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Could U's Whittingham be the 'other' U's next target?

Published December 2, 2010 10:34 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

With Jon Gruden reportedly not interested in leaving the broadcast booth to fill the coaching vacancy at Miami, could the Hurricanes make a trip out west to try and wrestle coach Kyle Whittingham away from Utah? According to reports in the Miami Herald, Whittingham is on a short list of candidates the school has as it searches to replace Randy Shannon. Whittingham, Mississippi State's Dan Mullen, Stanford's Jim Harbaugh, Connecticut's Randy Edsall and Arizona's Mike Stoops, as well as two others whose identities were not learned are on a short list of prime candidates. Whittingham, as usual when his name is linked to job openings, declined to discuss the Miami position. "The only job I'm concerned with is this one," he said of the Utes on Wednesday. In January, Whittingham entertained a visit from Tennessee officials but turned down an offer to become the Vols' next head coach that would have paid him between $3 to $4 million annually. Whittingham's contract with Utah, announced in the days before Utah's 2009 Sugar Bowl win over Alabama, is worth $1.2 million annually. While the contract was negotiated as a 5-year deal, one of the stipulations in the contract is Whittingham receives a one-year coaching extension for every season the Utes win either nine regular season games or six league games. The Utes have met that mark this season and last year, extending his contract through the 2015-16 season. Mullen, who served as Utah's offensive coordinator from 2003-04 before following Urban Meyer to Florida, is said to be the school's possible next target. Mullen has served as the Bulldogs' head coach since 2009, received a one-year contract extension in February for his contract which pays $1.2 million a year and runs through the 2013 season. Media reports indicate the Hurricanes were prepared to offer Gruden a deal with about $3 million.