– Craig and Leia Bohl have been married for four years. He was the North Dakota State football coach and she was well-known in both Fargo and Sioux Falls, S.D., as “Ryan Kelly,” a host of a talk-and-music radio show.

Leia took an interest in football when she started dating Bohl a few years earlier. Marriage increased that interest, of course, and there were many victory hugs to exchange over the first three years of wedlock.

“The only thing my wife knew was national championships,” Bohl said. “I’m not sure she realized that there’s another side to it.”

Yes, there is, and the other side was never more clear than on a cold, wind-swept Saturday night last weekend, when Bohl’s new team — the Wyoming Cowboys — looked completely out of place being on the same field with Boise State.

The final was 63-14 for the visitors, and it took some fourth-quarter mercy from Bryan Harsin, Boise State’s first-year coach, to keep the Broncos out of the 70s.

Bohl came to North Dakota State in 2003, as the Bison were making the ambitious move to Division I-AA (now FCS). NDSU had a rich tradition of Division II success, but not so much in its recent past when Bohl arrived.

“It was 11 years in the making, from when we came in, to going to Kansas State and beating the defending Big 12 champs,” Bohl said.

That was the 2013 season opener. The Bison would go 15-0 and win a third consecutive FCS title. They were 43-2 in Bohl’s final three seasons, including three playoff victories after it was announced that Bohl would be leaving for Wyoming.

“We beat Furman in the first playoff game on Saturday, and I had hoped to get the team together to tell them about the decision the next morning,” Bohl said. “But it got out there on the CBS Sports website on that Saturday night.”

There was surprise and bad feelings in Fargo initially, but the Bison soothed the angst with three more wins and the coveted three-peat of titles.

A year later, NDSU is 11-1 and headed into the FCS playoffs as the No. 2 seed, and Bohl … well, “11 years in the making” might be a kind estimate for reaching his championship goals here in Laramie.

On Friday night, Bohl talked for a few minutes to a group of Cowboys followers, starting with the message delivered to the players when he arrived at Wyoming:

“Those who stay are going to be champions.”

A pair of quarterbacks did not take the message to heart. Brett Smith, a productive junior starter, decided to enter the NFL draft. He was not selected. Smith’s probable successor, Jason Thompson, transferred to Utah.

Colby Kirkegaard, a fifth-year senior, has been the quarterback this year — until being hurt early in Saturday’s game.

There were good moments for him, and for the Cowboys in victories over Air Force Academy and Fresno State, but now they have lost six of seven. They are 4-7 overall going into this week’s finale at New Mexico.

If Boise State is the standard for excellence in today’s Mountain West, Bohl’s promise to build a champion is going to take a legion of athletes who are two steps faster and 20 pounds of muscle stronger.

Where does Bohl find these players to come to Laramie, a wind-swept burg of 23,000 (not including students) on the high plateau of Wyoming? The coach refers back to his days as a defensive back in Tom Osborne’s program at Nebraska in the late ’70s.

“With all that talent, what Nebraska also had was a work ethic that was phenomenal,” he said. “We had that at North Dakota State, and we’re going to have it at Wyoming.

“We’re recruiting players that fit the Wyoming profile. If we’re visiting a kid and he rolls up in a sports car, we’re probably not going to get him to Laramie. If he rolls up in a pickup truck, we have a chance.”

Pound the ball on offense and, on defense, pound the opponent with the misfortune of having the ball. Do this with pickup-driving players who possess a work ethic. It worked at NDSU — 43-2, and a three-peat of national titles.

“We wouldn’t have come here if we didn’t believe the formula would work,” Bohl said.

One last thing: How’s Mrs. Bohl doing in Laramie?

“They built a studio in the house for her radio show,” he said.

There’s not a Nordstrom here, coach.

Bohl smiled and said: “Shopping is more of a challenge.”