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Isaac Asiata returning to Utah as a graduate assistant coach

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Utah Utes offensive lineman Isaac Asiata (54) and running back Joe Williams (28) celebrate

Utah Utes offensive lineman Isaac Asiata (54) and running back Joe Williams (28) celebrate after Williams ran for a touchdown, putting Utah up 14-0 after the PAT, during a game against the UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016.

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

Former Utah football offensive lineman Isaac Asiata will be part of the Utes’ coaching staff this season.

Asiata announced on ESPN 700’s “The Bill Riley Show” that he will be an offensive line graduate assistant coach, joining Kyle Whittingham’s staff in 2023.

“I’ve been trying to get back into football since I retired and I was hoping to eventually end up back at the U. and to learn from great coaches, especially guys like coach (Jim) Harding. I’m extremely blessed that an opportunity came in the past month,” Asiata said.

A longtime starter on Utah’s offensive line, Asiata won the Pac-12’s Morris Award in 2016, given to the conference’s most outstanding offensive lineman.

He was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL draft, playing one regular-season game each in 2017 and 2018 before retiring.

“Very excited and very grateful that coach Whitt and coach Harding were willing to bring me on board to help out. It’s cool to go back,” Asiata said.

Familiar with the program and the experience of being a Utah football player, Asiata will provide a unique perspective to the players he coaches.

“I think that I’m able to work with guys very well to help them in more areas than just football. Whatever issues they might be facing, I was there, I went through those experiences. I think I’ll be able to give some perspective to help those guys figure out and navigate the crazy life they call being a student-athlete,” Asiata said.