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Sports >  NCAA football

Utah’s Kyle Whittingham signs 4-year extension through ‘27

FILE - In this Dec. 31, 2019, file photo, Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham walks the sideline during the first half of the Alamo Bowl NCAA college football game against Texas in San Antonio. Whittingham was not all that surprised when his team was picked to finish third in the south division during the preseason Pac-12 media poll.  (Associated Press)
FILE - In this Dec. 31, 2019, file photo, Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham walks the sideline during the first half of the Alamo Bowl NCAA college football game against Texas in San Antonio. Whittingham was not all that surprised when his team was picked to finish third in the south division during the preseason Pac-12 media poll. (Associated Press)
Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah football coach Kyle Whittingham signed a four-year contract extension through the 2027 season Wednesday.

Whittingham, the reigning Pac-12 coach of the year, will kick off his 16th season in charge of Utah on Saturday when the Utes host Arizona. The Utes are looking to win a third straight Pac-12 South title.

Whittingham has a 131-64 record, going 11-3 in bowl games.

“Kyle Whittingham has established a culture in the Utah football program that not only achieves success on the field, but also in the classroom, the community and in the development of student-athletes for their future beyond their time on campus,” athletic director Mark Harlan said in a statement. “This has been especially evident throughout the pandemic, as he has steadily demonstrated leadership, patience and flexibility, putting the priority of health and well-being for student-athletes above all else.”

Whittingham arrived at Utah in 1994 as a defensive line coach and received a promotion to defensive coordinator the following season. Whittingham was an assistant coach for 11 seasons before being hired as head coach Dec. 8, 2004. He picked up his first win weeks later when he was a co-coach with Urban Meyer in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl against Pittsburgh.

With Whittingham running the show, the team has been ranked in the final AP poll six times – No. 2 in 2008, No. 18 in ’09, No. 21 in ’14, No. 17 in ’15, No. 23 in ’16 and No. 16 last season.

“This vote of confidence makes it very clear to recruits that our program has the full backing of our university, which is vital to our long-term success,” Whittingham said.

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