Utah Football Names Defensive Coordinator Morgan Scalley Successor To Kyle Whittingham

Jul 1, 2024, 9:48 AM

Morgan Scalley - Utah Utes...

Utah Utes defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley (Photo courtesy of Ravell Call, Deseret News)

(Photo courtesy of Ravell Call, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – The future of Utah football became a little clearer Monday morning with defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley being named Kyle Whittingham’s successor which was first reported by ESPN’s Pete Thamel.

The news isn’t exactly a surprise as it has been long speculated that Scalley felt like a natural choice to keep the program rolling on its amazing trajectory. Thamel’s report which came in a post on X was shortly followed up by a post from Utah football declaring Scalley the “coach in waiting” for the Utes.

“Coach Whittingham has built Utah Football into one of the nation’s elite programs through a strong culture, tradition and exceptional student-athletes, and he has been clear about his intentions of continuing to lead this incredible Utah Football program as we move into the Big 12 Conference and into the new expanded College Football Playoff,” Utah Athletic Director Mark Harlan said. “However, we must plan for the future, and Coach Whittingham and I both strongly believe that that future lies with Morgan Scalley. Morgan has played a critical role in our success through his embodiment of our core values and his leadership, and I have witnessed first-hand his growth as a coach and as a person over the last several years. He is an elite coach who has been trained by the best – Coach Whittingham – and whenever it is time for Morgan to take the helm, I have no doubt that our program will continue to have success.”

As mentioned in Harlan’s statement, no specific timeline has been set for Whittingham’s exit from Utah football, but now the program has certainty in their future whenever that day may come.

Morgan Scalley’s Time With The Utes

Scalley knows what it takes to be a Ute because he was one, lettering for the Utes from 2001-04. Additionally, Scalley earned the 2004 Mountain West Co-Defensive Player of the Year while helping the Utes to their first-ever undefeated and “BCS Busting” season.

Scalley was also recognized as a second-team All-American (AP, Sports Illustrated) and unanimous first-team all-conference safety. Before the 2004 season, Scalley was named second-team All-MWC at defensive back in 2003 and an honorable mention All-MWC as a punt returner in 2001 and 2002.

On top of being a brilliant mind on the field, Scalley proved a capable body in the classroom too. Scalley ended up being a two-time first-team Academic All-American and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Utah in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication, and later earned a Master’s in business administration from the U in 2006 while beginning his coaching career.

Scalley will be entering his 17th year on staff with the Utes under Head Coach Kyle Whittingham in 2024.

Scalley has led the Utes to finishes in the top-half of the Pac-12 in total defense seven times. Scalley’s defense also ranked second nationally and first in the league in 2019 while he quickly earned kudos as being one of the brightest defensive minds in the college game.

Under Scalley’s watch, Utah has finished in the Pac-12’s top rushing defense five times in the last eight years with top-five national rankings in 2018, 2019 and 2023.

Utah consistently finished at the top of the Pac-12 Conference in sacks and tackles for loss under Scalley with the most recent coming in Utah’s back-to-back Pac-12 Championship seasons (2021, 2022). Utah’s defense also finished the 2018 season ranked 11th nationally and first in the Pac-12 in sacks.

“Morgan Scalley is an exceptional football coach and his naming as the head coach in waiting at the University of Utah is a testament to that,” Whittingham said. “It is a distinction he has earned not only because of his outstanding coaching abilities, but also because of his selfless dedication to the program as well as to the Utah Athletics family. The culture and tradition within Utah Football is a point of pride for our staff, and when the time comes for a transition in the leadership of our program, we know that Morgan will carry on those traditions the Utah Football way.”

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

Are you on Threads yet? Let’s connect, give us a follow @kslsports

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

  • Utah Utes Scoreboard

  • Utah Utes Team Leaders

  • Utah Utes Standings

Utah Utes


Michelle Bodkin

Former Utah Utes Athletes Set To Compete At 2024 Paris Olympics

All eyes turn to Paris, France, next week for the 2024 Summer Olympics and there will be a few former Utah athletes taking the big stage.

24 hours ago


Brian Preece

Locals In MiLB: Justin Sterner Gets Second Cup Of Coffee With Tampa Bay Rays

The life of a minor league bullpen arm is rarely straightforward, as former BYU Cougar standout pitcher Justin Sterner can attest.

3 days ago


Michelle Bodkin

Kai Roberts, Micah Ashman Recount High School Basketball Rivalry After MLB Draft

Former Utah baseball stars Kai Roberts and Micah Ashman recounted a high school basketball rivalry after being drafted to the MLB.

3 days ago

merit jones...

Brian Preece

Utah Baseball Starting Pitcher Merit Jones Selected By Minnesota Twins

The Boston Red Sox have selected University of Utah starting pitcher Merit Jones with the 608th overall pick in the 2024 MLB draft.

4 days ago

micah ashman...

Brian Preece

Detroit Tigers Select Utah Utes Closer Micah Ashman In MLB Draft

Micah Ashman is the second Ute to hear his name called in the 2024 MLB draft after the Detroit Tigers picked him in the 11th round.

4 days ago


Michelle Bodkin

Getting To Know Utah Football’s 2024 Schedule: Arizona State Sun Devils

It’s time to dive into Utah football's game six against another familiar former Pac-12 foe in the Arizona State Sun Devils

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles


KSL Sports

Utah Hockey Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Want to get the latest info on Utah's newest sports franchise? Sign up for the Utah Hockey newsletter!


KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.


KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.


KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Utah Football Names Defensive Coordinator Morgan Scalley Successor To Kyle Whittingham