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Kyle Whittingham had a unique message for some reporters after Saturday’s game: ‘Get to conference’

The Utes football coach shared a joke with reporters after his team’s big win against Oregon State

SHARE Kyle Whittingham had a unique message for some reporters after Saturday’s game: ‘Get to conference’
Utah Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham watches his players stretch as Utah and Oregon State prepare to play in Salt Lake City.

Utah Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham watches his players stretch as Utah and Oregon State prepare to play at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

The University of Utah scored a big win against Oregon State on Saturday, but, at his postgame press conference, coach Kyle Whittingham had more than football on his mind.

After sharing his thoughts on the game, the Utes coach joked that it was time for reporters to make their way to the 192nd Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Get to conference. You’re ditchin’,” he said.

Whittingham is himself a member of the church and nearly became the BYU head coach.

“In 2004, (Urban) Meyer left Utah for Florida following a 12-0 season and BYU fired Gary Crowton following a 5-6 season, and both schools pursued Whittingham as their next head coach,” the Deseret News reported in 2009, noting that Whittingham met with three general authorities and visited a temple as he wrestled with which job to accept.

“It was agonizing,” Whittingham told the Deseret News in 2009.

Since then, the Utes coach has spoken only sparingly about the church with reporters, but various articles have highlighted his willingness to engage with players’ faith.

Since Saturday’s Utah-Oregon State game started at noon in Salt Lake City, it overlapped with the afternoon session of General Conference.

If they filed their stories quickly, Latter-day Saint reporters probably could have made it to the evening session, which started at 6 p.m. MDT.