When Mountain View principal Taran Chun began his search this offseason for someone to lead the Bruins football program after outgoing coach Jon Snyder stepped down, one potential name among the variety of candidates stood out.
Weeks later, Chun had gotten the man he wanted. Chun confirmed Tuesday that the school has hired Louis Wong, the embattled coach who led Timpview to four straight state titles from 2006 to 2009.
"Whenever there’s a coaching change, you wonder who’s out there," Chun said. "We quickly reached out to coach Wong and asked him to apply for our position. We knew he had other suitors courting him, so we’re very excited to have him."
Wong’s tenure at Timpview ended in controversy in 2012. He resigned from his teaching position after a battle with the Provo School District over a state audit that alleged he violated district and state policy by misusing school funds.
Chun was an assistant principal in the Provo School District during Wong’s tenure at Timpview and followed the controversy as it unfolded. He said the current oversight measures in place for football coaches, which were influenced heavily by Wong’s situation at Timpview, allow for much more transparency than in the past.
"We know he’s learned valuable lessons that make him a better coach and mentor," Chun said. "We’re going into this with the understanding that everything is going to be transparent. The system is set up for that. ... We’re going into this with our eyes wide open."
Despite how Wong’s run at Timpview ended, Chun said the coach is an outstanding mentor for football players. Chun’s sons played youth football in Timpview’s boundaries while Wong was leading the Thunderbirds, and he was familiar with Wong’s popular reputation.
"I know the parents and students there really loved having coach Wong as their coach," Chun said. "As we interviewed him, I could see what others had told me about him — that he had a big heart. His No. 1 desire is to teach young men the lessons you can learn through football."
Chun is hoping Wong can reinvigorate the Mountain View program, which has struggled since going 7-4 in 2007. The Bruins went 1-9 this season. Chun said there already is a new excitement about the program among those who had heard of Wong’s hire.
"No. 1, we want a program the boys can be excited about," Chun said. "Athletes in our school who don’t come out for football for whatever reason hopefully will come out and want to be part of the program. We also want a role model."
Wong did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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