High school football: Provo hires former Lone Peak coach Tony McGeary
PROVO — Provo High has limped through four consecutive losing seasons, including a 4-26 record in a three-year stretch. On Sunday evening the program may have finally found its resurrection with the announcement of former Lone Peak coach Tony McGeary’s hiring.
“(Previous Provo coach) Cody Mallory moved back to Michigan right after the season, so the job opened up,” McGeary said. “I started investigating, and it’s been about six weeks to really think about it. (Provo) has been very accommodating to me in every way, and it looked like a good place to get back into it.”
In five years with the Knights, McGeary garnered a 51-12 record while guiding the program to the 5A state championship with a perfect 14-0 record in 2011. McGeary resigned following the 2012 season after issues surrounding a team camp and a sponsorship contract with an Under Armour dealer were found to violate district policy.
“It was tough sitting out this year and not coaching,” McGeary said. “I feel like I’ve got a lot of coaching left in me, and I wasn’t really happy not coaching. So, it’s exciting to get back into it.”
During his time at Lone Peak, eight players were named to the Deseret News first-team all-state and in 2011, quarterback Chase Hansen was named Mr. Football. McGeary plans to implement the same prolific offensive spread at Provo.
“We’ll throw the ball; we’ll spread the field. We’ll run a lot of the same stuff we did at Lone Peak,” he said. “I don’t think we’ll have some of the weapons that I’ve had over the years, but we’ll run the same thing and teach the kids there. It will take a process to let that absorb down into our little league to get them used to our system.”
Recently, Provo invested in luxurious upgrades for the football facilities despite the troubles on the field. The community’s excitement and desire to return to the heights of the 1982 championship season attracted McGeary.
“They’ve obviously had some turnover with coaches and no one to be around long enough to get the program back where it once was in the ’80s and early ’90s. I think there’s a lot of excitement down there right now,” McGeary said. “It looks like a good opportunity to start turning those things around. I don’t know how long it’s going to take, but I’m making a commitment to coach down there. I hope I retire down there. I plan to be in it for the long haul.”
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