Utah Utes football: Sharrieff Shah doesn't regret trading in the courtroom for the gridiron

Published: Thursday, April 19 2012 7:00 p.m. MDT

"Football is so much more gratifying because you can see some of the fruit of your labor," Shah said of the hard work involved such as film study, individual drills and preparation, and kids learning concepts on the field.

Law, he continued, offers different challenges.

"Sometimes you can prepare for months and years on a case and you get a bad outcome and you feel so deflated. There's no level of gratification. There's nothing, just a hole, and you just move to the next case," Shah explained. "… So I suppose when you juxtapose them like that, I'm a lot happier on the football field."

Shah is one of three new full-time assistants on Utah coach Kyle Whittingham's staff this spring. Offensive line coach Dan Finn and fullbacks/tight ends coach Ilaisa Tuiaki are the others. Whittingham said they've meshed in well with returnees Jay Hill, Brian Johnson, Chad Kauha'aha'a, Aaron Roderick, Morgan Scalley and Kalani Sitake.

"I think the staff has very good continuity and works well together," Whittingham noted. "I'm very pleased with how the new coaches have handled themselves."

Both Finn and Tuiaki are former graduate assistants at Utah. Finn went on to coach at Idaho and San Diego State, while Tuiaki is fresh off a stint at Utah State.

Both appreciate returning to the Utes.

"Things are going well. It's been a smooth transition for myself and my family and we just hit the ground running. I love it," Tuiaki said. "I felt that there would be a fairly smooth transition because I was here before. I know what coach Whittingham expects."

Tuiaki is enjoying the players he's coaching.

"I love them. They're a good group of kids," he said while praising their hard work and toughness. "We've meshed well. I've appreciated the way that we've been able to work together."

Finn is having a similar experience. He noted that it's been pretty easy to step right in and move things along.

"This is a great situation for me and my family and I'm really excited about it," Finn said before explaining his approach to the job. "I just think you've got to go in there and earn your kids' respect and their trust. As long as you know what you're doing and you can teach them what you want them to do, I think you're going to be OK."

EXTRA POINTS: Whittingham said Thursday's practice at Rice-Eccles Stadium was "good work" with a lot of corrections on mistakes made throughout the course of spring. … The Utes close out spring ball with the Red-White Game on Saturday at 1 p.m. … Senior defensive back Reggie Topps, who was suspended earlier in camp for a undisclosed violation of team rules, is out indefinitely. Whittingham added that there would be no update in "the near, foreseeable future."

Email: dirk@desnews.com

Twitter: DirkFacer

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