Ute Coach Jokes About Utah’s Polygamous Past At Holiday Bowl Event

Dec 30, 2018, 12:41 PM | Updated: 1:57 pm
Utah Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham claps is hands as he players stretch as Utah prepares to play...
Utah Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham claps is hands as he players stretch as Utah prepares to play Washington in the Pac-12 Championship game at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara on Friday, Nov. 30, 2018. (Scott Winterton, Deseret News)
(Scott Winterton, Deseret News)

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – It seems Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham, who is known for being very serious,  has a thing for dry humor.

While giving his opening statement at the final Holiday Bowl press conference on Sunday, Whittingham cracked a joke that took advantage of a popular misconception about Utah families.

Thanking both Utah athletic director Mark Harlan and university president Ruth Watkins for allowing those in the program to bring their families to San Diego for the bowl game, Whittingham said “Everyone was able to bring all their wives, not just one.”

It took a second for the joke to strike a chord with the media present, but the laughter soon followed.

“We’re from Utah, we’re from Utah,” Whittingham explained with a dead-pan delivery.

Utah is known for having a large population of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Some members of the Church practiced polygamy until 1890, when the church officially discontinued the practice. Despite the church’s stand that members who continued in polygamy be excommunicated, several fundamentalist groups still exists in Utah and other Western states.

Whittingham is a life-long member of the Church and attended Church-owned Brigham Young University, where he played linebacker on the football team from 1978-1981.

The Utah Utes also carry 21 returned missionaries for the Church on the roster.

The Utes will face Northwestern in the Holiday Bowl Monday at 5 p.m. The game will be broadcast on FS1.

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Ute Coach Jokes About Utah’s Polygamous Past At Holiday Bowl Event