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Rock On: Kyle Whittingham's happy face

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  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    July 28, 2014 4:45 p.m.

    Kyle is under alot of pressure this year to win and he knows it. Finishing again with a losing Pac 12 record will most likely be the end of the Whitingham era. Hard to smile when you are under the micro-scope.

  • FatMan86 West Jordan, UT
    July 28, 2014 9:07 p.m.

    Whittingham's coaching isn't the problem. The problem is that the PAC membership hasn't resulted in the Utes hauling in a roster full of 4 and 5 star recruits. 4 and 5 star talent still has to be sold on SLC and the Univ of Utah, not just the PAC 12. If the talent gap was as large as some want you to believe it is, Utah should be blowing BYU and Utah St out every year. Why isn't that happening? Because there isn't that big of a talent gap. All 3 Utah programs are far below Big 5 standards right now. The only difference is the amount of the TV money paycheck.

  • 4 in a row! Ogden, UT
    July 28, 2014 9:18 p.m.

    Coach is a class act and I'm hoping he stays until he decides to retire many, many years from now.

    When he's there another six years I'll get a new moniker, "8 in a row!' That's the only game they can get up for.

    Go Utes!

  • JD Las Vegas, NV
    July 28, 2014 10:39 p.m.

    Patriot you do not have any proof that Whit's job is on the line. Stop feeding the press with this lie. Whittingham is Utah football, and it takes time to build a team to compete in the big leagues. There is not anything to measure his success on, since Utah is the first program to join a BCS conference. It's unchartered waters, Utah was a good team last year that had some tough breaks but certainly had chances to have a winning record and receive a bowl bid. The year before was a disaster with Jordan Wynn. One season doesn't make or break a coach, just who do you think is out there that would be better? Sure, we can name all the big names, but none of them are coming to Salt Lake City. We need to be grateful and thankful we have Kyle, he will get the job done. He does not for one minute deserve this disrespect.

  • swoop alumnus SLC, UT
    July 29, 2014 4:52 a.m.

    whit will be hunting for an assistant coach position in December

  • Spokane Ute Spokane, WA
    July 29, 2014 7:43 a.m.

    I love Whittingham, but another 5 win (or less) season and I really think it's time to look else where. I hope that doesn't happen, but the last two years have been dissapointing to say the least. Tough schedule or not, it's time to start winning some conference road games; and go bowling

    Go Utes!

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    July 29, 2014 7:49 a.m.

    Whit is a class act and should be at Utah as long as he wants to be. We are no longer playing 2-3 good teams teams a year with a bunch of filler. We are playing 7-8 good teams a year. The U was competitive last year and was about 10 points away from a winning season. We just need to turn the corner. It would be very hard to find a better coach then Whit who will stay after one or two good seasons.

  • ekute Layton, UT
    July 29, 2014 8:14 a.m.

    Famous last words:

    "This is our year."

    "this is Kyle's last year."

    lol. Go Utes. Go Kyle. Go Travis.

  • Utejazzfn3431 Draper, Utah
    July 29, 2014 9:11 a.m.

    ESPN came out with strength of schedule rankings and listed UTAH as having the toughest schedule in the country. Unless you are Alabama that most likely means several losses. SO for Utah to win 6 or 7 games I would say would be a success.

  • Max-was-right springville, UT
    July 29, 2014 9:12 a.m.

    Whitt wont see the end of the season as the head coach. Too bad, he is a really good guy. Good luck getting the DC job in Provo next January Kyle.

  • PH Riverton, Utah
    July 29, 2014 9:44 a.m.

    I'm a Y fan who has tons of respect for what Whit has done and is doing. I know last year the Utes were 5-7, but with any breaks at all that would have been reversed. They were very competitive. So what if they didn't play in some no name bowl game. They had a very good football schedule and played some tough games. Whit is one of the reasons Utah football is relevant. His defenses in the 90's pushed Utah to a much higher level. Utah is not going to be Alabama, but they are always going to be competitive and have success under Whit.

  • mufasta American Fork, UT
    July 29, 2014 10:09 a.m.

    PH, well said. Whit is a great coach. I am a Y fan as well but love Ute football when the arent playing my cougs. Whit has done some amazing things as coach at the U. I hope he has a long and successful tenure. He is a good representative of the state and of his athletes. Good Luck coach Whit and Utah.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    July 29, 2014 10:18 a.m.

    rbb hit the nail on the head with this statement

    "It would be very hard to find a better coach then Whit who will stay after one or two good seasons"

    and that is why whittingham is going to have some leeway, and should have some. utah is a stepping stone job for anyone that aspires to being a top coach at a great program. utah is not, nor will it ever be, an outside coaches ultimate goal. But for whittingham it is different because he is a local guy that wants to be in this state. I think chris hill understands this and will probably give whittingham a little bit more leeway than he would a coach that came from elsewhere.

    One of the more important things for a college athletic director to understand is what your school is, what can your school be, etc. and then to make sure your hires are inline with those things. whittingham is the pinnacle for a long term coach for utah, they will never get a better coach that would be willing to stay at utah for his entiore career, or even long term.

  • ekute Layton, UT
    July 29, 2014 10:45 a.m.

    Duckhunter,

    Ronnie Mac was an outsider, coached at Utah, accepted a position at one of the most prestigious programs in the country, returned to Utah and was not ready to leave when he was terminated...and the PAC was not yet even sniffing around at Ute program.

    If Whitt was to leave it's likely that the majority of byu's coaching staff(including bronco) would be the first to apply for his position. ie: The Whittinghams.

  • Carson Provo, UT
    July 29, 2014 11:38 a.m.

    Max-was-right
    springville, UT

    "Whitt wont see the end of the season as the head coach. Too bad, he is a really good guy. Good luck getting the DC job in Provo next January Kyle".

    You know Sammy,posting this kind of stuff only shows how jealous you are of the Utes. The Pac 12 invite, and the possibilities it brings Utah, has really caused much angst in Cougar Nation. Especially when you realize that a P-5 invite won't be coming for your team, leaving you Mid Majors probably forever.

  • Tomahawk Red San Francisco, CA
    July 29, 2014 11:39 a.m.

    FatMan86
    West Jordan, UT

    I think you are spot on, again.

  • Tomahawk Red San Francisco, CA
    July 29, 2014 11:48 a.m.

    Duckhunter
    Highland, UT

    I only partly agree with you.

    Yes, Utah is not a destination job. But it could be for some, which is much more likely now that Utah is in the Pac 12.

    I don't think Arizona or ASU are destination jobs either, but I could see Rodriguez and Graham staying long term if they keep winning. If Utah fired Whittingham and brought in, say, Dan Mullen from Miss State... and Mullen found success here, I could see him staying long term.

    Why because finding success in a P5 is not always easy or even available to some coaches. If some found it at Utah, they would stay. If Utah was still in the MWC, I would agree with your assessment 100 percent.

  • Max-was-right springville, UT
    July 29, 2014 12:07 p.m.

    Carson,

    You really believe after a 1-7 start that whit wont be fired? even a 2-6 start sends him packing. To think otherwise is just crazy. You can keep those beer goggles on but it doesn't change the fact that a 3rd year of no bowl game is the reason for whit being let go. The Pac ten deserves a better team than Utah is providing and Scott will make the call for whits head to dr Hill. Hill would not buck the big guy.

  • kaysvillecougar KAYSVILLE, UT
    July 29, 2014 12:19 p.m.

    Yawn, move along little children squabbling back and forth. As a cougar fan, I recognize what an excellent coach Whittingham is. One of his biggest strengths is the loyalty he engenders from those who work with him. He has an exceptional group of assistant coaches who buy in to his philosophy. Kyle is great with the media. He's straightforward and honest with how he feels. Because of his fierce competitiveness, he does have rare lapses of immaturity(see on sides kick piling on against Wyoming in the 4th quarter and Joe Glen's one fingered wave back.) He's smart and recognizes the value of the polynesian pipeline. He is the best in state recruiter anyone could hope for. For BYU's sake, I hope Whiittingham does get fired because some of those top in-state recruits would make their way south in my opinion. Do Utah fans really want to get rid of him if he has another mediocre season? Not wise.

  • still_thinking Draper, UT
    July 29, 2014 12:55 p.m.

    I think Utah sports fans drink a little too much of their own Kool-Aid. Early 2000's Utah is bumping along with McBride. Urban Meyer comes along and shoots Utah through the roof (obviously a great coach makes a difference). Meyer leaves and Whit takes over. Whit does a good job keeping Urban's system in place but he is not the coach Meyer was/is. The Ute's take that success and move to the PAC 12. Whit is not good enough to make the jump. Utah is still a great MWC team, but it's a poor PAC 12 team. Maybe Whit learns from his mistakes and eventually they do get better in the PAC 12, but the evidence to date suggests he is not good enough to make the jump. I know a lot of you will say give him time, it takes time, onward and upward, blah, blah, blah.......but I have no doubt that if Urban Meyer was still the coach they are competitive in the PAC 12. Whit didn't change Utah, Meyer did.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    July 29, 2014 1:11 p.m.

    @ekute

    Nope, macbride was not an "outsider" having spent many years here as an assistant. Then of course there is the inconvient fact that mcbride WAS NOT a top coach highly sought by other programs nor did he bring all that much success to utah. Sure he got them to be better than the abysmal program they had been but he never did anything all that great for them, why do you think he got canned?

    Instead of making a "frantic and emotional" reply to my post perhaps you ought to go back, read it again, spend some time actually comprehending what it say's, and then get back to me.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    July 29, 2014 1:19 p.m.

    @tomahawk red

    Maybe a guy stay's if he has big time success at utah but I doubt anyone ever will see success to that level, at least prolonged success to that level, they may have an occasional great season or two. But all a great season like that would do is put that coach on the radar of the true power programs out there and any given year there are at least a couple of them looking for a coach.

    If you were the coach at utah, put aside your fandom and pretend you are some coach from back east or down south, and a program like Texas, Oregon, ND, Ohio St., USC, Florida (we know about that one already) or just about any SEC school comes calling would you stay at utah?

    Neither would anyone else, unless it is a local guy like whittingham that has lived here his entire life, has the predominant religious ties, family all over the state, etc.

    That is why I doubt chris hill will fire whittingham unless he has a truly abysmal season. The last two seasons were subpar but they weren't abysmal by any means.

  • ekute Layton, UT
    July 29, 2014 1:24 p.m.

    still_thinking,
    There is no credence to your comment. For the most part Urban has achieved glory with the previous coaches recruits. His stay at Florida resulted with 31 of his players getting arrested.

  • mindgames Aurora, CO
    July 29, 2014 5:15 p.m.

    Scheduling is the problem! The only home games in conference are WSU, USC, Oregon, and Arizona? There's a good chance the Utes will be favored in only one of those games. Why should Coach Whit be responsible for that poor scheduling. Sure they won't be a bowl team this year but next year they will have a better schedule and then watch what happens. If another losing season in 2015 then we know another leader is needed but let's give the guy a pass for 2014, the schedule is just too hard.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    July 29, 2014 5:23 p.m.

    @ekute

    But meyer wins, regardless of whose recruits he has. mcbride did not win, at least not consistently and not at a high level ever. kyle has won more than mcbride did but there aren't any programs kicking down the door to get to him either.

    kyle is a perfect fit for utah. Local guy that understands the local culture and wants to stay long term, good enough coach to have the occasional decent season even in the pac12, behaves himself away from work and doesn't do anything embarrassing or unseemly, beats BYU pretty consistently, really he is about as good as you guys can get for a long term coach.

    I do think you could get a better coach though, I just don't think you could keep him for long, like meyer, so I think the consistently decent teams that kyle will supply would then be replaced by the once a decade really good team and then a bunch of abysmal years because that coach goes somewhere better and utah spends a decade sifting through guys with "potential" until they find that really good one.

  • still_thinking Draper, UT
    July 30, 2014 7:18 a.m.

    @ekute
    "For the most part Urban has achieved glory with the previous coaches recruits"
    You supported the point, Urban achieved glory, McBride didn't. It's not a question of who can recruit, it's a question of who can win.

    "His stay at Florida resulted with 31 of his players getting arrested."
    One could say "His players didn't get arrested it was the previous coaches recruits", but in reality I agree with the point. I believe Meyer puts winning ahead of developing young men, which includes discipline. Unfortunately, I believe a lot of Ute fans (and college football fans in general) would be fine with 31 arrests if the Utes (or their team) won the National Championship. Not all, but a lot. If you win, almost everything is forgiven.

  • CougOrUte..Naah Nibley, UT
    July 30, 2014 12:54 p.m.

    I admire Kyle Whittingham as a good coach. And in his personal life he is probably an outstanding man. This does not alter the fact is the U of U has done nothing in football since Gary Andersen left for Logan. I believe that Coach Whit needs to bring in some better assistants. Without better help, Coach Whittingham's team will struggle to get to 4 - 8 next year. With out better coaching the Utes will continue to be a "Mid-Major" all dressed up as a member of a P5 conference. The PAC10+2 schedule doesn't allow for mediocre coaching, either by their head coaches or the assistants. If the Utes get to 6-6 this year without better assistants, it will be a testament to how good Coach Whittingham really is. 4-8 looks more likely, but we will see.

  • Tomahawk Red San Francisco, CA
    July 30, 2014 6:23 p.m.

    Duckhunter
    Highland, UT

    If you were the coach at utah, pretend a program like Texas, Oregon, ND, Ohio St., USC, Florida (we know about that one already) or just about any SEC school comes calling would you stay at utah?

    ----------

    In Mullen's case, yes. After finding success at P5 Utah, why would he be tempted to spoil that by taking on yet another SEC program when he didn't do that well at Miss State? He'd surely know how difficult it is to win there, and don't think that wouldn't weigh heavily on his mind.

    Fact is, success at Utah would be success at the P5 level. And unless only the BEST jobs become available to him (a la Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio State) he probably wouldn't go anywhere.

    I'll agree with you that someone may want to go from Utah to a tier 1 program, but I don't think many would leave success in the Pac 12 behind to take over a lateral-move-level program like Iowa or Clemson. And the tier 1 programs do not open up coaching vacancies very often.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    July 30, 2014 10:12 p.m.

    @tomahawk red

    I really don't think Gary Anderson would leave wisconsin to take the utah job if it came up and he is a utah guy. I can't for a second imagine someone from outside utah would choose to stay at utah if the clemson job came open. iowa is a better gig than utah any day of the week, far better legacy.

    And yes just about any SEC job would take a coach from utah not named whittingham. That is my point, whittingham is the pinnacle of a long term coach for utah, he's willing to stay when better things come along, he's proved it. Now I'm not saying utah should keep him at any cost, if he continues to lose they need to replace him, I'm just saying he will, and should, get more latitude than an outside coach. Maybe that just means one extra year that someone from outside wouldn't get, but he should get that because of the situation at utah and because he is willing to deal with that situation long term.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    July 30, 2014 11:19 p.m.

    @ Duckhunter

    I agree, on all accounts.

    I really hope K-Whitt can get Utah back into a bowl game. He understands what it takes to recruit competitively in Utah, and I think that is a really underrated aspect that many Ute fans are forgetting. Not only that but, as you said, he has been extremely loyal to Utah. Loyalty should be a two-way street.

  • esodije ALBUQUERQUE, NM
    July 30, 2014 11:32 p.m.

    Membership in the PAC is indeed a two-edged sword. Utah can rightly be proud of its inclusion, but with it comes great pressure on coaches to win--at the same time it becomes significantly more difficult to do so. PAC coaches who don't win consistently are replaced pretty regularly. Coach Whit obviously has a pretty large reserve of good will, so I wouldn't expect a losing record this year to cost him his job at the U, but 2-3 ~more~ losing seasons probably will. I'm not saying BYU wouldn't be in the same boat if it were in the PAC--but, as U fans are so fond of reminding us, it isn't. What ~is~ clear, however, is that mere inclusion doesn't automatically result in great separation; there still isn't much daylight between Utah and BYU on the football field, and, despite last year's game in SLC, BYU will be producing better basketball teams for some time yet.

  • EdwardB Carefree, AZ
    July 31, 2014 11:35 a.m.

    Coaches can help win you the game..But, talent on the field reigns supreme as the cause of wins and losses.

  • Blue Cougar Oak Harbor, WA
    Aug. 2, 2014 5:10 p.m.

    Kyle is great! The Utes have a TOUGH schedule and I wish them the very best. I'll catch a couple of your games for sure.