Utah has played to 57 straight sellouts (53 which exceeded the seating capacity) in Rice-Eccles Stadium extending back to the 2010 opener against Pittsburgh. In its first 21 years, there have been 74 total standing-room-only crowds. The venue's seating capacity was increased to 45,807 in 2014, and as a result, the top five season attendance averages and 12 of the top 15 single-game crowds in Rice-Eccles Stadium history were recorded in the last five years. The Utes averaged a school-record 46,533 fans per game in 2015, when they also recorded their best single-game attendance mark (47,825 vs. Michigan). Dating back to its 13-0 Sugar Bowl campaign of 2008, Utah's average attendance has exceeded the stadium's capacity for 11 consecutive years.
Kyle Whittingham, the longest-tenured coach in the Pac-12 Conference and the third-longest tenured head coach at the same school in the NCAA FBS, is preparing for his 15th season at the helm at Utah, where he boasts a 120-61 record. Including 11 seasons as a Ute assistant coach, he has contributed to more victories (205) than any coach in program history.
His many accomplishments include National Coach of the Year recognition in 2008—when Utah was declared the national champion by an NCAA major selector while finishing No. 2 in the Associated Press poll—and the 2018 Pac-12 South Division title.
Legendary for his postseason success, Whittingham boasts the second-best bowl win percentage in NCAA history (84%). His 11 bowl wins (11-2) ties him for second among active coaches and ranks in the top-10 all-time (including ties). His glossy bowl record includes a 2-0 mark in College Football Playoff New Year's Six bowls, with wins over Pittsburgh in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl as co-head coach and Alabama in the 2009 Sugar Bowl.
The Utes have finished in the CFP top-25 four seasons. The Utes have made the final AP top-25 five times and the final Coaches' poll six times under Whittingham.
Whittingham's teams have also performed well against AP top-25 teams, recording 14 wins against them, including victories over No. 4 Alabama (2009), No. 5 Stanford (2013) and No. 8 UCLA (2014). He has enjoyed great success against Power Five conferences, producing winning records against the ACC (7-1), Big Ten (4-1), Big 12 (5-3) and SEC (1-0). The Utes have also fared well in eight years in the Pac-12, winning or sharing two Pac-12 South Division titles and registering wins against every school.
Now in his 26th year overall at Utah, Whittingham began his Ute career as the defensive line coach in 1994. He served as the defensive coordinator from 1995-2004 and became the school's 20th head coach on December 8, 2004. His first victory came three weeks later as the co-coach (with Urban Meyer) in Utah's 2005 Fiesta Bowl win over Pittsburgh. His first regular-season victory was against Arizona in the 2005 season opener.
In addition to his head coaching responsibilities, Whittingham coaches Utah's punters and kickers. Tom Hackett (2014 and 2015) and Mitch Wishnowsky (2016) won the Ray Guy Award three years running and Gay was the Lou Groza Award winner the following year. Nate Orchard was Whittingham's other national award winner, capturing the 2014 Ted Hendricks Award as the nation's top defensive end in 2014. Whittingham's players have won a total of 81 first-team all-conference awards, including 30 in Utah's eight seasons of Pac-12 play.
One reason behind his success is Whittingham's reputation for developing NFL talent. A school-record eight NFL draft picks from Utah in 2017 led the Pac-12 and tied for third in the country. In 2010, six Utes were drafted, which tied for fourth nationally. As an assistant or head coach, 78 of Whittingham's players have signed contracts with NFL teams (45 draft picks, including 12 first or second-round selections, and 33 undrafted free agents).
Whittingham graduated from BYU in 1984 and added a master's degree from the school in 1987. Born Nov. 21, 1959, he was raised in Provo, Utah. He is married to the former Jamie Daniels. They have four children: Tyler, Melissa, Alex and Kylie, and three grandchilden. Tyler and Alex both played for the Utes.
In his 12th year overall, Morgan Scalley is in his fourth season as Utah's defensive coordinator. He has coached the safeties his entire time on the staff, was the recruiting coordinator from 2009-15 and the special teams' coordinator in 2015. Scalley has coached three All-Americans, eight first-team all-conference players and two Freshman All-Americans. Utah finished second in the Pac-12 in total defense and scoring defense in 2018 and the 2016 Utes led the conference in sacks (43) and tackles for loss (101).
Andy Ludwig, the offensive coordinator and QB coach during the best season in Utah football history, has returned after 10 years away. Since helping lead Utah to a 13-0 record in 2008 and a Sugar Bowl win over Alabama, he has served as the offensive coordinator at California (2009-10), San Diego State (2011-12), Wisconsin (2013-14) and Vanderbilt (2015-18). In 2008, Ludwig was a finalist for FootballScoop Offensive Coordinator of the Year. He was a 2001 Broyles Award finalist.
Entering his sixth season as the offensive line coach, Jim Harding has also served as Utah's assistant head coach (2017-present) and co-offensive coordinator (2015-16). He has coached three first-team All-Pac-12 selections, a Morris Award winner and five NFL picks, including four members of the 2016 offensive line. Harding's linemen have blocked for a 1,000-yard rusher in the last five seasons. He came to Utah after five seasons at Wyoming as an offensive line coach and co-offensive coordinator (2013).
Sharrieff Shah, now in his eighth season coaching the cornerbacks, was promoted to special teams coordinator in January after three years as the co-coordinator. Shah coached two All-Pac-12 cornerbacks in 2018 and has sent four cornerbacks to the NFL. He also has a first-team All-America punt returner and a Freshman All-America punt returner to his credit. Shah was cited by ESPN.com in 2014 as one of “10 coaches who adapt and thrive.” He was a practicing attorney before becoming a coach at Utah.
Now in his fourth season as Utah's tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator, Freddie Whittingham has helped develop Utah's roster for the past seven years. Before moving to the sidelines, Whittingham was Utah's director of player personnel from 2012-15, managing all aspects of recruiting administration and organization, directing camps and clinics and serving as the program's NFL liaison. He is the younger brother of Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham.
Fourth-year Utah wide receivers coach Guy Holliday is a 26-year veteran of college coaching, including more than two decades coaching receivers and six years as an offensive coordinator. Holliday has had 22 wide receivers sign with NFL teams, among them former Ute Tim Patrick. Holliday's previous FBS coaching stops were at BYU (2013-15), Western Michigan (2000-02), Mississippi State (2003-06) and UTEP (2008-12). He also coached at Clark-Atlanta, Tuskegee, Alabama State and Cornell.
Third-year running backs coach Kiel McDonald has produced a 1,000-yard rusher in his first two seasons at Utah. Zack Moss rushed for 1,173 yards as a sophomore and 1,096 yards in just nine games in 2018, when he was named second-team All-Pac-12. Before coming to Utah, McDonald spent five years at Eastern Washington (2012-16), where he was also the co-special teams' coordinator. The Eagles made the FCS playoffs four times, advancing to the national semifinals in 2012, 2013 and 2016.
Former Ute and NFL defensive tackle Sione Po'uha (pronounced see-oh-nee bo-oo-ha) returned to his alma mater as a full-time assistant coach in December of 2018. Po'uha coaches the defensive tackles—the same position he held at Navy last season. Po'uha's first game on the Ute coaching staff was the 2018 Holiday Bowl. He got his career start as a Utah student-assistant coach in 2015-16, becoming Utah's director of football player development in 2017 before landing his first full-time job at Navy.
Lewis Powell is in his fifth season as a Ute assistant coach and his fourth working with the defensive line. His primary responsibility is the defensive ends. Powell has coached an All-American, three All-Pac-12 defensive linemen and four NFL players since his return to Utah, where he was a graduate assistant from 2009-10 and an administrative assistant in 2011. Utah led the Pac-12 in rushing defense in 2016 and 2018 and led the league in sacks and tackles for loss in 2016.
Linebacker Colton Swan joined the Utah staff in January after coaching 15 seasons under five head coaches at Weber State. Swan worked with the linebackers seven of his years at Weber. He was the Wildcats' co-defensive coordinator from 2009-11 and a special teams coordinator from 2014-18. He also coached the safeties (2006-08) and tight ends (2014-16). Weber State won Big Sky championships in 2017-18 and made the FCS playoffs from 2016-18, advancing to the quarterfinals in 2017 and 2018.