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Whittingham a hot commodity in Tennessee

Published December 6, 2010 3:48 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

The folks in Tennessee sure do like Utah coach Kyle Whittingham. In January the Tennessee Vols tried to hire Whittingham away from the Utes by flying out to Utah and offering him between $3-to-4 million to become the Vols head coach. On Monday, Nashville radio station The Zone reported Vanderbilt made an unsuccessful overture to Whittingham to replace Robbie Caldwell, who resigned under pressure after going 2-10 in his first season as head coach of the Commodores. Caldwell stepped into the position after Bobby Johnson, Vanderbilt's most successful coach in recent years with a 29-66 record in eight years, abruptly retired in July. Johnson was estimated to have made $1.2 million a year, the same amount Whittingham receives from Utes. The Commodores are consistently near the bottom of the SEC standings, going 79-204 under their last six head coaches. Vanderbilt's last winning season was in 2008 when it finished 7-6. That year marked the Commodores' best effort in the SEC as they finished 4-4. Vanderbilt vice chancellor of athletics David Williams told media outlets he planned to meet with at least 10 candidates. Whittingham, 58-19 in his six years as Utah's head coach, has been mentioned as a possible target to replace Randy Shannon at Miami. Asked about that position earlier in the week, Whittingham replied "The only job I'm concerned with is this one."