HEAD COACH KYLE WHITTINGHAM
Kyle Whittingham, the longest-tenured coach in
the Pac-12 Conference and the third-longest
tenured head coach at the same school in the
NCAA FBS, is in his 15th season at the helm at Utah,
where he boasts a 131-63 record. Including 11 seasons
as a Ute assistant coach, he has contributed to more
victories (205) than any coach in program history.
His many accomplishments include National
Coach of the Year recognition in 2008—when Utah
was declared the national champion by an NCAA major
selector while finishing No. 2 in the Associated Press
poll—two Pac-12 South Division titles (2018-19), the
2019 Pac-12 Coach of the Year and the 2019 AFCA
Region 5 Coach of the Year.
Legendary for his postseason success, Whittingham
boasts the second-best bowl win percentage in
NCAA history (84.6%). His 11 bowl wins (11-2) ties
him for second among active coaches and ranks in
the top-10 all-time (including ties). His glossy bowl
record includes a 2-0 mark in College Football Playoff
New Year’s Six bowls, with wins over Pittsburgh in the
2005 Fiesta Bowl as co-head coach and Alabama in
the 2009 Sugar Bowl.
The Utes appeared in every weekly CFP ranking for
the first three years of the system (2014-16) and have finished in the CFP top-25
five seasons, including its highest finish of 11th in 2019. Utah also finished No.
22 in 2014 and 2015, No. 19 in 2016 and No. 17 in 2018. The Utes have made the
final AP top-25 five times and the final Coaches’ poll six times under Whittingham.
In his 26th year overall at Utah, Whittingham began his Ute career as the defensive
line coach in 1994. He served as the defensive coordinator from 1995-2004
and became the school’s 20th head coach on December 8, 2004. His first victory
came three weeks later as the co-coach (with Urban Meyer) in Utah’s 2005 Fiesta
Bowl win over Pittsburgh. His first regular-season victory was against Arizona
in the 2005 season opener.
In 2008, Whittingham engineered the best season in Utah football history.
The Utes went 13-0—concluding the season with a 31-17 Sugar Bowl rout of
Alabama, a team that had spent five weeks at No. 1. Utah was declared the national
champion that season by major selector Anderson/Hester and was ranked No.
2 in the final AP poll. Whittingham was recognized as the National Coach of the
Year by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and the Paul “Bear”
82 DECEMBER 31, 2019 / OFFICIAL GAME PROGRAM