The college football world took notice of Utah’s dethroning of #14 Stanford last week, and in a complete team effort, even Utah’s coach got some well-deserved recognition.
Head Coach Kyle Whittingham was named Dodd Trophy Coach of the week, an award given by officials from the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation, as well as the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.
As well as recognizing performance on the field, the award also recognizes excellence in academics and leadership, given to “the coach whose program embodies the award’s three pillars of scholarship, leadership and integrity,” according to the organization’s mantra.
The organization’s chairman, Jim Terry, spoke about the reasoning behind Whittingham’s selection.
“Coach Whittingham and the Utes had one of the most impressive defensive performances of the weekend to defeat Stanford for the fourth time in their last five matchups,” said Terry. “Whittingham has continuously shown impressive leadership throughout his 14 years as head coach of Utah.”
This award is just one small peg in a fantastic resume for the veteran play-caller. Whittingham, in his 14th season, is the longest-tenured coach in the Pac-12, and third-longest tenured coach at the same school in the entire country. He has contributed to more victories on a team than any other coach in Utah history, both in his time as an assistant and head coach.
The award was given to the veteran after Utah’s standout performance against #14 Stanford last week. As an overwhelming underdog heading into the weekend, Whittingham led the underperforming Utah team to a convincing victory against the Cardinal, catapulting the Utes back into the conversation to take the Pac-12 South.
The award, given to a different coach each week, has been awarded to coaches such as Gus Malzahn of Auburn, Mike Gundy of Oklahoma State and, most recently, Brian Kelly of Notre Dame.
Whittingham, along with his long-accustomed team, hope to carry that momentum forward as the Utes face Arizona this Friday.