Fred Whittingham

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Fred Whittingham was an American football player and coach. He played professionally as a linebacker for National Football League teams: the Los Angeles Rams (1963–1964), the Philadelphia Eagles (1966, 1971), the New Orleans Saints (1967–1968), the Dallas Cowboys (1969), and the Boston Patriots (1970).

His coaching career included both NFL and collegiate teams. He was with the Oakland Raiders from 1995 to 1997, and the Los Angeles Rams from 1982 to 1991, the last year as a scout. He coached at Brigham Young University from 1973 to 1981 and at the University of Utah from 1992 to 1994 and from 1998 to 2000.

Whittingham was born on February 4, 1939, in Boston, Massachusetts. He was placed in foster care and adopted by the Whittinghams when he was nine months old and lived in Rhode Island. He played football, basketball, baseball, and track for Warwick Veterans Memorial High School, and was an All-State selection in football, basketball, and track. He was a troubled youth and missed half of his senior year.

He was considered one of the best athletes in the New England area and later was voted one of the 50 best athletes of the century in Rhode Island.

Although not yet a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he accepted a scholarship to BYU. He also boxed and won the 1958 Intermountain Heavyweight Championship and the Regional Golden Gloves competition in Las Vegas. He was good enough to receive offers to turn professional.

At BYU, he married Nancy Livingston who was a cheerleader and a member of the Church. He chose to leave BYU and transferred to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He was a three-year starter in football, playing tight end on offense and defensive end on defense, while earning Little All-American honors in 1961. In his senior season he played offensive guard, earning All-Coast honors. During his college career, he also competed in track and field, finishing third in the discus and the shot put events in the 1961 California Collegiate Athletic Association Championships. In 2002, he was inducted into Cal Poly Athletics Hall of fame.

On October 29, 1960, he was in a hospital with a concussion and didn't travel with his football team, making him one of the survivors of the crash of the Cal-Poly team plane in Toledo, Ohio, as the Mustangs were returning to California from a game against Bowling Green University.

Whittingham joined the Church of Jesus Christ later in life. He and his wife had four sons and a daughter. His oldest son Kyle Whittingham played in the NFL and became the football head coach for the University of Utah. Fred's second son, Cary, also played in the NFL, notably on the Los Angeles Rams with his brother Kyle as a teammate and Fred as his coach.

Whittingham died after back surgery in Provo, Utah, on October 27, 2003.