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“Golden Boy” Bruce Hardy Remembered at Bingham High School During Super Bowl 50

Mar 10, 2016 09:26AM ● Published by Bryan Scott

By Tori La Rue | tori@mycityjournals.com

South Jordan - The NFL awarded Bingham High School with a golden football and pronounced the school a member of the NFL Super Bowl High School Honor Roll. 

As part of the Super Bowl 50 celebration, the NFL created an honor roll to recognize communities that contributed to Super Bowl history and positively impacted the game of football, according to nfl.com. 

Bingham’s induction was a tribute to Bruce Hardy, former tight end for the Miami Dolphins, who played in the 1983 and 1985 Super Bowls. Hardy was the Bingham High School quarterback before he hit the collegiate and professional fields. 

In his high school years, there were three places you could find Hardy: the football field, basketball court or baseball field, Joe Sato, former teammate, said. He didn’t seem to have a favorite, but would play whatever was in season.

Hardy was a starter on the football team his freshman year, and was quarterback for his remaining three years at Bingham, according to Sato. 

“He was special,” Sato said. “If you ask the folks around here who saw his games, they’d say some legendary things happened while he was playing.”

When games got close on the court, everyone knew to pass the basketball to him, and he excelled at baseball and was willing to try any position, even if it wasn’t the most popular. 

“I’ve seen him hit the ball in ways that I haven’t even seen high school kids today do,” Sato, now a coach at Bingham, said. 

When the team was short a catcher, Hardy volunteered to take the position and ended up being an all-state catcher.

Hardy, Sato and a few other boys grew up playing sports together and would carpool to and from practices. They became close friends.

“We all recognized that he was the best player,” Sato said. “He was a humble, good friend, and good teammate, but we all knew what a good athlete he was.” 

While still in high school, Hardy was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated as “Best Schoolboy Athlete” in 1974. Scouts from all three sports wanted him to come to their school and play on their teams, but Hardy chose to play football on scholarship at Arizona State University. 

Hardy was drafted to the Miami Dolphins in 1978, where he appeared in every game during his rookie season, according to the Phinsider. Besides the 1980 season where he played wide receiver, Hardy played tightend for the team. 

In 1986, Hardy reached a career high with 54 passes for 430 yards with five scores, starting in every game. Over his 12 seasons with the team, he caught a total of 256 passes for 2,455 yards, and, according to the Phinsider, that’s second out of all the Dolphins’ tight ends. 

John Lambourne, head coach for Bingham football, said he was pleased to accept the golden football and trophy for Bingham High School in honor of Hardy’s accomplishments. 

Although Lambourne grew up playing sports with Hardy’s brother Bryan “Axel” Hardy, he said he didn’t know Bruce Hardy well, but he knew his history. He said he knew he was one of those “golden boy” high school athletes.  

Lambourne said the NFL’s award came at an interesting time because it arrived at the school only days before Star Lotulelei, defensive tackle for the Carolina Packers and Bingham High graduate, would play in Super Bowl 50. 

“It connects the past with the present,” Lambourne said. “We’re really proud of them here.” 

As for the future, Lambourne said he’s not sure who will be the next Bingham NFL legacy. 

“It’s a hard predictor. You have to be the elite of the elite,” Lambourne said. “Star’s brother Lowell, who plays for the [University of Utah], probably has a good chance of being the next one, but honestly it’s probably too early to tell because it’s such an isolated thing.” 

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