The Albany County School District Board of Trustees selected Steve Gosar to fill a vacant seat during a special meeting Tuesday night.

Gosar will replace Mark Bittner, who resigned in October citing health concerns. The term runs through November 2022.

The board interviewed four finalists from among 16 applicants — Gosar, Mary Alice Bruce, Rachel LeBeau and Jeff Suloff. Jennifer Hess also had been selected as a finalist but later withdrew her name from consideration.

Gosar, who also ran for an at-large seat on the board last fall, is a financial advisor with Edward Jones.

The Wyoming native grew up in Pinedale and earned a scholarship to play basketball at the University of Wyoming after joining the team as a walk-on. He graduated with a degree in molecular biology and had planned to attend medical school before a stint as a high school basketball coach in his hometown.

He reportedly caught the coaching bug and put his medical school dream aside. After working for the Cowboy Joe Club, he eventually joined Steve McClain’s staff at UW. A couple years later, he followed assistant coach Heath Schroyer to Portland State University and then joined the staff at the College of Southern Idaho in 2005.

He became the CSI head coach in 2008 and led the team to a National Junior College Athletic Association national title in 2011. Also in 2011, he interviewed for the head coaching UW job, which eventually went to Larry Shyatt.

In 2014, surprising many, Gosar retired from coaching citing a desire to spend more time with his wife and three young sons.

He told the Twin Falls Times-News at the time, “Quite a few coaches have failed marriages and less than the best relationship with their kids. That’s not going to be me. There was never going to be a great time for it, but it was a good time and I feel like in my heart it is the right thing to do.”

Gosar was inducted into the school’s athletic hall of fame in 2020.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Gosar said he wanted to join the school board because he’s passionate about education and wants to step up to join a vital community group.

“The well-being of a community is measured by how good the education system is, and I’d like to be a part of that,” he said.

Gosar said some of the strengths of the Albany County School District are its proximity to UW and its relationship with the Laramie community.

“This is a close-knit community, and you welcome the community’s input and need their input,” he said.

He said he would bring experience from both the private and public sectors to his time on the school board.

“I’ve worked on teams and boards throughout my entire life,” he said. “I understand the importance of chemistry, teamwork and a thoughtful discussion to reach the conclusions that we need to as a board.”

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