After six years at the helm of the Laramie Plainsmen boys basketball program, Jason Mountain has stepped down. The news became official Sunday, as the veteran coach will be pursuing interests at the collegiate level.

In a one-on-one interview with KOWB, Mountain said, "Unfortunately, I didn't decide till late in my 20's that I wanted to try and make the next step to the college level."

Mountain's time as the leader of the Plainsmen was highlighted by two class 4A runner-up finishes in 2007 and 2011. It's the closest Laramie has come to winning a boys basketball title since 1999, when Mountain was a player for LHS. Prior to that, you have to go back to the last state title in 1985.

Mountain admitted that after playing and coaching here it's tough to answer exactly how he feels now that he's leaving the program, "It's bittersweet, I think. Definitely a place I'm gonna miss. Definitely people here that I treasure the relationships I've built with them, and players, administrators, teachers and friends, alike. But, I think it's a step forward, and it's a step I need to take. This is kind of my opportunity to do so."

Laramie went 64-92 in Mountain's six years, including an 11-13 mark in the post-season. His 2011 squad earned the school's first ever automatic bid to the state tournament since the concept was introduced in the mid-90's at the 4A level. The 2011 and 2010 squads were also Mountain's most successful, as they finished 16-12 (2011) and 16-14 (2010), respectively.

Mountain coached five All-State players, which included the 2010 Gatorade Wyoming Boys Basketball Player of the Year and the 4A Player of the Year, Dan Estes, and two-time All-State selection Tate Hilgenkamp. He also had 11 players earn All-Conference honors during his tenure at LHS, while five players moved on to play in college.

Here's a look at Laramie Plainsmen basketball year-by-year under Mountain:

2007: 8-17, 1-9 (6th), 4th at Regionals (1-2), 2nd at State (2-1)

2008: 8-20, 4-6 (4th), 4th at Regionals (1-2), 0-2 at State

2009: 7-15, 3-7 (5th), lost in 1st round at Regionals

2010: 16-14, 4-6 (4th), 3rd at Regionals (2-1), Consolation Champs at State (2-1)

2011: 16-12, 8-2 (2nd), 3rd at Regionals (1-1), 2nd at State (2-1)

2012: 9-14, 4-6 (5th), lost in 1st round at Regionals

To hear more from Jason Mountain and his decision to step down as Laramie's boys basketball coach, tune in to KOWB's local sports report today at 12:30 and 5:15 pm.

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