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Utah’s Whittingham, Smith receive praise from Utah AD Mark Harlan

Whittingham continues to build on successful career at the U., while Smith is just getting going on the Hill

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Utah coach Kyle Whittingham watches a replay in the game against Ohio State in the 108th Rose Bowl game in Pasadena, Calif.

Utah football coach Kyle Whittingham watches a replay in the game against Ohio State in the 108th Rose Bowl game in Pasadena, Calif., on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022. Whittingham has the Utes poised for another strong run heading into 2022 season.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

This article was first published in the Ute Insiders newsletter. Sign up to receive the newsletter in your inbox each Wednesday night.

Recently, Jay Drew conducted a lengthy interview with Utah athletic director Mark Harlan, who has been in his role for four years.

Various issues were discussed, including the future of coach Kyle Whittingham, who led the Utes to their first Pac-12 championship and berth to the Rose Bowl last season. For his efforts, Whittingham has received a significant pay raise. Whittingham’s contract runs through 2027, when he would be 68.

“I happen to think he is at the very best of what he does,” Harlan told the Deseret News. “I tend to not think too far into the future. … Not having Kyle here is not something that enters my mind too much.”

Harlan also discussed big-picture topics, such as the impact of NIL and the possibility of the school adding new sports.

In a separate story, Drew wrote about Harlan addressing the men’s basketball program and coach Craig Smith.

“I am really energized about men’s basketball right now, and hiring Craig,” Harlan said. “He is in his (15th month) now, and it seems like he’s been here longer. The kind of energy he is bringing to the program, the kind of students he is bringing in here (is encouraging).”

In case you missed it

It won’t be long before the 2022 season kicks off for Utah at Florida on Sept. 3. For first-year Gators coach Billy Napier, his Florida debut will come against the Utes. He recently looked ahead to that big matchup for both teams.

Numbers game

4: Where the Utes are ranked nationally at the running backs position, behind Texas, Ohio State and Wisconsin, by CBSSports.com

$1.9 million: Approximate amount of Craig Smith’s annual salary.

From the archives

Utah football gets commitment from Texas DL Jo’Laison Landry

Utah and BYU both appear in ESPN’s college football future power rankings. How high?

Extra points

What Alex Smith said about his daughter’s cancer diagnosis

Utah quarterback Cam Rising impresses at Manning Passing Academy

Which transfer will be the most important for Utah football

Who’s the better young backup QB option right now, Tyler Huntley or Jordan Love?


Comments from Deseret News readers

We are going to love Whitt while we have him. And support the next coach to succeed him. Sounds like that won’t be for a while though.

Scalley will be ready when it’s his time.

— ArizonaUte

Krystkowiak had a trajectory heading in the wrong direction. It wasn’t a year of bad luck but rather a downward spiral of a trend.

He had amazing recruiting but they never stayed.

Something had to be done and Smith is the right guy to get it done. Year 1 is what it is, just watch and look for improvement Year 2. I think that the team will be solid and probably mid-Pac-12, but that’s OK as it usually takes a good 3 years at least to get things where you need them to be.

— Josh from london

After all the time Alex and his wife and family spent in hospitals for his horrific leg injury and the long and excruciatingly difficult recovery, I’m sure they’ve already seen much more of the inside of hospitals than they’d ever like to. Their family has a very rough road in terms of dealing with very serious health problems for far too long.

Hopefully, the doctors and hospital that are caring for their daughter Sloane will find a successful way of treating the cancer and she will be truly cured after all is said and done.

Lord, please give them a break!

— samhill

Up next

 Sept. 3 | 5 p.m. | Football | vs. Florida | @Gainesville, Florida | ESPN


Utah Runnin’ Utes coach Craig Smith reacts to a call during the game against the Washington State Cougars at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022. Smith is embarking on his second year at the helm of the Utah men’s basketball program.

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News