THE HUARD FAMILY--MIKE, PEGGY, DAMON, BROCK & LUKE
By Nick Dawson
The Huard Family might not be the first family of football in Pierce County - though there is plenty to argue in favor of that premise - but there can be no doubting that football is the first sport of the Huard Family.
Mike Huard, born on Jan. 23, 1950, in Prosser, Mike was a three-sport standout at Prosser High School. As a football running back, he earned all-conference honors in 1967, the same year that he led the state in scoring. He played guard in basketball and was a pitcher and infielder in baseball. From 1969-71, Mike continued his football success at Central Washington University, playing both fullback and tight end. He was especially successful as a senior tight end, earning All-Evergreen Conference, all-district and honorable mention NAIA West Coast honors. Football would continue to be a driving force in Mike's life over the next two decades.
The year 1972 was a good one for Mike, who graduated from Central, married Peggy, and then started a 26-year prep football coaching career at White Swan High School. After two years at White Swan, Mike spent seven years at Foster High, and in 1981 he and Peggy settled in Puyallup where Mike had illustrious 17-year coaching career.
From 1981 until his retirement from coaching following the 1997 season, Mike led the Vikings to an overall record of 143 wins and 38 losses, the 1987 state title, runner-up finishes in 1991 and 1992, and to the state semifinals in 1997. He coached PHS to 15 winning seasons and four undefeated regular seasons, and under his tutelage Puyallup High won nine South Puget Sound League championships (1984, 87, 88, 91, 92, 93, 94, 96 and 97). He received SPSL Coach of the Year recognition each of those years.
Mike earned Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Tacoma News Tribune Coach of the Year honors in 1987, Tacoma Athletic Commission and National Football Foundation Coach of the Year recognition in 1986, 87 and 91. In 1997, he was honored by the Seattle Seahawks as State Coach of the Year, and he was inducted into the Washington State Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Mike and Peggy's sons, Damon, Brock, and Luke, are a significant part of Mike's success at Puyallup High. All three were named Gatorade Player of the Year and Brock earned Gatorade Player of the Year honors on the national level. Those two plied their trade at the University of Washington and later in the National Football League. In fact, Damon and Brock are the first brothers in the NFL's long history to start at quarterback on the same day. On Nov. 26, 2000, Damon led the Miami Dolphins to a win over Indianapolis, while Brock played for the Seattle Seahawks in a loss to Denver. Luke went across the country to play at the University of North Carolina.
While the Huard brothers are most often associated with their father's great coaching legacy at Puyallup High, Mike mentored numerous prep players who went on to compete at the collegiate level. The first player of national note was Billy Joe Hobert, who went on to fame at the University of Washington and later played in the National Football League. In fact, at one point, three of Mike's Puyallup High quarterbacks were playing in the NFL - Hobert and sons Damon and Brock.
Following his retirement from coaching, Mike remained at Puyallup High School as a physical education teacher. He eventually retired from teaching after 38 years, 29 of them at PHS.
As is so often the case, the story of any great coach is accompanied by the story of the coach's great wife, and that is the case with Peggy Huard. In this case, she plays dual roles as wife and mother (and grandmother to six grandchildren ranging in age from five months to 10 years) in this legendary football family.
Peggy was born in The Netherlands and came to the United States with her parents at 18 months of age. She eventually graduated from Enumclaw High School in 1969 and ended up at Central Washington, where she met and began dating Mike. They were married in 1972, two days before he started his coaching career at White Swan High School. In the ensuing years and moves, Peggy stayed at home raising her boys until Luke went to school. She has been working for the Puyallup School District in the areas of special education/Title I/LAP.
Peggy was a soccer mom since Damon was five and before the phrase was popular. "Up until this year I have watched one or more of my sons still play a sport," she said. "Now I get the pleasure of watching the next generation play."
Post-game functions involving coaches, family, friends and lots of food at the Huard house were a regular happening and a much-loved tradition. Peggy also fondly remembers backyard T-ball, football games at the UW, and coming home from dinner following a basketball state tournament game to find the driveway filled with police cars because a pizza delivery man had been robbed right in front of the house while delivering pizza to the boys.
Damon, the oldest of the Huard boys, was born on July 9, 1973, in Yakima. As a Puyallup High School sophomore, Damon played tight end, but he moved to the quarterback role during his final two seasons and earned all-state honors while leading the Vikings to a 14-4 overall record. The Gatorade Player of the Year for football was also a standout on the basketball floor, leading the state in scoring with an average of 24.6 points per game as a junior and helping PHS to the state tournament.
At the University of Washington, Damon not only earned a degree in business, he was a four-year letter winner and a three-year starter. He threw for 5,692 yards with 34 touchdowns and 28 interceptions while completing almost 62 percent of his passes. Upon his graduation, he was the storied program's all-time passing yardage leader. Damon earned ABC Sports Player of the Game honors for leading the Huskies to a 38-20 win at the University of Miami in 1994, ending the Hurricanes' NCAA record 58-game home winning streak.
Coming out of college, Damon spent his first season of professional football in Germany as the quarterback of the European Football League's Frankfurt Galaxy. He went on to a 13-year career in the National Football League where he saw action with Miami, New England and Kansas City. He learned the professional game playing behind Miami legend Dan Marino and was a back-up quarterback to MVP Tom Brady on two New England Patriots Super Bowl championship teams. In 24 games as a NFL starter, Damon nonetheless compiled a 14-10 record.
Damon and his wife, Julie, are parents to Holly, Sam and Brooke.
Brock, born April 15, 1976, in Seattle, earned numerous accolades as a high school football standout, culminating with his selection as the 1995 Gatorade Circle of Champions National Player of the Year. A tall, rangy, left-handed quarterback leading his father's offensive system, Brock earned Parade, Super Prep, Blue Chip Illustrated, ESPN, College Sports and Schutt All-America honors while throwing for 3,857 career yards with 45 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions. He also lettered in basketball, averaging 18 points and 7.5 rebounds as a senior for the Vikings.
While at the University of Washington, Brock erased older brother Damon's name on several season and career passing records. Brock held 20 school records when he left Washington, including most career passing yards (6,391), touchdown passes (53), 300-yard games (4), 200-yard games (14), attempts without an interception (151) and total yards per game (190.4). He also set Husky single-game records against USC with his 33 completions and 62 pass attempts. Huard was a finalist for the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award while setting a school record with 23 touchdown tosses.
The Seattle Seahawks drafted Brock in the third round of the 1999 National Football League draft and he spent the first three years of his professional career with the Seahawks. In 2000, his second full season, he started four games. Seattle then traded Brock to Indianapolis, where he served as backup to Peyton Manning. He rejoined the Seahawks in 2004 and ended his six-year NFL career that season.
An outstanding student, Brock maintained a 3.6 grade point average while at the University of Washington. He and his wife, Molly, have two daughters, Haley and Macey, and a newborn son, Titus.
Brock can be heard daily on the radio, co-hosting the Brock and Salk Show on 710 ESPN in Seattle, and serves as a Seahawks pre- and post-game commentator. He also serves as a color analyst for ESPN on their national college football package.
Luke was born on Oct. 1, 1979, in Redmond, graduated from Puyallup High in 1998 and from the University of North Carolina in 2002.
As a high school quarterback, the youngest of the Huard brothers had the biggest numbers. A three-year starting quarterback, he led the Vikings to a 29-5 overall record and to two unbeaten regular seasons. The 1997 Washington Gatorade Player of the Year and an honorable mention All-America honoree, Luke earned All-SPSL, all-area and all-state honors in leading the Vikings to the state semifinals as a senior. He finished his career as Puyallup High's all-time leading passer, surpassing brothers Damon and Brock. He accounted for 99 Vikings touchdowns, 75 through the air and 24 more on the ground.
Luke played three seasons at North Carolina before retiring from the game to concentrate on his passion - coaching. After graduating from UNC with a degree in political science, Luke coached one year at Washington High and three more at Interlake High, where he led the Saints to a 6-4 record in 2004, the team's first winning season in a decade. Leaving the prep ranks, Luke spent 2007 and 2008 at the University of Washington as a graduate assistant. In 2009, he moved on to Illinois State University as quarterbacks coach, and in January of this year he was promoted to offensive coordinator. As a college quarterbacks coach he has helped mentor two of the nation's outstanding players to their respective league's Freshman Player of the Year awards, Washington's Jake Locker and Southern Illinois' Matt Brown.
Some 30 years ago Mike started a memorable football coaching career and got married to the love of his life. Out of that relationship came three boys who would become men and latch onto their father's love for football much like wide receivers latched on to their spirals. And thus the adage that states, "the family that plays (football) together, stays together."