Kyle Whittingham Touches On His, Utah’s Future At Big 12 Media Days

Jul 9, 2024, 5:53 PM

LAS VEGAS – Kyle Whittingham and the Utes are taking the stage for the first time as members of the Big 12 and naturally, curiosity about the long-tenured head coach came up.

Whittingham is going into his 30th year overall at Utah and 20th has the head man in charge and recently named defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley as his “heir apparent”.

Scalley himself is going into his 17th season as a coach at Utah with four more years spent as a player. It’s that kind of continuity that gives Whittingham comfort in the future of the program long after he leaves, whenever that may be.


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Kyle Whittingham Talks Morgan Scalley, Retirement (Sort Of) At Big 12 Media Days

It’s no secret that Scalley is the ultimate “Utah Man” which is why he was ultimately the ideal candidate to take over for Whitt whenever he decides to hang ’em up.

“Morgan Scalley is an exceptional football coach,” Whittingham said. “He’s a proven commodity. A Utah guy. He played high school football in the state of Utah, played at Utah, jumped right into coaching when he was done playing. He’s invested into this program as much as anyone has been. He’s a guy who knows our culture inside and out. To me it is very comforting for when that transition time does occur and it’s time for new leadership- he’s the guy who is going to be able to carry on the things and cultures we put in place. That’s not to say he won’t put his own stamp on it, I do expect that, but I believe he is the right choice.”

Whittingham went on to express a lot of other confidence in some of his other coaches and their abilities to be head coaches as well. However, it’s Scalley’s deep connection to the Utah program from player to grad assistant to position coach, and defensive coordinator that really sets him apart.

“We have a lot of good coaches on our staff that will be head coaches in the future that are deserving as well,” Whittingham said. “For this program at this time- Morgan is the right fit.”

Whittingham then went into when his retirement could happen. The answer? There really isn’t one at the moment because he’s still happy coaching.

“As to when that happens? That is a great question,” Whittingham said. “I’m just taking it day-by-day. I’m as excited and enthused about the season as I’ve ever been. A lot of that is the excitement of going into a new conference- the challenge and new opportunity, but it’s just going to be a day-by-day process. I’m not getting any younger, but at the same time I feel like I have a lot of energy right now.”

Whittingham Did Possibly Give A Potential Stopping Date In The Future

It was recently announced the Utes and Miami Hurricanes will open the 2027 football season at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. It’s an exciting opportunity for the program to “Battle for the U” for the first time ever, but Whittingham may not be part of that.

“It’s been a great opportunity to play here as much as we have,” Whittingham said. “We’re going to open here in ’27 against the Miami Hurricanes. I probably won’t be sitting here in this chair, but somebody will. That’s going to be a great opportunity to come to Vegas and play again.”

Whittingham’s comments on possibly not being the head coach when Utah and the ‘Canes face each other stands to reason as his current contract is up in 2027. For now, though, what Whitt chooses to do between now and then, remains a mystery.

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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Kyle Whittingham Touches On His, Utah’s Future At Big 12 Media Days