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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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Getting to know Utah's new O-line coach

I caught up with Tim Davis, Utah's new offensive line coach, to talk coaching philosophy, how he returned to Utah and what he thinks about the Utes moving to the Pac-10. Here you go!

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Tim Davis was driving on a cold road in Minnesota, still stinging from being fired by the Gophers and wondering what might in his future.

Then his wife called and told him she heard Utah offensive line coach Blake Miller was leaving.

Good thing she follows college football.

A phone call to Kyle Whittingham and a few conversations and days later, Davis was hired to fill the offensive line coaching position. Just like that, Davis went from being a wandering soul to a guy thrilled to return to his old stomping grounds on the hill.

Davis, a three-year letterwinner for the Utes as an offensive tackle from 1978-80, is still learning his way around the coaching offices and hasn't begun to find a permanent residence, but he has been back in Salt Lake City long enough to know things happen for a reason, a good reason.

"It has been a long strange trip, but I can't be happier than I am to be back here," he said. "I started here and this feels comfortable being here and this place has taken off. From (Ron) McBride to Urban (Meyer) and now Kyle, this program is getting better and better, especially with us going into the Pac-12."

Davis was fired from Minnesota along with most of the coaching staff in December when Jerry Kill was hired to replace Tim Brewster.

Originally he thought he might land at Florida, but that possibility was nixed when Charlie Weis took former Notre Dame O-line coach Frank Verducci with him to Florida as part of Will Muschamp's new staff.

Now Davis feels fortunate how things panned out and can't wait to coach the Utes in the Pac-12, he said.

Davis is familiar with the league as a member of USC's staff from 2002-04 and said the area the Utes must improve the most is in depth.

"The way we prepare is by not changing anything," he said. "Kyle has done an excellent job of cutting away a lot of things and getting to the point. The obvious things we have to do is get guys to back up the guys we have. The only difference between this place and the Pac-12 is they have more guys working on a high level. Where we have two, they have three, but we'll get there."

Davis said he is still getting to know Utah's players, but has met with his offensive line and likes the talent he has. However, he emphasized the Utes must add more talent too.

"When people see what we have here, and I'm sounding like a recruiting video, but it will be national," he said. "It's like we're jumping from one cliff to another, climbing up."

Even though it has been years since he has worn Utah red, Davis has always felt ties to the Utes, recalling one of his favorite memories of watching Utah and Alabama play in the Sugar Bowl while out on the road recruiting for the Utes.

Davis was on Alabama's staff in 2008 as the Director of Personnel but left before the Sugar Bowl.

"I was in a bar watching Utah kick the crap out of them and I've never been prouder," he said. "That was something really special because it sent a message that Utah had arrived."

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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