Quantcast

Utah Utes football: Whittingham declines to Volunteer

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 4 2015 1:47 a.m. MDT

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham as the University of Utah defeats San Diego State University 38-7 as they play MWC football  Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009, in Salt Lake City. (Tom Smart, Deseret News) Utah coach Kyle Whittingham as the University of Utah defeats San Diego State University 38-7 as they play MWC football Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009, in Salt Lake City. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — University of Utah athletics director Chris Hill is fond of saying there are two kinds of coaches: those somebody else wants and those nobody else is interested in.

"I'll take the one somebody wants and deal with the pressures," Hill said Friday after head football coach Kyle Whittingham turned down a lucrative offer from the University of Tennessee.

Whittingham, who is 47-17 in five seasons as the Utes' head coach, reportedly could have more than doubled his current salary of $1.2 million per year. Citing Whittingham's policy not to comment on job offers or speculation, sports information director Liz Abel said he will not comment on the matter.

Tennessee officials flew to Utah on Thursday and met with Whittingham. An offer was tendered but the coach asked to sleep on it. On Friday morning, he turned it down.

While declining to discuss the Tennessee situation specifically, Hill acknowledged he was pleased with Whittingham's decision to remain with the Utes

"We're excited with the direction our program is going," he said. "Kyle's staff and his student-athletes are doing a wonderful job and we're proud of that program."

Whittingham signed a five-year contract extension with Utah in December 2008. Last season's 10-3 record kicked in a clause that added another year to the deal.

The Tennessee job opened up when head coach Lane Kiffin left the Volunteers after one season to replace Pete Carroll at USC.

Louisiana Tech's Derek Dooley was eventually hired to fill the Vols' vacancy.

Whittingham is reportedly one of four collegiate coaches to turn Tennessee down. The others are Air Force's Troy Calhoun, Duke's David Cutliffe and Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp.

e-mail: dirk@desnews.com

Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company