New Viewmont girls basketball coach comin’ homeJun 06, 2022 01:03PM ● By Catherine Garrett
The Viewmont High girls basketball program has a new head coach and, although he has been coaching at Hunter High in West Valley City the past six years, he has actually been living in Centerville that whole time. Cameron Gardner takes over the Vikings squad following the retirement of Roger Farnsworth after the 2021-22 season.
“We are really excited to have Cameron Gardner as our new head girls basketball coach. He has had success as a head coach (at Hunter High School) and we feel he is the perfect fit for the Viewmont girls basketball program,” said VHS Athletic Director Jeff Emery.
Gardner said he is thrilled to be coaching near home. “Just like when I came to Hunter, there are a lot of unknowns for me in getting a feel for what’s already here, but I am really excited for this great opportunity to establish a program the way I’d like to,” he said. “I’m having all the feels with leaving a program I built, but I’m so excited to get to work here and my family is thrilled that I’ll be working much closer now.”
As the youngest of four boys raised on a farm in Honeyville, Utah, Gardner played anything he could to “survive and compete” with his older brothers, particularly in football, baseball and basketball.
He was a two-year varsity point guard at Box Elder High School and a Region MVP and First Team All-State selection his senior year. From there, he served a two-year church mission to Sao Paolo, Brazil and, when he returned home, he began helping his alma mater’s program before he received an opportunity to play at Hartnell College in California. After a year there – and “no social life” – he came back to Utah with plans of simply academic-based plans. But, he responded to his brother’s encouragement while at Utah State to try out for a walk-on spot with the Aggies team and agreed to be “a practice player who would get your butt kicked and receive no recognition” for their historic 2009 squad. He then spent the next three years as a USU basketball team manager learning on the bench from the legendary coach Stew Morrill.
Gardner’s chosen career path of teaching PE and coaching stems from his roots at Box Elder with coach Keith Mecham. “He just did a great job relating sports to what matters and it really went beyond basketball skills,” Gardner said. “I realized that I love developing relationships with kids and trying to help them become a better person on and off the court.”
In 2012, Gardner started coaching at Pinnacle High School in Price where he headed up the boys basketball, baseball and golf teams for three years before he came to Hunter High.
For the past six years, he has been building the Wolverines program with players who come in with minimal experience and has found plenty of fulfillment in maximizing their development. Within two seasons at Hunter, his girls were competing for the region title and won the championship in 2020 – when he was also named Region 2 Coach of the Year – and this past season.
“It’s cool to see the growth of your players when they come into your program and then to where they are when they leave. That’s what’s rewarding,” Gardner said. “You don’t coach for the hours, money or wins. You try and teach the right way to do things, expect them to just do it and then let them feel the success of that. It’s been awesome and I love to spend a lot of time doing it.”
The new VHS coach, who will also teach PE and Driver’s Ed at the school, said he’s excited to also involve his wife and two young children in this opportunity. Gardner plans to hold summer camps to help further young development as he begins his journey with the Vikings girls program.l