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Kalani Sitake and Blake Anderson on the hot seat? Kyle Whittingham retiring?

A story by ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg forecasted some changes the sport could see after the 2024-25 season has ended a year from now

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BYU head coach Kalani Sitake, Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham and Utah State head coach Blake Anderson.

BYU head coach Kalani Sitake, Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham and Utah State head coach Blake Anderson.

Deseret News and Associated Press composite photo

The 2023-24 college football season concluded less than a month ago, but on Wednesday, a story by ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg forecasted some changes the sport could see after the 2024-25 season has ended a year from now.

Specifically, Rittenberg dove into what coaches could get fired and what coaches could retire, and all three of BYU’s Kalani Sitake, Utah State’s Blake Anderson and Utah’s Kyle Whittingham were among the 27 coaches mentioned.

While neither Sitake nor Anderson were among the seven coaches mentioned as being on the hot seat entering the season, they were both among 13 to keep an eye on.

Rittenberg only listed Anderson in that section, but of Sitake he wrote, “After some initial hesitancy, BYU awarded Sitake with contract extensions that ultimately took him through the 2027 season, a reward for a 21-4 stretch and consecutive AP top-20 finishes in 2020 and 2021.

“But BYU went 8-5 in 2022 and then 5-7 in its first season as a Big 12 member. Sitake is a popular BYU alum who has had only one other losing season, back in 2017 (4-9). But after dropping five straight games to end the 2023 season, he could use a strong start to quiet down any hot-seat talk.”

As for Whittingham, he was one of seven Rittenberg mentioned could retire.

“Whittingham has stated that he doesn’t expect to be coaching past his 65th birthday, which he will celebrate Nov. 21,” Rittenberg wrote. “He already has cemented himself as the most significant coach in Utah history, winning two Pac-12 titles and a Mountain West title, and recording nine AP Top 25 finishes.

“Whittingham will lead Utah into the Big 12 this fall and would love to reach the CFP in his career. But he doesn’t have anything left to prove and could see this season as a natural endpoint, especially with expected successor Morgan Scalley in place.”

Regarding Whittingham, in mid-January he told the Deseret News, “Right now I’ve got a lot of energy,” he said. “I have a lot of excitement about the job. As long as I get up in the morning and am excited about it. ... We’re going into the Big 12. It’s a new challenge.”