. I have been really lucky over the years to have some great players."
Rafferty's resume includes head junior college coaching stops at Grayson College, Midland College and Casper College.
"I'm a better coach now than I have ever been just based on the experiences I have been blessed to have and go through and learn from," Rafferty said. "I don't view this as a stepping stone or a change to cut my teeth on this job. I want to be here and build a program."
Rafferty's career covers 33 years.
"At the end of the day, junior college is a terrific level to coach at," Rafferty said. "When you can do it in an environment when there are close friends and family nearby, and get a chance to do something that you love in an area that you love, then it makes all the sense in the world."
Lindley will give his presentation at 10 a.m. Friday at the CWC Little Theatre.
Rafferty is now the director of basketball operations at the University of Texas-Arlington.
"It was great because I worked with great people," Rafferty said. "I was exposed to the Western Athletic Conference."
Texas-Arlington finished with a 17-13 record to place fourth in the WAC, losing to New Mexico State in the WAC tournament championship game.
"We had a great run," Rafferty said. "Every year is different with different people. You take something from every year. You learn and grow."
Before Texas-Arlington, Rafferty spent nine season at Grayson College in Texas as the head coach.
"We had built a really good program," Rafferty said.
Grayson College eliminated its men's and women's basketball programs due to budget cuts in May of 2011.
"I was devastated because I had been there nine years," Rafferty said. "We had survived a lot of different things. I was just crushed."
Rafferty was an assistant coach for former Louisville head coach Denny Crum.
"It was a blessing that I will never be able to full appreciate," Rafferty said. "He is a brilliant man. It was brilliant opportunity to learn from a guy like that."
Rafferty was in Louisville from 1999 through 2001. Rafferty coached in the NCAA tournament for two years.