One potential head coaching candidate for a handful of schools has been taken off the table. Utah defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley agreed to a revised contract to remain a part of the coaching staff, Utah announced on Monday.
“We are excited to announce that Morgan Scalley will continue to be a part of Utah football for years to come,” Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said in a released statement. “Morgan’s impact on our program as both a player and a coach has been invaluable to our success.”
“I’m grateful to be in this position, and fully committed to the Utah Football Family,” Scalley said. “I sincerely appreciate Coach Whittingham and Mark Harlan for their trust and belief in me. I love this place, my family loves it here, and I am excited to continue working with our staff and players to build something special at the University of Utah.”
The announcement from Utah didn’t specify the exact length of the coaching contract, but the specific use of the phrase “long-term” seems to suggest there could be more to the plan for Scalley and his future in Salt Lake City. A potential opportunity to be the successor to Whittingham has been a popular reaction once the news broke Monday, and that would seem to make sense.
Scalley has been a part of the Utah coaching staff for 12 years. He is also a former Utah football player, earning All-American honors to go with All-Mountain West Conference honors and being named a Co-Defensive Player of the Year in the Mountain West in 2004. After completing his playing time with the Utes, Scalley quickly joined the Utah coaching staff under Whittingham, first as an administrative assistant in 2006 and later as a graduate assistant before taking on the role as safeties coach in 2008.
Whittingham, who turns 61 next season, still has some good years in front of him after guiding the program to the Pac-12 championship game this season, but finding a way to secure Scalley for a long-term future is a pretty sensible move by Whittingham and the program. At least for now, it will keep Scalley from leaving the program to take on any number of Group of 5 coaching opportunities.