Northwestern Head Coach David Braun Admires Utah Football Model

Dec 4, 2023, 8:55 AM


PISCATAWAY, NEW JERSEY - SEPTEMBER 3: Head coach David Braun of the Northwestern Wildcats walks off the field after a 24-7 defeat to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in a college football game at SHI Stadium on September 3, 2023 in Piscataway, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The stage is set for Utah and Northwestern to face-off in the Las Vegas Bowl, and Wildcat head coach David Braun had some great things to say about Kyle Whittingham and the Utes.

Braun was thrown into a particularly sticky situation with Northwestern earlier in the year as longtime head coach Pat Fitzgerald was fired over a hazing scandal that grabbed headlines over the summer.

The Wildcat’s defensive coordinator turned head coach was tasked with getting the team through some major turmoil in 2023 which he has done quite successfully.

In his bowl game announcement press conference, Braun said that what Whittingham has built and implemented at Utah is a model he admires.

David Braun’s Experience With Utah Football During Professional Development

Braun revealed he’s been able to observe the Utes up-close and personal in the past during a professional development opportunity he had.

As for facing Utah, Braun noted from his experience he expects the competition to be a great challenge for his program.

“It’ll be a tremendous challenge,” Braun said. “I don’t think Coach Whittingham knows this, but I’ll commonly use the Utah program model as one I admire.”

Braun said he hasn’t watched much of Utah this year but was certain the Utes will give the Wildcats their best shot.

“Haven’t had much of an opportunity to watch much of them,” Braun said. “But the one thing I can say is, you know you’re going to get a team that plays complementary football, a team that plays physical football.”

Braun Recalls Running Into Whittingham At 2009 Sugar Bowl

Braun later recalled a time he saw Whittingham as the Utes were preparing to take on Alabama in the 2009 Sugar Bowl.

“I remember that game vividly,” Braun said. “I remember as a young coach, walking the halls at a GAs coaching convention, and being like, ‘Hey, that’s Coach Whittingham.'”

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 XInstagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

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Northwestern Head Coach David Braun Admires Utah Football Model