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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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Utes to pay respect to former assistant coach Alford

The Utes are going to end their afternoon practice session early so players and coaches could attend services for former assistant Aaron Alford, who died of a heart attack on Monday.

Alford served as an assistant coach at Utah from 2007-2010 and also worked in administration as Utah's director of high school relations.

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"He was a great guy, one of the genuinely great guys," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said Friday.

Whittingham noted the Utes have had to deal with a lot of tragedies this year. The week before camp began, incoming freshman Gaius Vaenuku died in a car accident. The Utes will wear a sticker with his No. 95 on their helmets this year to honor him.

"We've had a lot of things to overcome," Whittingham said. "That is part of life, but it doesn't make it any easier."

Alford was going to help coach Park City's high school team this year.

Passing game coordinator Aaron Roderick said Alford had just called him recently to go mountain biking.

"He was a great friend," he said. "A lot of kids in this program still love Alford and he did a lot for these players and was involved in their lives. He was a great guy."

Services for Alford will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. at Mountain Life Church in Park City.

- Lya Wodraska



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