The Athletic released a ranking of college football coaches Wednesday, and Utah’s Kyle Whittingham fared really well.

Whittingham, who is entering his 18th season as head coach at Utah, made The Athletic’s top 10; he was one of nine coaches in “Tier 1B.” (Alabama head coach Nick Saban was by himself in 1A.)

All the 1B coaches except Whittingham have made the College Football Playoff, The Athletic noted. But the Utah coach’s impressive record — and the hurdles he’s had to overcome — made him impossible to ignore, according to the “administrators, agents, coaches and industry insiders” that The Athletic’s writers consulted with as they compiled the list.

“To put what Whittingham has done in perspective, remember that he took over Utah in 2005, when the program was still in the Mountain West. He not only has taken the Utes to 14 bowl games, but he also has posted seven AP Top 25 finishes — the Utes totaled three ranked finishes before he took over,” The Athletic reported.

A closer look at Kyle Whittingham’s remarkable run, and how it all got started
Utah football coach Kyle Whittingham gets his contract amended. Here are the highlights
What Kyle Whittingham thinks about being 2nd-longest tenured coach in FBS

The Deseret News recently highlighted these accomplishments and others in its coverage of Whittingham’s recently restructured contract.

“In 17 years at the helm at Utah, Whittingham has a record of 144-70 and led the Utes to their first Rose Bowl berth in program history last season,” that June 2022 article said.

The Athletic put Whittingham’s former colleague, Kalani Sitake, now head coach at BYU, one tier lower than Whittingham. He and the other coaches in Tier 2 were praised for their consistency and creative use of at-times limited resources.

View Comments

“He showed some resilience,” said one of The Athletic’s sources about Sitake. “I think they’re going to enter the Big 12 full steam ahead and instantly be one of the contenders.”

BYU football coach Kalani Sitake cuddles newborn daughter in Instagram post
What can Blake Anderson, Aggies do for an encore?

Meanwhile, Blake Anderson, the head coach at Utah State, made it into Tier 3. The Athletic’s writers said that the 50 coaches in that tier are “solid” but not as flashy as coaches who ranked higher on the list.

“They haven’t done enough to get to the elite tiers yet, but most have done a solid job and the vast majority are not in danger of losing their jobs,” The Athletic reported.

You can learn who really might be at-risk of getting fired by checking out tiers 4 and 5 on

BYU head coach Kalani Sitake waves to fans as he heads to the locker room at halftime of the Independence Bowl.
BYU head coach Kalani Sitake waves to fans as he goes into the locker room at the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2022. Sitake made The Athletic’s Tier 2 list of college football head coaches. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Join the Conversation
Looking for comments?
Find comments in their new home! Click the buttons at the top or within the article to view them — or use the button below for quick access.