Kyle Whittingham

From MormonWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Mormon Football Coach Kyle Whittingham
Kyle Whittingham, head coach of the Utah "Utes" and member of the Mormon Church

Kyle Whittingham is the head football coach for the University of Utah "Utes." Whittingham was born on November 21, 1959, in San Louis Obispo, California, U.S.A. His father, Fred Whittingham, played linebacker in the NFL for nine years and then coached at the college and the pro level for almost twenty years. [1] Whittingham graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor's degree in educational psychology in 1982. In 1983, he married the former Jamie Daniels. Whittingham then earned a master's degree in professional leadership in 1986. Whittingham and his wife now have four children: Tyler, Melissa, Alex and Kylie.

Whittingham played in the linebacker position for BYU from 1978 thru 1981. At that time the Cougars were with the Western Athletic Conference (the WAC). In 1981 Whittingham was named Defensive Player of the Year. He was also named defensive MVP for the team's Holiday Bowl game. He played in all of the first four Holiday Bowl appearances. In 2009 he was inducted into the Holiday Bowl Hall of Fame. Whittingham went on to play pro football as a linebacker for the New Orleans Breakers and then the Calgary Stampeders in the CFL. He also played for the L.A. Rams.

Whittingham became a graduate assistant for BYU during the 1985 and 1986 seasons. He then became defensive coordinator for the College of Eastern Utah. He then coached in Idaho before joining his father with the Utes. In the 1995 season, Whittingham replaced his father as the defensive coordinator, where he stayed until being named head coach in 2004.

Since Kyle Whittinham took over the Utes, the team has become a powerhouse. In 2004 the team became the only non-BCS team to play in a BCS bowl. The Utes took the Fiesta Bowl, going 12-0 for the season. After the 2004 season, the Utes lost junior starting quarterback Alex Smith to the NFL when he was drafted #1 by the San Francisco 49ers and head coach Urban Meyer who left to coach at the University of Florida. After the season, Whittingham was offered the head coaching job at Utah and also the head coaching job at his alma mater, Brigham Young University. After struggling with the decision for four days he chose the Utes. [2]

After struggling at the start of 2005, the Utes made a strong finish to the season and handily beat the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the Emerald Bowl. In 2006 with an inconsistent quarterback, the Utes claimed a bowl game for the fourth year straight, and won against the University of Tulsa. In 2007 the season began with injuries to some of Utah's star players. Utah still earned the right to play in the Poinsettia Bowl, beating Navy. The Utes were undefeated in 2008 and earned the right to compete in a BCS bowl, ranked 6th in the nation. The Utes beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. That year, Whittingham was named AFCA National Coach of the Year, and also won the 2008 Paul "Bear" Bryant Award. In 2009, Utah had its second consecutive 10-win season. Utah's three losses came against teams that finished the season ranked: Oregon, TCU, and BYU who finished the season ranked #11, 6, and 12 in the AP Poll, respectively. Utah finished ranked #18 in both the AP Poll and the Coaches' Poll. At the end of the season, Whittingham turned down an invitation to coach for Tennessee.

In 2010 the Utes were invited to join the Pac 10, and they accepted. They began the season by beating Pittsburgh in overtime, an auspicious win that proved their ability to compete in the Pac 10 Conference.