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If the Rose Bowl is Kyle Whittingham’s last game, he hasn’t told his boss yet

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Utah will face Ohio State in its first Rose Bowl game on Jan. 1 against Ohio State

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham celebrates victory. The Utes defeated the Oregon Ducks to win the 2021 Pac12 Soccer Championship at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, December 3, 2021.

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If Utah football coach Kyle Whittingham was working on the final chapter of his career, he wouldn’t have told his boss.

There has been much speculation in the Utes race to the Rose Bowl about Whittingham’s future and whether the University of Utah head coach will retire at the end of this season. As far as Whittingham’s sporting director is concerned, he expects his head coach to return next year for an 18th season.

“I do it because there is no indication otherwise,” Utah’s AD Mark Harlan told The Salt Lake Tribune late last week. “We look forward to continuing to develop the program moving forward and obviously, the next step of that is January 1.”

With the Utes playing in the Rose Bowl for 12 days, Whittingham’s focus is on Ohio State. But his conversations with Harlan have extended beyond the Buckeyes into next season, which will begin September 3 at the University of Florida.

“We talked a lot about next year, what was needed, what we wanted to do, and the idea of ​​him deciding to step aside has yet to come,” Harlan said. “About anything he’s interested in, it’s laser-focused, just like with this newly signed recruiting class” last week.

Whittingham turns 62 on November 21st, he has previously said publicly that He has no intention of coaching at the age of 65.

He has also said that this season has been the hardest of his career, largely due to Aaron Lowe passed away on September 26. Lowe’s death comes nine months after the death of Ty Jordan, which comes days after the 2020 season was cut short, competing in adverse conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which ended.

“Obviously, we know what Kyle did, and a big part of this is keeping the employees together,” Harlan said. “With all these (coaching) changes, the West in particular and elsewhere, keeping this group together, that’s our conversation.”

On November 29, four days before Whittingham and the Utes won their first Pac-12 championship, 38-10 against Oregon, he was asked about the conjecture surrounding his future. At the time, Whittingham didn’t look like a guy ready to retire.

“I’m having a great time right now as I was, so I’m not even thinking about it right now,” Whittingham said afterward.

The coach reiterated that message Monday afternoon.

“I just love coaching right now and I love coaching this team,” Whittingham said. “I just kept going. We’ve got a good recruiting class, we’re excited about that. I think the future is bright for this show. ”

Whittingham’s latest contract extension, his second since Harlan’s arrival in June 2018, announced on November 4, 2020, keep him as head coach until the end of the 2027 season, when he will be 68 years old. In addition to the new pay scales, the contract amendment, approved by The Salt Lake Tribune at the time, included a previously agreed-upon role as “special assistant to the sporting director” whenever Whititngham was retirement.

If Whittingham trains at full capacity until the end of his contract on December 31, 2027, his role as special assistant to AD will last for six years and pay him one-sixth of the total compensation. usually his. Retirement from January 1, 2025 to December 30, 2027, causes seven years and one-seventh of total compensation, while retirement on or after December 31, 2024, means eight years and one-eighth of the total compensation.

KYLE WHITTINGHAM IN UTAH

2004: 1-0 (Co-head coach of the Fiesta Bowl with Urban Meyer)

2005: 7-5, 4-4 Mountain West

2006: 8-5, 5-3 Mountain West

2007: 8-4, 5-3 Mountain West

2008: 13-0, 8-0 Mountain West

2009: 10-3, 6-2 Mountain West

2010: 10-3, 7-1 Mountain West

2011: 8-5, 4-5 Pac-12

2012: 5-7, 3-6 Pac-12

2013: 5-7, 2-7 Pac-12

2014: 9-4, 5-4 Pac-12

2015: 10-3, 6-3 Pac-12

2016: 9-4, 5-4 Pac-12

2017: 7-6, 3-6 Pac-12

2018: 9-5, 6-3 Pac-12

2019: 11-3, 8-1 Pac-12

2020: 3-2, 3-2 Pac-12

2021: 10-3, 8-1 Pac-12

Total: 144-69 overall, 35-13 Mountain West, 55-44 Pac-12

https://www.sltrib.com/sports/utah-utes/2021/12/20/if-rose-bowl-is-kyle/ If the Rose Bowl is Kyle Whittingham’s last game, he hasn’t told his boss yet

Beth Allcock

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