Murray High School names new head football coach
Murray High School Athletic Director Keeko Georgelas (left) and new Head Football Coach Todd Thompson look forward to the upcoming season. (Carl Fauver/City Journals)
Gallery: Murray High School names new head football coach. [5 Images] Click any image to expand.
Most coaches teach persistence and a “never give up” attitude. Besides teaching it, Todd Thompson also lives it.
“I’m not sure I’d call it my ‘dream job’ exactly,” Thompson said. “But this is the fourth time I’ve applied to be the Murray High School head football coach. I graduated from here (in 1991) and have worked here at the school 13 years.”
In January, Thompson was hired as head coach of the Spartans.
“We’re committed to improving our (football) program and giving our athletes a positive experience,” Athletic Director Keeko Georgelas told students and parents at a meeting to introduce Thompson. “Todd is a part of the Murray community. His sons are involved in youth football and wrestling. We couldn’t be happier to have him take over the program and start moving it in the right direction.”
After back-to-back trips to the state tournament in 2014 and 2015, the Spartans won just three games last season and missed the ‘big dance.’
That 2016 losing campaign was under Head Coach Blaine Monkres who left Murray High just a few weeks after the season ended, to assume the head football post at Riverton High School.
“He (Monkres) was given an opportunity and took advantage of it, which is good for him,” Georgelas told the audience of about 100. “But that left us in a challenging position and we’ve had to put it into gear to keep up with the other schools in our region.”
Thompson is anxious to hit the ground running.
“Right now we’re evaluating talent and working the kids hard in the weight room,” Thompson said. “I’m pulling together a staff of about 10 to 12 assistant coaches. We’re also looking forward to more outside workouts in the coming months.”
Thompson earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Southern Utah University, where he was a three-year varsity letterman playing defensive end. Anxious to jump onto his career path, he began as an assistant wrestling coach at nearby Parowan High School in 1995, while still attending SUU.
Thompson’s career also took him to Grantsville High School two years later, and then back to Murray in 2004, as a driver’s education instructor and coach.
“I’ve been a head wrestling and track coach before, and an assistant football coach for many seasons. But now I’m excited for my first head football coaching job,” Thompson added.
Thompson and his wife Aimee have three daughters and two sons. “My oldest daughter is a junior here at Murray and involved in dance, while the second oldest (daughter) is on the school swim team, as a ninth grader,” he added.
The two boys are active in youth football and wrestling, with Dad normally working the sideline.
“This is a challenging job with very little pay,” Georgelas said. “Coaches normally receive only a small stipend of a couple of thousand dollars or less, for all that time commitment. We’re glad Todd is willing to take that on, and confident he will be here for the long haul.”
Georgelas and Thompson also introduced their first new assistant football coach during the meeting. Cody Caputo was a First Team All-State wide receiver and kick returner, playing at Northridge High School in Layton. Under famed head coach Fred Fernandes he was a member of two state championship teams.
A decade later, assisting Fernandes (who had moved to Roy High School) Caputo helped guide the Royals into the 2014 championship game.
“When I first started assisting at Roy the program was way down,” Caputo said. “But we worked hard to rebuild it, starting in the weight room.”
Caputo told the students and parents, “I want to help give these young men the tools they need to become dependable to their teammates and to prepare them for adulthood.”
Caputo played college football at Dixie State and was a member of the 2005 team that won the Dixie Rotary Bowl.
“Todd and Cody have a lot of coaching experience,” Georgelas added. “We’re confident they and the other coaches will make our football team members more successful in the classroom and on the field.”