After 26 years on the sideline, and ten of those at the helm of the Puyallup High School football program, Gary Jeffers is calling it a wrap.
Jeffers has had extreme success in his ten season as the head coach for the Viks winning several SPSL league titles and making multiple runs deep into the state tournament, including his last two full seasons here in 2018 and 2019. He attributes that success to the family culture they developed in the program.
“We really tried to focus on the brotherhood and the idea of family,” Jeffers said. ‘It just kind of ties into the idea that, to be able to have success in a team sport, you need to have unity, the kind of unity that comes with brotherhood and family and the whole idea of serving others.”
For the Jeffers, coaching was a family affair. With his wife Stacy leading the off-season strength and conditioning for the team and being the main stat keeper for the games and all three of his daughters getting to be the “coaches kid” in their time at Puyallup High School.
“My experience as the daughter of my high school’s football coach was very fun,” Jeffers middle daughter Braylie said. “Football games are one of the most exciting things you get to experience as a high schooler and being able to be super close with the coaching staff along with all the boys on the team was truly amazing.”
Braylie and her sisters, along with the team as a whole, were able to become so close because of the emphasis on relationships that Jeffers had.
“Coaching is about relationships,” Gary Jeffers said. “And whether it’s relationships with players or coaches, each season brings a whole new family feel.”
Those relationships will be what is missed most for their family. In her time on the sidelines and training the team in the offseason Stacy Jeffers was able to foster and create some of her own, and that will be what she misses most.
“I think that what I’ll miss most is just the family feeling and getting to work with an amazing coaching staff and some incredible players,” Stacy Jeffers said. “And just the pride of being part of something so special.”
The Jeffers family is leaving the Puyallup High School football program in a great spot, with many of the leaders over the past few years still having another season, if not more, and those who will be coming up through the program knowing what is expected of them.
“Well you know I mean I think that the culture in the football program right now is excellent,” Gary Jeffers said. “I think that as students come into the program, they understand that hard work equals success on the field. They’ve made commitments to the weight room and off season conditioning, because they know that that is going to breed results for them in the fall. Again, buying into that whole idea of brotherhood and family, so I think there’s a real strong culture in those concepts right there.”