Bingham hires new head football coach after Dave Peck retiresFeb 07, 2022 03:06PM ● By Brian Shaw
Eric Jones was named the Miners new head football coach. (Photo courtesy Eric Jones)
By Brian Shaw | [email protected]
When Dave Peck returned as Bingham High School head football coach, it was hard to know at the time how long he might stay. It turns out that Peck’s time back at the place where he won multiple state championships and region titles would be short. Peck stepped down in December and now the Miners have hired someone to try and follow a legend.
Eric Jones was named the Miners new head football coach recently. He knows he faces the unenviable task of trying to be the equivalent of what some might think is a garage band following The Beatles at the Rose Bowl.
“Wow, what a privilege and honor it is to follow Dave Peck and the winning tradition he's built at Bingham,” Jones said. “He's obviously a great coach who was able to assemble high quality coaching staffs while getting the most out of the talented athletes who consistently pour through the doors of Bingham High.”
Make no mistake, however, Jones himself comes from an impeccable coaching pedigree. The new Bingham head coach Jones has learned this craft under Fred Fernandes, who is of course known as the architect of arguably one of the, if not the most successful, high school football programs in the 1990s and 2000s at Northridge High School in Layton.
“I’ve watched all the work that [my uncle and] Coach Fernandes put into being head coaches for 16 years,” said Jones. “It's a challenging profession. I've been content being an assistant for a long time. But there's a small handful of premier football jobs in Utah that everyone keeps their eyes on. When Coach Peck announced his retirement, I decided to apply. I thought my application would be a long shot but one I would've regretted not taking. The fact that it worked out in my favor is a dream come true.”
Jones played at Roy and at Weber State University, walking on to and making the Wildcats team as a linebacker, where he played from 2001 to 2005. Following his graduation from Weber State Jones started working as an assistant and teaching math at Woods Cross and Syracuse high schools before joining Fernandes’ staff at Roy, where he’s coached on Fred’s staff there as a defensive coordinator and has taught math for more than a decade.
“I am extremely humbled and excited to have the opportunity to work with the kids and community who make Bingham the amazing school that it is,” said Jones. “For this to be my first head coaching job after 16 years as an assistant seems surreal. I'm so fortunate that Principal [Rodney] Shaw and his committee selected me from a pool of great candidates.”
Casey Miller, who is currently the head football coach at Cottonwood High and played at Cyprus High for the legend Peck, said he thinks Jones is the right man for the Bingham job.
“Eric is an awesome guy who went to Weber State with my sister,” Miller said. “Awesome coach, and has learned from one of the best up at Roy the past decade.”
To give you an example of what to expect here from Jones, his Roy defense allowed just 230 yards in Class 6A Region 2 en route to a second-place finish in 2021. And in 2020 his Royals allowed a similar number of points but went 8-2 overall and won a region championship.
To that end, Jones knows that he must put his own unique stamp on the Bingham football program—aside from having to follow a Utah high school coaching legend at a school that many consider to still be among the top five in the state.
“More importantly, Coach Peck is a high character man who's beloved in South Jordan and admired across Utah's football coaching landscape. You can't replace a coach or person of that caliber,” added Jones. “I just have to be myself and do the best job I can to help Bingham Football continue the traditions of winning, working hard, and doing things the right way.”