Clint Wells: Leading with Cowboy Clout and a Servant Heart
Sep 10, 2019 08:00AM
By Kristy McLean
At first glance, he’s as cowboy as they come; blue jeans and weathered boots, hat, wild rag, Reno Rodeo 100th Anniversary commemorative belt buckle and a plaid shirt embroidered with the Reno Rodeo logo. Next to his family, the Reno Rodeo is about the nearest and dearest thing to his heart. But, somehow, he makes room for more and is constantly giving back and serving his community.
As we tour Clint’s 2.5-acre ranch in Fernley, Nevada, he explains all of the ways that he has built his ranch from the ground up. He can board up to 8 horses and 79-year old Clint feeds and cares for the horses and the property himself. Inside the Wells home, vintage photos, Rodeo memorabilia, and various awards of merit and service recognition have been hung with care in testament to time well served in the building of a community. A fervent patriot, Clint speaks highly of his 8 years of service in the Army National Guard, and is proud to share his family’s history of military service, including the fun fact that his grandfather’s brother was Ike Eisenhower’s roommate at West Point! One after another, Clint tells the stories that are the fabric of his life...and explains how these stories are woven into Nevada history. From road construction, mining, and ranching, to their Wells Cargo trucking business and more, the Wells family has greatly contributed to the growth of both southern and northern Nevada and beyond. Following his run in the Wells family business, Clint went on to dedicate the remaining 30 years of his career to another legendary family business, Reno Vulcanizing, a leader in auto care and tire service in Reno since 1922.
Clint Wells is a rugged self-made man with a twinkle in his eye, a servant heart, and an undying passion for western culture. He speaks fondly of his wife, Gretchen, their 48-year marriage, and three children. He all but melts when he mentions his grandchildren, especially his granddaughter, Sophia, “the apple of his eye.” A devout Christian, Clint has served in various church groups and literally helped shaped youth sports in Reno-Tahoe – he’s coached youth basketball, baseball, Mt. Rose Junior Ski Program, and he was one of the first volunteer coaches for AYSO Soccer in Northern Nevada.
Clint was raised in Reno and attended UNR where he competed on Ski Team and rode bulls and bareback horses in the Intercollegiate Rodeo. He went on to make a name for himself on the NCA and PRCA rodeo circuits and while he was a hard-working, get the job done kind of guy, he was always chasing his next big adventure.
Like any true cowboy should, Clint has had his share of bar fights and blunders, but none of that has stopped him from rising to the top of the ranks in all he does. Clint has served as President of Reno Mt. Rose Kiwanis, President of Nevada Waterfowl Association, and, of course, he was President of the Reno Rodeo Association in 1981. Many of his proudest moments have been during his 52 years of service as a volunteer of the Reno Rodeo Association and his passion for Reno Rodeo is as strong today as it was in his youth.
If you allude to how Clint's vigor and drive are uncharacteristic of a man his age, he graciously redirects the conversation in a way that makes you realize that, for Clint Wells, there is no end in sight. There ain’t no riding off into the sunset for this wild stallion. He will be fighting the good fight, spreading kindness, goodwill, and a zest for life ‘til the cows come home.