For the first time in school history, there will be a new face patrolling the sidelines for the Stansbury football team this season.
Eric Alder, who has spent the past five seasons as the head coach at Ben Lomond High School in Ogden, has been hired to lead the Stallions after longtime SHS coach Clint Christiansen stepped down. Alder went 10-40 in five years at Ben Lomond after serving as an assistant coach at Sky View, Morgan and Mountain Crest, coaching BLHS to a postseason appearance in 2016.
“Stansbury’s a great school and they’ve got great kids,” Alder said. “It’s an appealing community for myself and my family, and in the school’s short history, they’ve already established a tradition of success and a tradition of excellence — not only in football, but in other athletic areas and academics.
“It’s something I wanted to be a part of and it was time for me to make a change of scenery, reinvent myself and reenergize myself. It was just a great opportunity to be with what I consider to be a great community, a great school and great kids.”
The biggest difference for Alder will be taking over a program with a history of success at Stansbury as opposed to a Ben Lomond program that had fallen on hard times before his arrival. Stansbury went 70-40 in 10 seasons under Christiansen, making eight playoff appearances and advancing to the state semifinals in 2016 and 2017.
Alder, whose Scots team went 0-5 against SHS but came within a single score of beating SHS in 2016 and 2018, is excited to help the Stallions carry on that tradition while putting his own stamp on the program.
“I could tell that they were committed to the process, committed to each other, committed to the coaching staff and they represented the community well,” Alder said of his observations of the Stansbury program from the opposing sideline. “You could just see a certain level of talent and depth that was there that was an attractive piece to come be a part of and continue to lead and take to the next level.
“I’ll be (Stansbury’s) second coach, which is kind of fun to continue on the level that (Christiansen) has built. His core values and my core values will kind of mirror each other and match fairly well. The biggest thing is I’ve got to be me — I’ve got to be myself and who I believe I am and should be, and that’s building a great relationship with the kids, caring about them as people, caring about their academic success, and, of course, caring about doing everything I can to help them be successful on the field.”
Alder said the Stallions will still run the ball extensively, though it won’t be quite the same. Instead of the triple-option offense Stansbury became known for under Christiansen, SHS will employ a spread-option, no-huddle attack. However, while it might look a little different, the basic goal will be the same, Alder said.
“I will build my own traditions and my own style, and I think it’ll mesh really well with the culture that’s there and the community and the kids,” he said. “Every coach wants to run the ball and establish the run. Football at its core doesn’t change — that’s blocking, tackling and kids that can run and catch and throw and tackle. That will never change, whether it’s running the triple-option from under center or a spread-option attack.”
Alder will continue to teach at Ben Lomond High through the end of the school year, and he hopes to move to Tooele County in June to help the Stallions prepare for the upcoming season. He and his wife, Kasey, are the parents of sons Max and Wesley and daughter Ali.