Kyle Whittingham Represents Pac-12 On Dodd Trophy Preseason Watch List

Jul 13, 2023, 1:23 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah football’s Kyle Whittingham has been named to the Dodd Trophy Preseason Watch List. He is the only coach from the Pac-12 represented on the list.

Whittingham is joined by 20 other head football coaches who embody legendary coach Bobby Dodd’s (the award’s namesake) three-pillar coaching philosophy of scholarship, leadership, and integrity.

The award takes into account each program’s graduation rate, Graduation Success Rate (GSR), commitment to service and charity in the community, projected success for the 2023 season and Academic Progress Rate (APR). This year, coaches needed to have an APR higher than 980 to qualify.

A Closer Look At The Dodd Trophy Candidates

Dave Aranda Baylor Big 12 990
Andy Avalos Boise State Mountain West 982
Mack Brown North Carolina ACC 984
Dave Clawson Wake Forest ACC 1000
Ryan Day Ohio State Big Ten 1000
Dave Doeren NC State ACC 988
Kirk Ferentz Iowa Big Ten 980
P.J. Fleck Minnesota Big Ten 994
Marcus Freeman Notre Dame Independent 991
Willie Fritz Tulane AAC 981
Jim Harbaugh Michigan Big Ten 1000
Gus Malzahn UCF Big 12 986
Joey McGuire Texas Tech Big 12 997
Mike Norvell Florida State ACC 981
Sam Pittman Arkansas SEC 994
Nick Saban Alabama SEC 997
Steve Sarkisian Texas Big 12 983
Dabo Swinney Clemson ACC 985
Mel Tucker Michigan State Big Ten 982
Brent Venables Oklahoma Big 12 997
Kyle Whittingham Utah Pac-12 988















Whittingham and Utah are clearly in good company on this list.

The 2023 preseason candidates have earned 10 National Championships through their coaching careers, and 41 FBS Conference Championships.

Six out of the 21 preseason candidates are previous Dodd Trophy winners including Whittingham who took the coveted award home in 2019. Nick Saban, Mack Brown, Dabo Swinney, Kirk Ferentz, and Willie Fritz are the other previous winners represented.

About Utah’s Kyle Whittingham

Whittingham began his career at Utah in 1994 as a defensive line coach (for reference’s sake he’s coached guys who are now in their 50’s), moving over to the “enemy” after his playing days at BYU were over.

From there Whittingham moved up to defensive coordinator and then head coach after Urban Meyer took the Florida job in 2005. Whittingham is the “winningest” coach in Utah football history taking over Ike Armstrong’s long-standing record in 2021.


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Whittingham has helped the Utes move unimaginable mountains through his decades up on the hill. From “Original BCS Busters” to new Pac-12 members, gut-wrenching tragedy, and now back-to-back Pac-12 Champions and Rose Bowl appearances, Whittingham has seen it all with the Utes, building the house brick by brick while few were paying attention.

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, Instagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

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Kyle Whittingham Represents Pac-12 On Dodd Trophy Preseason Watch List