The Davis County football coach domino effect has begun.
Northridge High introduced Andrew Fresques as its new football coach Friday morning, bringing him over from Woods Cross High.
Fresques has coached Woods Cross for the past three seasons, accumulating a total record of 17-16. Northridge had a 2-8 record last season (1-6 in Region 1).
“It was extremely tough leaving Woods Cross. Walking in the (Northridge) building, it’s been awhile — I’ve been in the visitor’s locker room — but man it’s home,” Fresques said. “That place means a lot to me. It was kind of a bittersweet thing talking to the Woods Cross kids, but when I walked into (Northridge), that school means a ton to me.”
Fresques is familiar to the cardinal and gray as a Northridge alumnus who played on the Knights’ 5A state championship-winning team in 2000. He said he’ll teach physical education and health at Northridge starting next school year.
Fresques informed his football class and the coaching staff at Woods Cross at 7:30 a.m. Friday morning, then drove to Northridge to be introduced to the team around 10:20 a.m.
The Northridge football coach opening — after Braden Mitchell recently resigned — generated tons of interest and speculation inside coaching circles in Davis and Weber counties, stemming from the fact that many coaches in the area have some sort of Northridge connection.
It spoke volumes to the school that Fresques would want to come back to his alma mater in this particular year when Woods Cross is slated to have arguably the most talented returning football team in the two-county area this fall.
“Ultimately, it just came down to, I live in Layton City, so that’s just for my family. It’s so much closer,” he said.
“Family’s No. 1. I love football, but my family is more important. Northridge has a special place in my heart,” Fresques said. “It’s a team I follow and I care about. It’s pretty neat when you get an opportunity to coach at your alma mater.”
The big challenge for any coach at Northridge is coaching a team that has many players who grew up in different cities and played for different youth football programs.
Northridge’s boundaries include a swath of Layton north of 1000 North and north of the South Fork of Kays Creek, the whole city of South Weber and a section of Clearfield just north of 700 South that’s geographically closer to Clearfield High.
It also includes all of Sunset and a section of Clinton, where students literally have to drive past Clearfield High to get to Northridge.
“That is definitely a huge challenge. You have kids coming from different rec programs, but being a part of that growing up too — when you work and you bleed, and you sweat, you build that bond,” Fresques said. “We’re going to work our butts off, and you learn to love one another when you look next to you and see the person next to you working their butt off.”
Fresques’ Woods Cross teams have been known for pass-heavy offenses the past three seasons. In 2018, quarterback Carston Naegle threw for 2,913 yards and 27 touchdowns in 10 games. Last season, Carter Weierman threw for 2,795 yards and 24 scores, according to MaxPreps.
Generally, his plan of attack for the Knights is hard work.
“First and foremost is get in there and work hard and lead by example. That’s what I told the kids this morning, be ready to work. I know there’s talent there,” he said.
WX athletic director Dave Simon wrote in an email that the school wants to find its new head football coach quickly so as not to fall too far behind other teams who start spring workouts and practice.
By Friday afternoon, the school had posted the job on the Davis School District website with a closing date of March 10.
Fresques expects the WX job to be a popular one and he added it was a “fantastic” place to work. Given the talent the Wildcats ostensibly have coming back this fall, they’re poised for a serious run at the Region 5 title.
Wide receiver Luke Hyde and defensive lineman Michael Mokofisi are the two most visible names. Hyde has a scholarship offer from Utah and caught 75 passes for 1,104 yards and 13 touchdowns last season.
Mokofisi has scholarship offers from Utah, BYU, USC, Arizona and Nebraska.
There will likely be many applicants from Salt Lake County, but if many of the same candidates who applied for the Northridge job also apply for the Woods Cross coaching job, there may yet be more shuffling in the Davis County coaching ranks.