New coach at the helm of West Jordan footballJul 26, 2021 03:19PM ● By Greg James
The Jaguars’ new head coach was introduced to his team as school ended. He coached there in 1989 under Rick Bojak. (Greg James/City Journals)
By Greg James | [email protected]
West Jordan High School has hired a new football coach. Ron Halbert has coached in several programs around the state and returns to one of his favorites to lead the program.
“I love this community and am glad to be back,” Halbert said at his introduction to the players.
Halbert was an assistant coach at the school beginning in 1989 under Rick Bojak.
“When I asked my wife if I should take this job, she said, ‘Yes, go for it,’” Halbert said. “I love West Jordan. I remember when the halls were orange. My family is a big supporter. I will be here as long as I can.”
He is married and has four children. One of his daughters attends Alta High School but travels to the school every day to help with practice organization and team needs as head team manager.
This will be his 34th season coaching high school football in some form. He was the first head coach at Copper Hills High school and has been defensive coordinator at Alta, Juan Diego and Jordan high schools.
“I teach at the school; I have taught PE and science, and then I got this job as a basecamp teacher,” Halbert said. “I have always kept track of this school no matter where I have been. When I got here in '89, we took a program that had not won a lot and won quite a few games.”
The Jaguars finished last season 3-7 overall. Their season included wins over Hunter, Cyprus and Taylorsville and a first-round playoff loss to Herriman, 29-15.
“Our offensive and defensive line is going to be a strength this season,” Halbert said. “We also have a very experienced quarterback returning, Boston Farmer. We will be young at the skill positions.”
The game plan is to continue to be a spread style offensive team and throw the football.
“We want to be consistent enough that we can run the football just as well as we pass it,” offensive coordinator Mike Simpkins said. “ [Farmer] will be an important part of this team. We have a lot of kids returning, and we are very fortunate to be in this situation. The plan is to build a dynasty.”
Farmer completed 116 passes last season for 1,343 yards and nine touchdowns. He was also the team’s leading rusher with 512 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground.
“I worked as an assistant at Spanish Fork, Lehi and Pleasant Grove with some very good offensive minds,” Simpkins said. “I hope to help establish this mindset here.”
The Jaguars allowed an average of 29 points per game last season.
For the upcoming season, West Jordan is now in Region 3. The Jaguars will compete against Bingham, Copper Hills, Herriman, Mountain Ridge and Riverton.
Halbert wants his team to be involved in the community with service opportunities and youth programs.
“Our varsity coaches will be involved with the little league,” Halbert said. “We want to keep kids here. Coaches come onto our campus trying to influence our kids, and we want the best we can to stay and be Jaguars.”
He wants his players to be successful on the field and in life.
“I expect these kids to work hard in the classroom and prepare for the game and become good citizens, husbands, fathers, mothers and wives,” Halbert said.