Utah Head Coach Kyle Whittingham Up For Dodd Trophy

Oct 19, 2023, 4:01 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – The Dodd Trophy watch list updated its candidates at the halfway point of the season and Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham is still in the running.

Earlier in the preseason, Whittingham was the only Pac-12 coach to make the watch list of 20 candidates. Whittingham is now joined by three other Pac-12 coaches (USC’s Lincoln Riley, Washington’s Kalen DeBoer, and Oregon State’s Jonathan Smith) in the award’s updated top 20 midseason list.

The Dodd Trophy is college football’s most coveted national coaching award given out annually. The award celebrates the head coach of a team who most embodies the three pillars of legendary coach Bobby Dodd’s coaching philosophy- 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, success in the 2023 season and Academic Progress Rate (APR). This year, coaches needed to have a team APR higher than 980 to qualify.

A Closer Look At The Midseason Dodd Trophy Candidates

The 2023 Dodd Trophy Presented by PNC Bank Midseason Watch List:

Coach School Conference Current AP Ranking Current Record APR
Mack Brown North Carolina ACC No. 10 6-0 982
Troy Calhoun Air Force Mountain West No. 22 6-0 992
Curt Cignetti James Madison Sun Belt N/A 6-0 970
Ryan Day Ohio State Big Ten No. 3 6-0 993
Kalen DeBoer Washington Pac-12 No. 5 6-0 986
Eliah Drinkwitz Mizzou SEC No. 20 6-1 989
Mike Elko Duke ACC No. 16 5-1 983
Kirk Ferentz Iowa Big Ten No. 24 6-1 968
Marcus Freeman Notre Dame Independent No. 15 6-2 989
Willie Fritz Tulane AAC No. 23 5-1 981
Jim Harbaugh Michigan Big Ten No. 2 7-0 987
Lane Kiffin Ole Miss SEC No. 13 5-1 995
Mike Norvell Florida State ACC No. 4 6-0 983
Lincoln Riley USC Pac-12 No. 18 6-1 972
Nick Saban Alabama SEC No. 11 6-1 995
Steve Sarkisian Texas Big 12 No. 8 5-1 974
Kirby Smart Georgia SEC No. 1 7-0 965
Jonathan Smith Oregon State Pac-12 No. 12 6-1 973
Brent Venables Oklahoma Big 12 No. 6 6-0 967
Kyle Whittingham Utah Pac-12 No. 14 5-1 988

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 TwitterInstagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

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Utah Head Coach Kyle Whittingham Up For Dodd Trophy