‘All for change’: New Hurricane football coach Jerry Cowan hits the ground running

CEDAR CITYJerry Cowan likes what he sees from the Tigers.

Jerry Cowan, at a Southern Utah University camp, took over the head coaching duties for the Hurricane High School football team, Cedar City, Utah, June 26, 2024 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

Cowan was introduced as the new head football coach in Hurricane in a ceremony at the high school on January 22, and the program is already reflecting his energy and passion for the game.

At a preseason summer camp held on the campus of Southern Utah University in Cedar City Wednesday morning, Cowan talked to St. George News after the Tigers played an informal scrimmage against Cedar Valley.

“It gives these kids an opportunity to kind of showcase their skills and their abilities to a new coach,” Cowan said.

The Tigers wore shoulder pads and helmets but scrimmage plays were not run at game speed and the action was not full-contact.

The SUU camp hosted nearly 20 high school teams from regions around the state. The annual event serves as a first opportunity for football coaches to assess their teams before the preseason officially begins in August.

Cowan is still in the process of meeting the Tigers since coming to 4A Hurricane after 19 years coaching at 1A Duchesne.

“You come and you hear from other people a little bit about them, from other coaches, from other community members, but until I see it first hand, none of that really matters,” he said. “I need to see it with my own eyes. I’ll judge myself on what I think of these kids.”

New Hurricane head football coach Jerry Cowan (right) and his family became Tigers after 19 years and 7 state championships at Duchesne, photo date and time not specified | Photo courtesy Hurricane High School for the St. George News

Cowan collected five state championships as head coach and two more as assistant coach during his tenure in Duchesne.

As he evaluates the Tigers, Cowan knows that the players are still getting to know him too.

“As far as I’m concerned, I don’t care what you did last year, I don’t care what you did as an eighth-grader,” Cowan said. “To me, we’re all in the same boat.”

Cowan assumes command of a Tigers program that went 6-27 over the last three seasons, including a 1-17 mark in region play.

At the ceremony to welcome him as coach last January, Cowan felt that the fans and families in the program clearly wanted more.

“I think the community is all for change,” Cowan said. “Something new. The previous staff, I think they did a great job with what they had but they just needed something different.”

“Sometimes change can be good, sometimes change can be bad,” he added. “In this case I hope it’s a good thing.”

Cowan said he kept a lot of the coaching staff from last year, as well as added a couple of new faces on the Hurricane sideline.

Jerry Cowan, here at a camp at Southern Utah University, took over the head coaching duties for the Hurricane High School football team, Cedar City, Utah, June 26, 2024 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

“I’m hoping I can bring some leadership to these guys, not just to the players but to the coaches, and kind of mentor them and kind of get them molded into what I want them to be, not necessarily what they’ve done in the past,” Cowan said.

Cowan acknowledged that the program is in a rebuilding phase, but also said that doesn’t mean the Tigers should expect to lose.

“We don’t ever want anyone to say they played a soft team. We’re bringing a different level of toughness I hope, and it’s something they got to learn, it’s not something that’s just going to happen overnight,” Cowan said.

“The name of the game is we want to be competitive each week,” he added. “Whether that’s win, lose or draw we want to be competitive.”

The cupboard is not empty in Hurricane and the Tigers have some unharnessed talent that is waiting to explode on the gridiron.

“Really we have some talented kids, it’s just a matter of getting them on the right spot and coaching them and keeping them accountable for what we expect,” Cowan said. “And any bad attitude or any negativity, they’re not going to survive from here on out.”

Cowan’s first game as head coach of the Tigers will kickoff Aug. 16 at home against Region 11’s Mountain Crest.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2024, all rights reserved.

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