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Matt Piper and Kyle Goon
Matt Piper and Kyle Goon cover University of Utah sports teams for The Salt Lake Tribune. Matt Piper is on twitter at @matthew_piper, Kyle Goon is on twitter at @kylegoon

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

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.

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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.



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