Longtime Bingham football coach inducted into Hall of Fame
Former Bingham High football coach Dave Peck was on the sidelines at Bingham High for 15 years and brought the school its first state title in 60 years in 2006. (Photo courtesy Dave Peck)
By Catherine Garrett | [email protected]
Former Bingham High football coach Dave Peck left the coaching world on his terms more than four years ago following a second set of back-to-back state titles. The 57-year-old received numerous honors throughout his coaching career and is still being recognized for his contributions in bringing five state championships to the Miners program, including its first in 60 years with the 2006 title. Recently, he was inducted into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame for his illustrious coaching career that began in 1983 at Grace High School in Idaho.
“I’ve received a lot of awards, and this is one of the biggest ones you can have,” Peck said. “It’s exciting to be recognized and it kind of validates your career.”
Current BHS football coach John Lambourne, who was a former assistant coach to Peck at Bingham and also coached with him at Hunter and Cyprus, was in attendance at the April 8 banquet for the “well-deserved” honor.
“I’ve known Dave personally and professionally for many years, and he has a passion for whatever he does,” Lambourne said. “He’s one of those in high school athletics that has done so much. He is a very good football coach who has excelled by doing things the right way.”
Peck was surrounded by his parents; wife, Christy; daughter, Cassi; and sons Tyler and Justin; along with other family and friends at the banquet. Ironically, they sat at Table No. 10, which was the number his late son Stetson, who passed away in 2017, always wore. “The numbers were just assigned at random, but we felt like that was a pretty special moment helping us to know that Stetson was there as well to celebrate with us that night,” Peck said.
That contributes to the power in number ethos Peck said was crucial to his teams’ success.
“It was definitely a team effort to accomplish what we did with assistant coaches and family support and everything so it was neat to be with so many who were definitely a big part of our success,” Peck said. “Throughout all the years, I tried to model what I expected out of the kids, and while everyone remembers the championships, I’m most proud of the love and respect we tried to use within our program. I tried to treat everyone, from the star players to the managers to the kids who didn’t play at all, the same because we were all a part of building a football program. I put my heart and soul into this and those principles are what matters to me.”
Many former Bingham High administrators, coaches and players were at the event, and Peck said he had an encounter at the banquet that epitomized why he coached hundreds of players for so many years.
“A kid I had coached came up to me, and I was trying to place him, and he said that even though his brother — who I also coached — couldn’t make it, he just needed to come and see me to let me know the impact I had on them,” Peck said. “He said that a lot of what they learned from me is a lot of who they are. That happens more than I thought it would, and it means more than I can say.”
“The level of caring that Dave had for his athletes is almost unparalleled,” former BHS athletic director Brad Bevan said at the time of Peck’s retirement. “Very few know about the early morning study halls or visits he had with young men that were struggling in and out of the classroom. His expertise in football and ability to coach the sport goes without saying, but it is the relationships that he has built — with players, their parents, his staff, other coaches from other schools and the officials — that really shows the strength of his character.”
Peck got his start in football at 8 years old when he decided the sport would be “fun.” After a multi-sport high school athletic career at Cyprus High — where he was named First Team All-State in football and baseball — he played four years at Southern Utah University, one year as a wide receiver and then as a safety and defensive back, in his pursuit of a career as a veterinarian. Two years into his education, he changed his career path after realizing he would have to go elsewhere to finish schooling.
After a year coaching football in Idaho, he returned to Utah where he coached at North Sanpete High and then went on to assistant coaching stints at Bingham and Hunter before taking over the head position at his alma mater. After five years at Cyprus, he landed the top spot in the Miners football program where he took them to a 154-37 record over the next 15 seasons, which included seven trips to the state title game and 10 region championships. His last team in 2014 finished in the top-10 nationally as well, having been unafraid to play “anybody, anytime, anyplace” to establish themselves as a premier program beyond the state’s boundaries.
Since his retirement from coaching, Peck has relocated to Sanpete County and has been selling sporting goods to colleges and high schools. But, when his 22-year-old nephew Rhett Bird got the head coaching job at North Sanpete High in 2016, he asked his uncle if he would help him build the Hawks program, and Peck couldn’t say no to a young man who is like a son to him. For the past three seasons, Peck has been steadily becoming more involved and, this past fall, he was the defensive coordinator who helped the North Sanpete program complete a historic turnaround from an 0-10 season in 2017 to the 3A state championship game.
“Coaching these kids here and watching them achieve what they did this past year is just as rewarding as anything else I’ve done in football,” he said. “What they have done has been phenomenal. I guess I’m still getting my fix and being involved in the excitement of the game.”
When Peck “retired” in 2014, former Bingham athletic director Brad Bevan recalled the players at the time being extremely concerned about who would coach the Miners football team in 2015.
“I assured them that whoever we brought on would be outstanding,” he said. “I guess you could say we got it right.”
Lambourne said, “Make no mistake, Coach Peck was at the lead and his passion led us all.”