KSL UNRIVALED

Kyle Whittingham’s Future Is Coaching Utah Football

Mar 23, 2022, 8:14 PM | Updated: 8:14 pm
Kyle Whittingham - Utah Utes vs. Washington State...
Kyle Whittingham head coach of the Utah Utes walks with his players during warmups before their game against the Washington State Cougars September 25, 2021 at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham is entering his 18th season leading the Utes.

Whittingham was the defensive coordinator and the acting head coach in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl win after Urban Meyer took the Florida job. He was also the man in charge during Utah’s 2009 Sugar Bowl win over Alabama.

He guided the Utes from the Mountain West to the Pac-12 Conference, and in 2021 helped Utah win its first-ever Pac-12 football title and a berth to the Rose Bowl Game.

There were rumblings that Whittingham might retire from coaching if his team earned a berth to the Rose Bowl.

Coach Whittingham was asked about his future as he joined UnRivaled. He said that he still enjoys coaching at a high level with the University of Utah.

“My stock answer is as long as I continue to enjoy the level I am right now. I mean, it’s been a long career here on the hill,” Whittingham said. “We’ve got a good group coming back this fall, coming off a fairly successful season, as you mentioned. We came up a little short in the Rose Bowl, but overall, I think it was a big step forward for our program. And as long as I got the juice and the passion that I have right now, I’ll just keep going and see what happens.”

The reason that Whittingham’s name pops up in retirement rumors is partly due to him being 62 years old. Although that is not that old when other coaches in college football have continued their careers well into their 70s, such as Nick Saban and Mack Brown.

Whittingham has said in the past that he didn’t expect to be a lifer as a college coach. At one point, he thought his path would lead to a defensive coaching position in the NFL, likely as a coordinator.

His time at Utah has resulted in an impressive career. He is the school’s all-time winningest coach with a record of 144-70. Other accomplishments include appearing in three major bowl games with a pair of wins, two conference titles, nine seasons ranked in the final top 25 polls, and an 11-4 bowl record.

By getting to the very top of the Pac-12 mountain, it seems that Whittingham still has a thirst for more. Some other his other goals likely include winning the Rose Bowl and getting to the College Football Playoff.

There is still a good amount left to accomplish for Whittingham. As long as he can coach this team at a high level, he’ll still be the head coach for the Utes.

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