Note: Orem finished with a 5-6 record and had a 4-3 region record in 2011. It lost to East, 31-13, in the first round of the 4A playoffs.
OREM – Tyler Anderson began his coaching career at Orem last season hoping to restore the program to its former glory. After exceeding preseason expectations, he looks well on his way to accomplishing that goal.
Anderson played for Orem when it was the king of Utah Valley — winning a state championship his senior year in 1987. While much has changed with the school he graduated from, Anderson remains confident his alma mater can become a state championship program again.
“We did a lot of good things last year,” said Anderson. “We put in a new offense and I think our kids picked it up very well for a first year. Kids bought into what we did, and this year — with that first year behind us — I think we have a chance to be that much better.”
Anderson and his team will have to be better in an improving Region 8 that is now aware of how dangerous Orem can be under its new head coach. Indeed, Orem is often the first school opposing Region 8 coaches mention when asked about teams to watch out for in 2012.
With key players returning at key positions, Orem looks well poised to improve on its play from last year.
“We have Taylor Camp back at quarterback, so that’s big. And we have some good receivers like Isaiah Fiso,” said Anderson. “We have some good linemen and a lot of our defensive backs are back as well, so it’s good and we just need some of the new guys to step up and I think we can look for bigger and better things this year.”
Orem did lose star receiver Cole Payne, who accounted for almost half of his team’s receiving yards and 13 of its 23 touchdown receptions. A lot of the other returning receivers return, however, which will be key in Anderson’s wide-open offense.
Anderson’s chief concern for the coming year is establishing quality depth. Given Orem’s comparatively small enrollment compared with other 4A programs, finding depth isn’t easy.
“I’m confident with our starters and we should be really good if we can just stay healthy with those guys,” said Anderson. “We’re going to need to find some younger guys to step up and give us good depth. Because we’re a smaller 4A school, finding good depth every year might be a challenge.”
What makes Anderson confident is the type of kids Orem has in its program. Although it’s been just one year, he feels that Orem produces the type of hard-working and high-character kids that will work to bring Orem back to its former glory.
“You look at what Timpview has done and I really think we can do that here,” said Anderson. “I think we can do it because of the quality of kids we have here. I’ve been so impressed with their work ethic, their attitude and I’ve yet to have any problems with character or grade issues.
"So I’m really excited about what we can do here.”
Orem Tigers at a glance
Coach: This is Tyler Anderson's second year as head coach at his alma mater. He was an assistant coach at Westlake in 2010. Prior to that he was a head coach at Harmony High in Florida for four years compiling a 23-24 record. Before that he was a head coach at Tooele from 2000 to 2003, finishing with a 28-17 record and leading Tooele to a state title in 2002.
(6 returning starters; Spread offense)
Although many teams in Region 8 have gone to a spread offense, none of them throw it as much as Orem. Anderson will be throwing it around a lot again this year while adding a few new wrinkles.