Just two of the six coaches in this week's finals have won state championships: Dixie's Blaine Monkres at Morgan in 1993 and Mountain Crest's Mark Wootton in 2005.
The other four make their first title game appearances and, of course, Spanish Fork's Kirk Chambers and Timpview's Cary Wittingham are first-year coaches.
Those two become the 39th and 40th coaches to advance to the title game their inaugural season and the first since Highland's Brody Benson in 2006. The last coach to win a state championship his first year was Monticello's Seth Giddings in 2004. Of the previous 38 to make the finals, 18 celebrated victories.
Spanish Fork and Syracuse emerge on the championship stage for the first time, while Jordan and Dixie haven't been there since 1998. Mountain Crest is back for the second time in three seasons, and after missing the last two, Timpview returns for the fifth time in seven years and the sixth time in nine seasons.
5A Championship – Jordan (11-1) vs. Syracuse (12-0)
Series history: First meeting
Coach vs. coach: First meeting between Jordan's Eric Kjar and Syracuse's Russ Jones.
Current winning streaks: Jordan 6 (but 11 against Utah schools), Syracuse 12 (school record).
Jordan Quick Facts
Began its gridiron program in 1909, 103rd season. Finals record: 11-4 (.733). Last championship: 1994. Playoff record: 50-30 (.625), 42nd appearance.
Championship game history:
1931, beat Logan 18-0
1934, beat Box Elder 3-0
1936, beat Box Elder 13-7
1938, lost to Carbon 6-0 (A)
1939, beat North Cache 13-0 (A)
1940, beat Carbon 7-6 (A)
1941, beat Box Elder 20-12 (A)
1944, beat Provo 7-0 (A)
1947, beat Logan 21-6 (A)
1948, beat Carbon 28-0 (A)
1950, beat Box Elder 13-0 (A)
1981, lost to Judge Memorial 52-13 (3A)
1983, lost to Judge Memorial 26-21 (3A)
1994, beat Bear River 27-7 (4A)
1998, lost to Skyline 41-21 (5A)
Coach: Erik Kjar is 37-13 (.740) in his fourth season, since 2009. Kjar took the Beetdiggers from 7-5 and the quarterfinals his first year to 9-4 in 2010 and 10-3 last season and back-to-back semifinals.
Playoff record: 7-3, fourth appearance and first championship game.
Syracuse Quick Facts
Opened in 2007, sixth season. First championship contest. Playoff record: 8-4 (.667), fifth appearance.
Coach: Russ Jones is 45-23 (.662) in his sixth season at Syracuse, since 2007. Overall, he's 70-50 (.583) in his 11th season, including 20-13 in three years at Viewmont (2000-02) and 5-14 in two seasons at Woods Cross (2005-06).
Jones guided the Titans from 0-10 their first season to 10-3 and the semifinals their second year.
Playoff record at Syracuse: 8-4 (.667), fifth appearance. Overall: 10-7 (.588), eighth appearance, including 2-2 at Viewmont and 0-1 at Woods Cross. First championship game.
Extra Point 1: Last week, Jordan continued its pattern of scoring at least five touchdowns in every game this season.
- High school softball: A closer look at this...
- High school softball: 2A All-State Team
- High school softball: 4A All-State Team
- High school softball: 5A All-State Team
- High school softball: 3A All-State Team
- Ms. Softball: West junior Breah Ava leads the...
- Softball MVPs approached leadership different...
- High school football: Pigs do fly at the 4th...
- High school softball: A closer look at... 0
- High school softball: 2A All-State Team 0
- High school softball: 4A All-State Team 0
- High school softball: 5A All-State Team 0
- High school softball: 3A All-State Team 0
- Ms. Softball: West junior Breah Ava... 0
- Softball MVPs approached leadership... 0
- High school football: Pigs do fly at... 0