SALT LAKE CITY — Seven-year NFL veteran Kirk Chambers could get used to this coaching thing. The first-year Spanish Fork head coach is taking his team to the finals for the first time in history, and he couldn't be happier with his current position.
Chambers enjoyed a successful NFL career, but after being released at the end of last season, he decided to come back home and take on a new challenge. He's more than passed that challenge, and with Spanish Fork's 35-28 win over Desert Hills, he became the first coach since 2006 to guide his team to the state championship in his inaugural year.
Despite that accomplishment, Chambers was quick to credit others following the game.
"I've been spoiled with great players my first year, so all the credit goes to them and what they did," Chambers said. "We're excited and we'll run with it and I'm just excited for the community. They really wanted this and it showed, but we're not done yet."
Chambers replaced Matt Christensen at the end of last season with no prior coaching experience, but with a wealth of knowledge in how to play and succeed at the highest level. His players, particularly the seniors, were wary of Christensen's replacement at first, but couldn't be more happy with him now.
"He's brought this team together and brought in some new things that helped us get to where we are now," said senior receiver Cameron Money. "It was tough losing coach Christensen, but I'm so happy that coach Chambers is my coach — I love playing for him."
Although Chambers misses playing, he's found the opportunity to coach high school kids a rewarding one.
"It's the one-on-one interaction with the boys and seeing them grow as men," Chambers said. "I went through the same thing when I was a player and that's the part about this job I love the most. I plan on being here and doing this for a while."
Spanish Fork hopes that trips to the state championship and winning state championships will be happening for a while under Chambers. The 33-year-old coach may yet get a call back up to the NFL, but he just may be telling that team, "Thanks, but no thanks," if the call comes.
"I'm here and this is my entire focus," Chambers said. "Whatever happens is out of my hands, but I'm all about bringing a championship to Spanish Fork and I love having this opportunity and to coach such a great group of kids who represent our great community."
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: BrandonCGurney