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West Valley City Journal

Richards takes over as Wolverines head coach

Aug 21, 2018 03:45PM ● By Jana Klopsch

The Wolverines gather around first-year head coach Tarell Richards for instructions head into their 2018 season. (Hunter football boosters)

By Greg James |  [email protected]        

Hunter High School welcomed one of its own into the fold. Wolverine alum Tarell Richards takes over as the head football coach at the school. 

“I have some big shoes to fill. I have gained respect for head football coaches and Coach (Scott) Henderson in particular each day that I have had this job,” Richards said. “It is a lot of hats to wear and keep juggling. Coach Henderson taught me how to treat the kids and the other coaches. He loved these kids, but I want to put my stamp on this team.” 

Richards graduated from Hunter High School in 2002. He was a three-year varsity quarterback and a three-year varsity basketball player. As a two-time all-state football selection he signed with the University of Oregon and later transferred to Utah State, where he graduated in 2007. 

He has been coaching for 10 years at Taylorsville, Cottonwood and Murray. Last season he came to Hunter as the offensive coordinator. He implemented a new spread/up tempo offense. 

“I miss Coach Henderson and this is a tall challenge, but I have a great staff. This place means a lot to me. This field, this school and these neighborhoods. My entire staff is Hunter alumni and they all love the school and this community,” Richards said. 

In 2011 Les Hamilton tried to install a spread offense, but did not have success implementing the change with the players. Richards has gotten a buy in with the team and the results are evident. 

“Hunter still has tough hardnose players, but the body of the team is different than it was years ago. With a couple of special quarterbacks I think what we are doing does fit with this group now,” Richards said. 

Quarterback Daisean Cash came to the school last season and demolished the school’s passing records. He threw for 2,408 yards and 23 touchdowns. The 6-foot-2 junior now has an eye on the Wolverines career passing records. 

The practice field is now cluttered with over 20 receivers while the tailback practice group is significantly smaller, only four lined up for the teams scrimmage. 

“Ten years ago it was 20 running backs and only two or three receivers. We have developed those skill players in our off season. We still ran the ball last year for more than 1,500 yards. In the Granger game last season we only ran the ball five times, but still put points on the board,” Richards said. 

In his second year at the school implementing his offense Richards has been able to work with the team in the classroom and on film to help them improve with the system. 

“This summer we changed some of the structure. We worked on speed and agility and installed our scheme throughout the off season. We tried to make it more about football and less about lifting weights. More specific football things in the classroom and on film. Our numbers are down so I need to keep the team injury free and fresh,” Richards said.

The Wolverines have qualified for the state playoffs in all but one year of the school’s existence (1990). The streak of 26 years is the longest in the Utah High School Activities Associations 6A classification. 

They are scheduled to open their season Aug. 17 at Clearfield (after press deadline). They will host Granger Friday, Sept. 21.