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Utah football: Whittingham adds Taylor Stubblefield to staff

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 12 2014 10:05 a.m. MST

Utes Head Coach Kyle Whittingham speaks to the media in the Spence & Cleone Eccles Football Center on Tuesday, January 7, 2014.  (Matt Gade, Deseret News) Utes Head Coach Kyle Whittingham speaks to the media in the Spence & Cleone Eccles Football Center on Tuesday, January 7, 2014. (Matt Gade, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Taylor Stubblefield has been hired to fill the vacancy created by Brian Johnson’s departure from the Utah football staff. Head coach Kyle Whittingham made the announcement Wednesday morning.

Stubblefield, who was a consensus All-American wide receiver at Purdue in 2004, will be the Utes’ receivers coach, while assistant coach Aaron Roderick will switch position groups and will oversee the quarterbacks in place of Johnson, who accepted a job at Mississippi State earlier in the week.

Whittingham also announced that he’ll add special teams responsibilities to his head coaching duties.

“Taylor was a record-setting college receiver who has developed into a fine coach,” Whittingham said in a released statement. “He will be an asset for us both on the field and through his recruiting ties across the country. We are excited to have Taylor join our staff.”

Purdue quarterback Kyle Orton and receiver Taylor Stubblefield celebrates near the end of a 41-16 win over Notre Dame in South Bend., Ind., Saturday, Oct. 2, 2004. This was the first win for Purdue at Notre Dame since 1974. Orton threw for 385 yard and four touchdown. Stubblefield had 181 yard receiving and two touchdowns.  (,) Purdue quarterback Kyle Orton and receiver Taylor Stubblefield celebrates near the end of a 41-16 win over Notre Dame in South Bend., Ind., Saturday, Oct. 2, 2004. This was the first win for Purdue at Notre Dame since 1974. Orton threw for 385 yard and four touchdown. Stubblefield had 181 yard receiving and two touchdowns. (,)

After completing his college career as the NCAA record holder with 316 career receptions, Stubblefield went on to play professionally for the Carolina Panthers, St. Louis Rams and CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

In 2007, Stubblefield began his coaching career at Central Washington. The next year he served as a graduate assistant at Eastern Michigan before stints at Illinois State (2009-10), Central Michigan (2011), New Mexico (2012) and Wake Forest (2013) — all as wide receivers coach. Earlier this month, the 32-year-old accepted a position back at Eastern Michigan.

Utah’s hiring of Stubblefield is the latest in an offseason of change for the coaching staff. Since the Utes posted their second consecutive 5-7 campaign, Wyoming’ s Dave Christensen (offensive coordinator) and Jim Harding (offensive line coach) were added to the mix when Jay Hill accepted the head coaching job at Weber State and offensive line coach Dan Finn was not retained.

Carolina Panthers receiver Steve Smith (89) tapes rookie Efrem Hill, right, to a water cooler as fellow rookie Taylor Stubblefield, left, looks on at the end of the team's final practice of training camp in Spartanburg, S.C., Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2005.(AP Photo/Chuck Burton) (CHUCK BURTON, AP) Carolina Panthers receiver Steve Smith (89) tapes rookie Efrem Hill, right, to a water cooler as fellow rookie Taylor Stubblefield, left, looks on at the end of the team's final practice of training camp in Spartanburg, S.C., Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2005.(AP Photo/Chuck Burton) (CHUCK BURTON, AP)

Whittingham named Christensen as offensive coordinator and relegated last season’s co-coordinators Dennis Erickson and Johnson to position coaches.

“I’m fired up to be at Utah and to work for someone as accomplished as Coach Whittingham,” Stubblefield said in the announcement. “I couldn’t ask for a better situation with the style of offense coach Christensen plans to run, which fits my background perfectly. On a personal note, I am from Washington and my family and I are excited to be back out West.”

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