Kyle Whittingham is the most successful coach in Utah Utes history. During his 20 years as an assistant coach, coordinator and head coach, Whittingham has been involved in 170 victories. But Whittingham may finally be living on borrowed time as the head coach of the Utes.
The Utah football program is coming apart at the seams.
After losing defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake and offensive coordinator Dave Christensen to other programs in less than a week, Whittingham reportedly isn’t very happy with the current status of his program.
“In the time since, three assistant coaches have left the program, and sources familiar with the situation tell The Salt Lake Tribune that the relationship between Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham and athletic director Chris Hill is severely fractured, perhaps irreparably,” Matthew Piper reported.
“Those sources, who requested anonymity so as not to not compromise their ties to the program, say Whittingham and Hill were on poor terms before the start of the season, and that the rift widened in recent weeks. The two were scheduled to meet Friday, a source said.”
The reported conflict stems from Hill’s inability to provide the financial backing for Whittingham to retain his coordinators.
“A source said Hill’s inability to lock up Sitake made Whittingham feel that Hill was trying to sabotage his program,” Piper added.
With Whittingham growing dissatisfaction with Utah and Hill’s leadership, the Utes’ head coach is actively searching for positions around college football.
“The source confirmed speculation that Whittingham has met with administrators at other schools,” Piper continued.
If that’s the case, Whittingham may be a respectable fallback option for the University of Michigan, which is still attempting to lure Jim Harbaugh from the NFL ranks.
After all, a program like Michigan could do worse than hiring a coach with a 85-43 career record, eight bowl appearances in 10 years and the 2008 National Coach of the Year on his resume. It was rumored two weeks ago that Whittingham had met with Michigan officials.