Utah football: Ute coach Kyle Whittingham vows to keep working, searching for answers

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  • redthunder Ogden, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 9:56 a.m.

    Wait!! Reilley is a senior??? My whole universe has just been shattered. I could've sworn he had another year. Dang!

    I believe Whit is a great great coach!! He's just as stubborn and loyal as they come. Lose the sentiementality with your assistant coaches! BJ, Dan Finn, Jay Hill, Shah, and Roederick need to go! As a Ute I hate to say it but take a page out of Mendenhall's book. Fire your lay, unproductive coaches, man up and take responsibility for stupid coaching hires. Should've done this a year or two ago...I just hope for Whit's sake it's not too late.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 9:19 a.m.

    utah "fans" that want whittingham fired tell me this, who is it you think utah can get to replace him? They really only have two possibilities.

    The first would be a young and unproven coach who they hope might turn out like urban meyer (virtually impossible and a total pipe dream) who would then move on to an elite job if he had meyer type success.

    The second would be a coach like leach, or rich rod, or someone else who had failed or been run out of another place, who they hoped would replicate whatever it was he had done originally before he was run from his previous job. That kinda describes what whittingham is, or would be if he is fired, so why make that change at all?

    You really need to come to grips with what utah is and what it isn't. utah is not elite nor are they highly desirable. They do have a pac12 affiliation and that alone will attract someone but will it really attract a long term great coach of the meyer type? Of course not. whittingham is the best utah can possibly hope for as a long term coach.

  • Utahute72 Tooele, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 8:17 a.m.

    Uhh, Sharrif doesn't coach the safties, that's Scalley. Shah coaches the corners, and I think we saw pretty good improvement out of them this year.

    It amazes me how many people with strong opinions know so little about the team.

  • Rockarolla West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 1:18 a.m.

    Dennis Erickson is not the answer. The PAC 12 coached have him all figured out. Whittingham may not be the answer either. He's loyal and a great guy, but that doesn't cut it in the coaching business. Most coaches are loyal. It doesn't mean they are great coaches. Some good coaches may have just overstayed in their jobs and should move on. Some just can't get enough great players. Kyle may have to move on just to save his reputation as a good coach. Any more losing seasons like the last 2 and he may not be able to get another high profile position.

  • jasonlivy Orem, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 12:33 a.m.

    As a BYU fan, I usually like to see the Utes lose. However after they beat BYU this year, that feeling went away. I've been secretly cheering for them and was pleased to see the Utes beat Stanford. I was hoping they would continue to build on that momentum, but the opposite ended up being the reality.

    I really like Coach Whittingham. He was a tremendous football player and has an incredible football IQ. He's also a great mentor to the players. It would be a shame if the UofU let him go. Hopefully things will turn around next year and they get back to winning. I personally don't think the right decision would be to let him go...

    Here's to 2014!

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 11:28 p.m.

    Whittingham should stay.

    Shah, Roderick, Finn, and Jay Hill need to be sent packing.

  • Mareao Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 7:52 p.m.

    Utes would be fools to sack Whittingham. He would end up with a better job, and you would end up with a poorer coach.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 6:06 p.m.


    I'm sure the entire nation is on the edge of its seat.

  • Ken Sandy, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 4:33 p.m.

    Rumble in the Rockies Saturday. Lets pack the house and beat our rival

  • Samurai Jake Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 3:50 p.m.

    @bigJ: "Blown opportunities for wins - OSU, UCLA, AZ, USC, AZ St, and WA St"

    This thought alone is maddening enough. So close, yet so far away.

    @UteMiguel: "I do hope Whittingham hires some new coaches this offseason. THe following are top candidates for replacement: QB coach, receivers coach, O-line coach."

    My feelings exactly. Especially the receivers. I have never seen a single team drop more catchable footballs than the Ute receivers this year. Half of Wilson's interceptions could be attributed to balls that should have been caught, that were instead tipped or dropped by the receivers, right to the defense. A complete joke. It hits your hands, you dang well better adjust and make the catch.

    I would also add a new defensive secondary coach. The play of our dbs has been absolutely pathetic. There needs to be more swarming to the ball. There needs to be more stripped balls, more tipped balls, more deflected balls, more punched out balls, more intercepted balls. Their level of play this year has been pathetic, and needs to be addressed immediately. Otherwise, the PAC 12 QBs are going to continue lighting them up next year.

  • Ute2112 Murray, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 3:45 p.m.

    Ok This is not about whether Whittingham is a good man or not. Its not whether he is loyal or not. No question that he is both of those. This is a decision about whether or not it is best for the program. I have said all along, I like Coach Whit, but he has struggled with developing his coaches and players in key spots. I don't know whether we can find a good replacement or whether that would even be best for the program. I am just sick of losing games we should have won. We have pretty much competed all year but have not been able to close out strong. I think this is a coaching issue. I believe some key coaching changes would be a good thing..... whether Coach Whit is part of that or not I don't know, but the Utah coaching job is a much more attractive position in the PAC 12 than in the MW.

  • UteMiguel Go Utes, CA
    Nov. 26, 2013 2:02 p.m.

    I never agree with Duckhunter, but in this case, he is right. THere is no reason to believe that a new coach would come in and do any better. I think Whittingham can turn this thing around and get the program to where they usually have a winning record and usually go to a bowl game, while competing to win the South division every 5 years or so. That would be a good level of success given the nature of the Pac-12.

    I do hope Whittingham hires some new coaches this offseason. THe following are top candidates for replacement: QB coach, receivers coach, O-line coach.

  • jarka-rus Layton, Utah
    Nov. 26, 2013 1:42 p.m.

    Brian Johnson is the most overrated QB/Coach of all time.

  • Big J Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 12:57 p.m.

    I give Utah one thing, with the exception of the AZ game, they have played hard all year. Problem is they have not always played smart. Blown opportunities for wins - OSU, UCLA, AZ, USC, AZ St, and WA St. No matter what happens Saturday, next season needs to be a 8 win season or better. The Pac-12 learning curve needs to end with this season.

    Go Utes!

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    Nov. 26, 2013 10:43 a.m.

    I warned all of you Ute fans about the PAC12. But, you were so elated about it that you just wouldn't listen. When you join a conference like the PAC12, you get lots of blue chip athletes thrown at you, on a weekly basis. And this was going to be the result, relegation to the ranks of Cal and Colorado. Enjoy.
    You should have stayed where you were, in the Mountain West.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 10:02 a.m.

    whittingham has made some glaringly bad mistakes. His inability to recruit or develop qb's is probably the most glaring but his hiring of assistant coaches is another. That said he is still the best guy for that job at this time IMO. He understands the unique culture of this state and the things that make the utah job a challenge. No utah does not have all of the standards BYU has but the culture there is still similar to an extent and the majority of the students and alumni are LDS and expect a certain level adherence to LDS standards. That is jsut the way it is.

    Part of the reason utah has had success is that they have been able to convince a portion of the LDS athletes, the polynesian ones in particular, that utah is a decent alternative to BYU. It took coaches like mcbride and whittingham that undertood the LDS culture to accomplish that.

    utah will never copmpete with most of the pac12 for top recruits, but they can compete with BYU for top LDS recruits if the right guy is there who understands it. utah's success depends on that happening.

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 9:16 a.m.

    The headline is amusing here...like he's going to roll over and quit trying.

    KWhitt might not be the right man for this job, his choices of assistants points to that. And lack of quality depth at QB is alarming.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 9:01 a.m.

    utah won't fire whittingham this year, nor should they. utah "fans" need to realize what utah is, and what it isn't. utah is in the pac12 and as such it has some ins to a certain level of recruit. But utah is also in a cold weather state with a homogenous population and a less than stellar reputation for minorities. It is also the least well funded athletic program in the pac12 and won't be making any jumps up that ladder anytime soon. Those facts eliminate it from being even a consideration for the vast majority of top quality recruits, utah is NEVER going to get those guys in any quantity or with any regularity.

    The comparisons to the arizona schools we have heard are pretty accurate although utah is actually not even up to their level in geography and desirability to recruits. What kid wouldn't rather go to the warmth of arizona and party?

    utah's success has been predicated on it being able to take recruits that used to go to BYU and filling in with some decent out of state guys. That is what utah is. whittingham understands that, someone else might not.

  • Steven S Jarvis Orem, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 8:21 a.m.

    The Utes won't be changing the head coach this year. Why should they? They have a head coach in reserve with Denis Erickson if they had to make a change mid season, and the Utes still had success and improvement this year. If Utah starts out 2-4 next year maybe then they change. But who will they get to take over that will do better than Whittingham has? If the Utes press the panic button they may end up like Southern Miss. That team used to be a perennial ten win team. It wasn't good enough for the fans. They fired a great coach and have one a game or two since. Utah fires their coach and the program goes from where it is to rock bottom winning one or two games max a year.

  • Steven S Jarvis Orem, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 8:15 a.m.

    Positive Predictions for the Utes next year:

    Utah will start Conner Manning at QB
    Utah will go 2-1 out of conference (IDS, Fresno)
    Utah will win a conference road game

  • Lifelong Republican Orem, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 1:03 a.m.

    I can't believe my tax money pays for this. Guess who the highest paid public employee is in the state of Utah. Well if they don't start winning that might change soon.

    I really don't think Utah was ready to make the jump into the p12. If they were still in the mwc they could have challenged for the championship and gone bowling instead of playing their last game this week to stay out of last place in the league.

    What could have been...

  • JD Las Vegas, NV
    Nov. 26, 2013 12:12 a.m.

    Utah was in every game but one this year. We had a chance to win every single game but one with a few minutes left in every game. There was improvement every week. Sometimes you just need a little luck, we had a lot of luck in 2004 and 2008, I believe it cycles, it will return. But when you have a chance to win every single game your playing, I don't know how you can't see that the Utes are so very close to turning the corner. I laugh at those who want Kyle gone, name a coach with experience in a BCS conference that is a proven winner that would be willing to come to Utah? Kyle knows the history of this program inside and out and knows how to recruit due to the religion issue the University faces. The last two years the Utes finished with a top 5 recruiting class within the PAC-12. It's happening people, the sky is not falling, the Utes are going to be a top tier team in the PAC-12, it just doesn't happen over night. Good things come to those who are patient, it will happen for the Utes!

  • Guam_Bomb BARRIGADA, GU
    Nov. 25, 2013 11:54 p.m.

    I think Hill needs to start looking and if the right candidate pops up he needs to do what is best for the program. I remember how surprised I was when they let McBride go. But Urban Meyer was what the program needed to get them to the next level. It may be that time again. It's clear that the Utes just did not play up to their potential. They had 4 or 5 coulda shoulda losses this year where big mistakes cost them games. I'm not calling for Whit's ouster, but there needs to be some soul searching and some fundamental changes to the way that the Utes approach things.

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    Nov. 25, 2013 11:50 p.m.

    Kyle is a good man and a good coach who is underrated by many Ute fans.

    Good luck in next Saturday's game against Colorado.

  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    Nov. 25, 2013 10:05 p.m.

    The only thing worse than losing to Washinton St would be to lose to Colorado AFTER losing to Washington St. This could seriously impact recruiting if Whittingham doesn't get this ship headed the right direction in the final game of the season...

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 25, 2013 10:01 p.m.

    Not enough play makers, plain and simple. The other PAC schools have more talent. But it's close.

  • majmajor Layton, UT
    Nov. 25, 2013 9:55 p.m.

    Utah will be MUCH better off keeping Coach Wittingham. He is an outstanding coach, and I can't see Utah having the money to pay for another outstanding coach from out of the State. Utah's talent is still trying to catch up to the rest of the PAC.

    The Utah fans that want him gone are very short-sighted, and don't have an idea how to replace him. Who would be a better replacement that Utah can pay? They would probably only be able to afford an unproven coach that will use Utah as a stepping-stone. They don't stand a chance to get a coach with Kyle's loyalty, and coaching abilities.

    Good luck Utah. Beat CO.

    Go Cougs!

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Nov. 25, 2013 9:37 p.m.

    His salary certainly says he should find some answers. Now I know why he said he was happy to no longer need to play Air Force in future schedules because they were trouble for the Utes. I bet he wished he could have played them instead of, say, Oregon State this year.

  • Don't Feed the Trolls Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 25, 2013 9:24 p.m.

    Whitt needs to bring in some outside coaching blood, if in fact he stays.

  • IndeMak South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 25, 2013 8:36 p.m.

    Better be coaching every second with some desperation. Could be Kyle's final game as HC. Fans would be happy with mediocrity. Brian and Shariff must exit. Safeties and qb's look like they were never coached.

    Looking for Conner Manning to step up next year.