New Puyallup football coach Gary Jeffers knows he is not stepping into just any head coaching position.
“There are high standards at Puyallup,” he said, “from Mike Huard to Tom Ingles and all the other great former coaches.”
Jeffers, who has served as the Vikings defensive coordinator for the last two seasons, said it was that tradition, plus the support from the community that led him to apply for the opening.
“It’s a great community, great school, great young athletes,” the 42-year-old said. “There’s no place I’d rather be.”
Jeffers has 14 years of experience coaching high school football. Before arriving at Puyallup two years ago, he was offensive coordinator at Beamer High School in 2007 and head coach at Washington High School for eight seasons.
Jeffers is taking over the program after it endured its worst season in more than a decade, finishing in eighth place in the SPSL South with an overall record of 4-6. Jeffers acknowledged that the 2009 season was difficult
“For us last year, maybe our youth more than anything hurt us,” he said. “But we have kids that have a winner’s mentality at Puyallup. They expect to work to be successful.”
Jeffers said he is still putting together the Vikings coaching staff. He works for the Puyallup School District in its Advance Program, which helps 18- to 21-year-old special needs students adapt to life after public education.
Here’s the press release on Jeffers’ hiring:
Gary Jeffers, a teacher the past three years in the school district’s Advance Program, is the new head football coach at Puyallup High School. He replaces Tom Ingles, who resigned last month.
Jeffers brings 14 years of high school football coaching experience to the position, including eight years as a head coach.
He joined the Vikings football team coaching staff two years ago as its defensive coordinator.
His other previous football coaching experience includes:
* 2007: Offensive coordinator at Todd Beamer High in the Federal Way School District.
* 1996-2003: Head coach at Washington High School in the Franklin Pierce School District.
* 1995: Defensive coordinator at Washington High School under former coach Rick Cox, now assistant principal at Rogers High School.
* 1994: Defensive coordinator at Spanaway Lake High School in the Bethel School District.
* 1993: Linebacker coach and junior varsity coach at Washington High School.
* 1992: Head coach at Perry Keithley Middle School in the Franklin Pierce School District.
“In the pride and tradition of Puyallup football we will strive to develop student athletes who are ‘Champions’ in every aspect of their lives,” Jeffers said. “Our team goals are to achieve academic and personal excellence, build a family environment, have fun, and have a positive impact on our school and community. As we pursue these goals, we are guided by our team core values which are: ‘We are caring, We are trustworthy, We are prepared, We will put forth our best effort.’”
He said he is in the process of building the rest of the school’s coaching staff.
Jeffers works with students in the Advance Program, a community-based transitional program for 18- to 21-year-old students with special needs. The program is housed off Main Street in downtown Puyallup.
Puyallup High School Principal Jason Smith said, “I’m very excited about Gary Jeffers as our head coach. He is a teacher of the game, and he will bring a great deal of passion and enthusiasm to our program. We’re very happy to have him on board.”