Note: Hurricane finished with a 2-7 overall record in 2017 and was sixth in Region 9 with a 1-5 record. It did not qualify for the 4A playoffs.
HURRICANE — Coming off of a two-win season, there’s been a coaching shake-up at Hurricane High School. Former Hurricane assistant Skyler Miller is back at his old school — this time as head coach.
“I would say it’s been good. It’s been really good on my end. I wasn’t really ready to leave before. I loved it there, it’s a special place for me. It’s a great community and they love their football. I feel like when I returned, I was received with open arms and the kids have worked really hard to adapt to my style," Miller said.
With some familiarity from his last stint at the school, Miller has been able to jump right in as head coach.
“I think there’s a little familiarity there, being an assistant and having good relationships with so many kids, that made it a little bit easier for me to come back. They’ve adapted really well and they’re working every day to get better, so it’s been a really positive thing," Miller said.
First on the agenda? Forgetting about last season.
“We’ve just first got to stop thinking about the past. Last year’s gone and we try to avoid talking about anything. The way I look at it, maybe we just need rejuvenation in terms of getting back to culture as it once was, which I have been familiar with. I don’t know if there’s anything wrong with any part of the program other than just trying to get a new face in and expand some of our ideas," Miller said.
Most of the key contributors from last year’s team have graduated, leaving Miller with youth to mold.
“I do have youth on my side, so I’m very energetic and passionate about holding this position. I want to develop kids and get them excited to love the game, so I just think that we need to focus on one day at a time and work to become more unified and focused on the tasks day by day. I think the rest will take care of itself if we do that," Miller said.
Hurricane Tigers at a glance
Coach: Skyler Miller enters his first year as head coach at Hurricane High School. His head coaching debut was last year at Canyon View, where he went 0-9.
Hurricane Offensive Snapshot
2017 offensive production: 16.3 ppg (19th in 4A)
- Spread, Wing-T offense
Key offensive returning starters
- Brock Starley (QB): Starley went 16-of-30 for 160 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions while splitting time at quarterback.
Miller's comments on his offense:
“We’re going to expand the Wing-T attack and become more adaptable to the modern era. We are going to be incorporating spread seats and trying to include the skills that we have at the receiver slot position so that we can become more balanced. We still want to make everyone aware that we are a downhill running team, and that’s kind of what Hurricane’s been known for and we’re not going to go away from that, but we do feel like we’re opening up the offense so that we can get more kids involved and have fun with what the kids see on Friday.”
Miller's comments on positions:
“We have ideas of kids in place, but right now, we’re working on building culture, we’re working on building the style of play that we want, the expectation and standard of behavior. The starting positions work themselves out. I’m not going to give any names right now, because we’re still in development, once we’re full blown with pads, we can really determine who we’re going to put in those positions.”
Miller's comments on what makes a successful offense:
“Obviously, productivity and execution. I think having players that can execute what you’re asking them to do. I think the biggest thing for us is simplicity, because we’re bringing some new offensive concepts into this program, we want to make sure we do it strategically. I believe in systematic offenses, systematic defenses, so that concepts can be mastered before we can add any other tags or checks or tricks to the plays. It just has to be a concept built upon another concept, which we just hope to do one day at a time.”
Hurricane Defensive Snapshot
2017 defensive production: 30.9 ppg (17th in 4A)
- 4-2-5 defense
Key defensive returning starters
- Ray Cordova (S): Cordova had 22 tackles and an interception in 2017.
Miller's comments on his defense:
“We’re in a spread-heavy region 9, so we have to be adaptable to what we see. We have really good talent in our region and so what we’ll try to do is blend and mix and have a little bit of a hybrid defense based on what we have to face. We do base our defense out of, our personnel base, is a 4-2-5 defense. We play with three safeties, but we are cross-fitting kids in certain areas, it’s super adaptable. We believe with what we do, it keeps us simple, so it doesn’t confuse our kids, so we can get lined corrected and have a chance to be successful defensively. It’s a hybrid, it’s just trying to keep up with the nuances of the offense that happens every year.”
Miller's comments on what makes a successful defense:
“First and foremost, they have to have the mindset to be a defensive player, they have to understand alignment first, they have to understand how to attack, have an attack mentality. I’m not taking these huge, home run shots, I’m talking about, the kids have to understand that they have to be in a position first in tackling, is probably No. 1 aside from alignment, so if we can try to get kids to understand that they have to have a little bit different personality on defense, and then use their athleticism to put their bodies in a position to defend the talent that we see in the spread offenses, then teach them how to tackle, then I think we’re on our way to being ok.
Coaches preseason Region 7 straw poll: Fifth
Deseret News Region 7 prediction: Sixth
Key Region Game: at Pineview, Oct. 4 (Week 8)
Bottom line: Hurricane has nowhere to go but up in 2018. With a familiar face in Skyler Miller and a young group of players, the Tigers’ success in 2018 will hinge on how fast the players can pick up Miller’s offense and defense and accept their assignments.
- Aug. 17 — MOUNTAIN VIEW, 7 p.m.
- Aug. 24 — at Stansbury, 7 p.m.
- Aug. 31 — at Juab, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 14 — DESERT HILLS, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 21 — CANYON VIEW, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 28 — at Cedar, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 4 — at Pine View, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 10 — DIXIE, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 18 — at Snow Canyon, 7 p.m.
Felt’s Facts for Hurricane
All-time record: 313-325-12 (68 years)
Region championships: 10 (1965 co, 1980, 1982, 1989 co, 1990, 2005, 2008, 2009 co, 2010 co, 2011, 2012 co)
Playoff appearances: 36
Current playoff appearance streak: 12 (2005-2016)
All-time playoff record: 31-35
State championships: 1 (2011)
State championship record: 1-7
Most played rivalry: 67 meetings with Cedar dating back to 1949. Cedar leads 46-18-3.
Felt’s Factoid(s): Hurricane made the most improvement in one season in state history, going from 1-8 in 2004 to 12-1 in 2005. ... Tiger Lance Gubler still holds the career interception record, 34, set from 1980-82. … Tony Matthews set the single-game interception record, with five in 1967.
- 2017 — 2-7 (1-5 in Region 9 – Missed Playoffs)
- 2016 — 3-7 (1-4 in 3AA South – 3A First round)
- 2015 — 6-4 (3-2 in 3AA South – 3AA Quarterfinals)
- 2014 — 8-6 (4-2 in 3AA South – 3AA Runner-up)
- 2013 — 2-10 (1-5 in 3AA South – 3AA Quarterfinals)
Hurricane coaching history
- 2018 — Skyler Miller (0-0)
- 2014-2017 — Steve Pearson (19-24)
- 2001-2013 — Chris Homer (91-57)
- 1989-2000 — Wes Christiansen (54-57)
- 1982-1988 — Wayne Edwards (20-37)
- 1972-1982 — Wes Christiansen (57-58)
- 1971 — Tony Heaton
- 1961-1970 — Jim Beaty
- 1960 — Don Lay
- 1954-1959 — James Robertson
- 1950-1953 — Don Homer (16-10-3)
- 1949 — Edgar Leopold (4-2)
- 1947-49 — Paul Wilson (no official win/loss record but won 6-man football titles both years he coached)
Deseret News MVPs the past 10 years
- 2011 — Brian Scott, RB
Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 yearsComment on this story
- 2015 — Kirt McDaniel, DB
- 2014 — Jeremiah Ieremia, LB
- 2014 — Charlie Sefita, LB
- 2012 — Jared Edwards, RB
- 2012 — Sean Hafen, DL
- 2012 — Ethan Stratton, K
- 2011 — Alex Sefita, OL
- 2011 — Kevin Mortensen, DL
- 2011 — Taylor Parker, DB
- 2011 — Weston Yardley, SP
- 2010 — Daniel Nielson, OL
- 2010 — Jarom Healey, RB
- 2010 — Taylor Parker, DB
- 2010 — Eric Canfield, DL
- 2010 — Corey Edwards, K
- 2009 — Ian Gates, LB/OL
- 2009 — Kylynn Iverson, OL
- 2009 — Jeff Staples, DL
- 2009 — Corey Edwards, K
- 2008 — Gordie Dotson, RB
- 2008 — Ryan Butler, OL
- 2008 — Riley Pentico, LB
- 2008 — Gary Bracken, DB
To view second team and honorable mention all-staters through the years, check out the Deseret News All-State Archives.