Utah football: 2 Ute coaches are candidates for Hawaii job

Published: Thursday, Dec. 15 2011 9:00 p.m. MST

"The timing has got to be right and everything's got to feel right. I'm real happy where I'm at," Sitake said. "So it's going to take a lot for me to feel like 'OK, this is a good move' because I think we're doing some great things defensively and I feel really comfortable with the talent that we have on the team now and also with the talent we are recruiting."

Whittingham hopes things are clarified soon, but realizes sometimes you can't dictate that.

"You've just got to go with the flow," he said before noting that coaching hires are pretty well settled before signing day for recruits rolls around.

In the meantime, Whittingham has plenty of praise for both of his coordinators.

When a reporter asked if Chow was ready to be a head coach, Whittingham had a quick reply.

"Ready? He's 65. Coach Chow has got a lot to offer. There's no doubt about that and if that's a step he wants to take, I'll support him 100 percent," Whittingham said. "He's been involved in many possible head coaching positions in the past, and if this is the right fit for him and this is what he wants, then he's got my support."

Chow, who is in the midst of his first season at his alma mater after coaching stints at UCLA, USC, North Carolina State, BYU and the NFL's Tennessee Titans, is from Honolulu.

Sitake also has ties to the islands, listing Laie, Hawaii, and Provo as his hometowns. The 36-year-old has led a defense that ranks among the Pac-12 leaders in numerous statistical categories.

"Coach Sitake is a very bright young football coach. He's got a great future in this profession. He's already proven himself as a very good defensive coordinator over the last three years," Whittingham said. "... He doesn't have a great deal of experience but I think experience sometimes is overrated. I think it's more your intelligence and energy and also your body of work. I think he's done a great job with that."

EXTRA POINTS: Running back John White IV, defensive end Joe Kruger and offensive lineman Sam Brenner, who were all injured in the Colorado game, practiced on Thursday . . . Whittingham noted that bowl preparations are going well and that most of the players have completed final exams. ... The Utes are scheduled to practice again today and Saturday before taking Sunday off.

Email: dirk@desnews.com Twitter: @DirkFacer

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