Some of the best years of Dustin Pearce's life were spent at Hunter High. Now, he'll get the chance to create more memories — as the school's head football coach.

Pearce, 31, was named just the fourth head coach in Hunter High history earlier this week. He replaces Wes Wilcken, who resigned last month and is now teaching at Taylorsville High.

Pearce was once a student and three-sport athlete at Hunter High. He earned all-state honors in football — he started both ways at tight end and defensive end — and basketball. He graduated in 1995.

"It's a good opportunity for me," Pearce said. "It's great to be back home, I know that."

Pearce must have impressed the administration at Hunter because he beat out some big-name former head coaches to earn the chance to take over the Wolverines' program.

After playing football at Utah and Southern Utah, Pearce has gained coaching experience at several places. He worked on the staff at Cedar High under Todd Peacock and at West Jordan under Mike Morgan. He has been a head coach once at Enterprise High, leading the Wolves to the semifinals in 2004.

Pearce has worked on Southern Utah University's coaching staff the last three years. He was the linebackers coach and special teams coordinator last season.

Pearce is still putting together his coaching staff, and he said there will be some familiar and different things about the Wolverines next season. He expects to run a new defense, while he probably won't change anything about Hunter's power-I offense.

"It's not broke, so I'm not going to fix it,' Pearce said. "I believe in the offense. Wes did a great job there. They always put up a lot of points for some reason."

No one needs to tell Pearce about the football tradition at Hunter High. He said he just wants to keep the program going in the right direction.

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