Morgan Scalley Reflects On Growth Of Utah Football

Dec 29, 2022, 11:08 AM

Defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley asks for a stopwatch during University of Utah football practi...

Defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley asks for a stopwatch during University of Utah football practice in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)

(Ravell Call, Deseret News)

LOS ANGELES- Morgan Scalley, much like head coach Kyle Whittingham, found a landing spot at Utah and pretty much never left. He started his journey with the Utes as a top-tier safety from 2001-2004. Scalley moved on for a year in 2005 but came back in 2006 as an administrative assistant while he wrapped up a master’s degree in business and the rest as they say, is history. Utah’s defensive coordinator has been a part of every major modern moment for the Utes and can’t help but reflect on the monumental growth of Utah football.

From playing in the Fiesta Bowl, to coaching in the Sugar Bowl, the big move from the Mountain West Conference to the Pac-12 and now four Pac-12 Conference Championship appearances later with two Titles and two Rose Bowl appearances, there isn’t much Scalley hasn’t seen in regard to the Utes’ meteoric rise in college football.

Utah Movin’ On Up

Perhaps the most stunning growth of all for Utah has come since 2019 where the Utes made their second Pac-12 Championship appearance (a loss to Oregon), but once again captured everyone’s attention due to the sheer number of talent they would go on to put in the NFL in the 2020 Draft. Since that season it feels like Utah has “boomed” with no signs of stopping any time soon.

Scalley was asked about the growth trajectory he’s witnessed in his 21 years up on the hill and had a few funny stories from some of the earlier years of the build-up to now.

“We joke about it all the time,” Scalley started. “We had our old facility with one bathroom, and you had to go downstairs to use it. From the facilities to the depth on your team of athletes, right? Your ability to recruit. I remember going to Houston, Texas and really people asking me about Utah and what conference we are in. Now it’s, ‘hey! Scalley!’ They’re calling, ‘Scalley, I got a guy for you.’ Just completely different. I remember going to a coach when we were playing Alabama in the Sugar Bowl saying, ‘be careful what you wish for’. Then we beat Alabama and go on to have some of the success that we had, and those same coaches are looking at us a little bit different now.”

Scalley credits all of Utah football’s success to Whittingham and the Athletic Department for working together, even when things weren’t looking great at the start of the Utes’ move to the Pac-12.

“Coach Whittingham and the Athletic Department- the faith they have had in him,” Scalley continued. “He had two 5-7 seasons in a row, but they had belief in him to get it to where it needed to be. Credit to this university and the administrative staff and credit to Kyle Whittingham who has just done a phenomenal job of creating a culture, sustaining the culture, recruiting to it and continuing to have success.”


Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @BodkinKSLsports

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Morgan Scalley Reflects On Growth Of Utah Football