Hackett & Bartle: When Whittingham Retires, Who Takes Over The Reigns At Utah?
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Assuming Kyle Whittingham has won the Pac-12 Championship, followed by the Rose Bowl, and has ultimately decided to experience more of life and retire from coaching, who do you think will be at the helm in 2028 when Utah travels to Madison, Wisconsin and takes on the Badgers?
There are a few obvious answers worth discussing. Current BYU boss Kalani Sitake, current Weber State legend Jay Hill sit atop the list. While defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley will always be in the conversation to replace Whittingham when his time comes to an end.
However, there are a number of other candidates that some Ute fans may enjoy.
Let’s start with current Florida Head Coach Dan Mullen. You may ask yourself why Mullen would leave Florida and return to Utah, the likelihood is slim. But, the likelihood of Mullen still being in Florida in six years’ time is also pretty slim. Steve Spurrier is the longest-tenured head coach in Florida’s history and he was only around for 11 years. By the time 2028 rolls around, Mullen would be going on year 10.
Alex Smith is also a candidate that warrants a conversation. Smith retired from 16 years in the NFL a few weeks ago and was quick to deny any desire to coach. However, one has to imagine, given the role football has played in Smith’s life to date, and the experiences in which he endured, Smith will likely consider a coaching career down the road.
Smith would be a fantastic candidate to take over from Whittingham despite lack of coaching experience. He was developed by Urban Meyer when in college before playing in the NFL for 16 seasons and enduring so many various experiences.
Immediately following his retirement, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid made comments pleading for Smith’s coaching service. It was also rumored that Meyer was interested in Smith’s services in Jacksonville.
Another candidate similar to Smith is Eric Weddle who has remained relatively quiet since retiring from the NFL in February of 2020. In interviews shortly after the announcement of his retirement was made, Weddle hinted at potentially getting into coaching but stated the immediate future was going to be dedicated to spending with his family.
Weddle, much like Smith, would make for great head coaches despite lack of coaching experience.
Hackett and Bartle also discussed who would be on the staff in 2028. Britain Covey, assuming he isn’t playing in the NFL, will likely be present on the offensive staff. Trevor Reilly is also another former player who could be present.
Tom Hackett and Steve Bartle host the It’s Utah’s World podcast. One episode every week for Utah fans to gain knowledge and information as it relates to their beloved football team.