Families Heavily Involved On Both Sides Of The Holy War

Nov 19, 2018, 3:28 PM | Updated: 3:30 pm

Utah Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham and Brigham Young Cougars head coach Kalani Sitake talk after...

Utah Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham and Brigham Young Cougars head coach Kalani Sitake talk after a game at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016. Utah won, 20-19. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

(Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The rivalry between the University of Utah and Brigham Young University runs deep not only on the football field, but in families. Currently over 13 players and coaches have ties between with both schools as the 2018 Holy War rivalry will be renewed.


Kyle Whittingham – Utah Head Coach

The 14-year head coach of the Utes played linebacker at BYU from 1978-81 where he earned first-team all-WAC as well as WAC Defensive Player of the Year honors in 1981. Whittingham was named Defensive MVP of the 1981 Holiday Bowl and was inducted into the Holiday Bowl Hall of Fame in 2008. He has been on staff at the University of Utah for 25 years.

Britain Covey – Utah Wide Receiver

Covey’s family has a long history surrounded by BYU, including taking the same route as his brother Stephen who played quarterback at Timpview High School and wide receiver at BYU.

Francis Bernard – Utah Linebacker

Bernard played 22 games for BYU from 2015-16, finishing third on the team in tackles with 80. He also had three interceptions, three pass breakups and both a forced fumble and fumble recovery in 2016. He transferred to Utah where he will have one more year of eligibility after the 2018 season. Bernard has ten tackles in seven appearances for the Utes.

Chase Hansen – Utah Linebacker

His father, Brian played at BYU in 1978 as well as 1981-82. Hansen’s uncle Randy played for the Utes from 1968-70, other Uncle Bruce was at BYU in 1981 as well as 1985-86. Chase’s cousin Colby played at BYU from 2015-16.

Samson Nacua – Utah Wide Receiver

The sophomore’s brother Kai played safety at BYU from 2013-16. He other brother Puka decided to joined USC out of Orem high school.

Justin Ena – Utah Linebackers Coach

Ena was a three-year starter and three-time Mountain West all-conference linebacker with BYU, where he graduated in 2001. Before spending time with Southern Utah and Weber State, he joined Utah in 2015 where he is the linebackers coach and co-special teams coordinator.

Guy Holliday – Utah Wide Receivers Coach

Holliday spent three seasons as the wide receivers coach at BYU under Bronco Mendenhall before he went up north to take over the wide receivers at the University of Utah.

Fred Whittingham – Utah Tight Ends Coach

Freddie, like his brother Kyle, was a graduate at BYU. He won a national championship in 1984 and was the starting running back from 1987-89. In 1989, Whittingham was a team captain and was named first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American. He was BYU’s leading rusher for three consecutive seasons. Whittingham joined Kyle and Utah in 2012 as the Director of Player Personnel until 2015 before he was named tight ends coach in 2016 where he holds the position today.


Kalani Sitake – BYU Head Coach

The third year head coach in Provo was a graduate of BYU in 2000 where he played fullback for three seasons under legendary head coach LaVell Edwards. He was on the 1999 team that won their first Mountain West Conference Championship. Sitake was team captain and most valuable running back in 2000. He was a graduate assistant in 2002 for BYU and was hired by Kyle Whittingham at the University of Utah in 2005 to be the linebackers coach. Sitake was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2009 before adding assistant head coach to his duties in 2014. He left Utah after nine seasons in 2015 to join Gary Andersen at Oregon State.

Zach Wilson – BYU Quarterback

The true freshman’s family was a Utah family. They were twenty-year season ticket holders, Crimson Club members and tickets on the 50-yard line. Seats were next to Kyle Whittingham’s family for several years. Father Mike played at Utah from 1993-94 as a defensive lineman.

Ilaisa Tuiaki – BYU Defensive Coordinator

In his third season as the defensive coordinator at BYU, Tuiaki didn’t graduate from either BYU or Utah. He received his degree from Southern Utah. He was hired as a graduate assistant at Utah in 2008 before going to Utah State for three seasons under Gary Andersen. Tuiaki returned to the University of Utah from 2012-14 before leaving to join Andersen at Oregon State with Kalani Sitake. When Sitake was named the head coach at BYU, Tuiaki was named defensive coordinator for the Cougars.

Aaron Roderick – BYU Passing Game Coordinator

Roderick has a long history within the rivalry, he played at BYU from 1996-98 as a wide receiver and return specialist. He started his coaching career in 1999 as a graduate assistant and another stint from 2000-01. Roderick was hired by the University of Utah in 2005 and coached there until 2016. During that time he was the wide receivers coach, co-offensive coordinator and passing game coordinator. He is in his first season on BYU’s coaching staff.

Steve Clark – BYU Tight Ends Coach

Clark has been with BYU as their tight end coach since 2016. He graduated from Brigham Young in 1992. Before that, he was the offensive coordinator at Provo High School for three seasons. He joined the University of Utah in 2002 as the Director of Operations. Clark rejoined the Utes as a defensive assistant in 2004 under Urban Meyer for one season. He was a graduate assistant from 2005-07 at BYU. Clark spent the next eight seasons with Southern Utah and Weber State as offensive coordinator before returning to Provo.

Utah and BYU will play on Saturday at Rice Eccles Stadium at 8 p.m. on FS1.

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Families Heavily Involved On Both Sides Of The Holy War