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Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News
Utah's coach Kyle Whittingham watches his team as the Utes practice at Tulane University in preparation for their Sugar Bowl game against Alabama on Friday.

NEW ORLEANS — Utah athletics director Chris Hill said there are two kinds of coaches. Ones that everybody wants and ones that nobody wants.

On Monday, the Utes made it clear what they want.

Hill announced that the university has signed Kyle Whittingham to a new contract. The head football coach will be paid $1.2 million over each of the next five seasons.

The deal nearly doubles the money Whittingham's previous contract, which extended through 2011, would have paid.

"I'm very pleased, very flattered to have the compensation package they put in front of us," Whittingham said at a press conference announcing the signing. " ... It's a done deal. I'm staying at the University of Utah."

The agreement put an end to speculation about the coach's future after he guided the Utes to a 12-0 record this season and Friday's date against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.

Whittingham, who said he wasn't directly involved in the negotiations while focusing on the upcoming game, insists he isn't a "money guy." He did, however, acknowledge that the salary was very competitive.

"I am very, very happy at the University of Utah. It's been a great run," said the coach, who is 36-14 in four seasons at the helm. "I'm excited about the direction the program is heading. I think we've really got some momentum going.

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"The investment that I've made in this program is a big reason why I want to stay here," he added while praising Salt Lake City, as well the players and coaches. "I've got the best job in the country as far as I'm concerned."

Whittingham, who has been on Utah's staff for 15 years now, will earn a base salary of $200,000 each year. The additional funds will come from radio and television rights, appearance fees, public speaking, fundraising and official outfitter compensation from Under Armour.

"When I hired Kyle four years ago, I felt he was the best person for the job. And the fact that we are here at a BCS bowl, with a 12-0 record and a No. 7 national ranking, bears that out," Hill said in a released statement. "We are elated that Kyle feels the same commitment to the University of Utah that we have to him and our football program. Kyle does things the right way. His players excel not only on the field, but in the classroom and the community. He is an excellent ambassador for our university."

E-mail: dirk@desnews.com