A failure to show a financial commitment to the coaching staff at Utah could prove to be a costly move by Utah athletics director Chris Hill, as one sportswriter suggests.
In the past offseason Utah opted not to extend contracts for members on the football team’s coaching staff as the coaches moved to the final year of their current contracts. According to Salt Lake Tribune writer Gordon Monsoon, that decision was not received well by some on the coaching staff. It allegedly could lead to assistant coaches weighing other options even if it is for a lateral move to another program. Only three assistant coaches on Kyle Whittingham’s staff have contracts beyond June 2015; Dave Christensen, Jim Harding and Taylor Stubblefield. All other coaches have contracts expiring at the end of this season.
It should be noted that Utah has extended coaching contracts earlier in the past, and this is in no way a suggestion that none of the coaches will receive extension offers. Not extending contracts also leaves the door open for any potential changes that may have been needed to help Utah continue to improve in the Pac-12 if things did not go well this season. They have though, so offering to extend contracts is likely.
Utah may have dropped its most recent games, but the Utes are having the best season in the Pac-12 since joining from the Mountain West Conference. Consistency on a coaching staff is incredible valuable for any program. Having a coaching staff locked in helps with recruiting and allows players to play under the same system from one year to the next.
Winning has a way of making everybody happy. If Utah continues to grow and win a few more games, odds are programs looking for candidates to fill some staff vacancies, perhaps with a promotion available, Utah could be a program worth reaching out to.