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OREM - Despite a loss to Timpview two weeks ago, there is plenty of excitement at Orem High - at least more than they've had in recent years. The Tigers already have five wins after only winning four games all of last season.
If you're looking for an answer as to what could cause such a quick turnaround, look no farther than first year head coach Tyler Anderson.
Anderson made a name for himself at BYU in the early nineties. The track star was able to translate his blazing speed into success on the football field as a star receiver and kick returner for the Cougars.
Now that his playing days are over, Anderson has gone on to find success in coaching. After leading Tooele to a 3A state title in 2002, and a stint coaching BYU receiver O'Neil Chambers at Harmony High School in Florida, Anderson's football career has now come full circle.
"It's always been a dream of mine to come back and coach here", Anderson said. "It's great to come back to your Alma mater and try and bring success back that you had as a player and instill the traditions and pride that we had back then."
Back in 1987, Anderson was the star receiver for an Orem High team that defeated Skyline 28-21 to claim the 4A state championship.
"Bringing back that pride that Orem High had, you know we feared nobody, we knew that we could play with anybody."
Tyler is hoping to restore that same sense of pride and tradition at Orem High, in order to help a new generation of Tigers have a similar experience to his own. So far, his efforts have been a resounding success. The Tigers are 5-3, already beating their win total from last season. The players are giving all the credit to their new coach, a man who instantly earned their respect.
Cole Payne is a senior wide receiver and defensive back for the Tigers. Of his new coach's status amongst the players, he said, "Yeah there's a lot of respect for him. He's like a legend here at Orem High."
This attitude is one shared by Cole's senior teammate Joe Jensen. "You know that whatever he's saying, whatever he's teaching, you know that its right because he's been there, he's done that, he's played on all the pro levels, I mean there's no reason not to believe him and what he's teaching."
Anderson knows that real results take time. But for now he is enjoying the challenge of building his Alma mater into a contender for the state title.