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Kyle Whittingham addresses decision to name Morgan Scalley coach-in-waiting

IMG_6598by:Nick Kosko07/10/24


Kyle Whittingham is still Utah’s head coach but Morgan Scalley was named coach-in-waiting for the program.

For Whittingham, he was eager to talk about Scalley’s future as the eventual leader of the program at Big 12 Media Days. However, there’s no exact timeline for the transition.

Whittingham addressed the program’s decision to go in this direction upon his retirement.

“First of all, Morgan Scalley is an exceptional football coach,” Whittingham said at Big 12 Media Days. “He’s a proven commodity. He’s a Utah guy, played high school ball in the state of Utah, played at Utah, jumped right into coaching at the University of Utah when he was done playing. (And) He’s invested in this program as much as anybody ever has been.

“He knows our culture inside and out. To me, it’s very comforting for when that transition time does occur and it’s time for new leadership to have a guy that’s going to be able to carry on the values and the cultures that we’ve put in place.”

Kyle Whittingham happy about Morgan Scalley, no timeline for decision

Whittingham did acknowledge Scalley will have his own vision, in addition to continuing the last 20 years of Utah football.

“Now, that’s not to say he won’t put his own stamp on it, because I fully expect that, but I believe that he is the right choice,” Whittingham said. “We have a lot of good coaches on our staff, guys that are going to be head coaches in the near future that are deserving as well. But for this program at this time, Morgan is the right fit.”

But Whittingham, who won Pac-12 titles with Utah in 2021 and ‘22 to show he’s still got it, isn’t sure when he’ll step down. At 64 years old, Whittingham appears fresh and Utah is certainly one of the favorites in the Big 12 in 2024.

“As to when that happens, that’s a great question,” Whittingham said. “I take it day by day. I’m as excited and enthused about the season as I’ve ever been. A lot of that is the excitement about going into a new conference, the new challenge, the new opportunity.

“But it’s just going to be a day-by-day process. And I’m not getting any younger, but at the same time I feel I’ve got a lot of energy right now.”

In the only head coaching job of his career, Whittingham is 162-79 overall as a head coach, including three conference titles and a career-best No. 2 AP Poll ranking at the end of the year in 2008.