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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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Whittingham wishes his former assistant well

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham wished the best for his now former assistant, Jay Hill, who is leaving Utah's staff to become the head coach at Weber State.

Whittingham said in a statement that Hill will be missed.

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"He is one of the top special teams coaches in the country and he is ready to become a head coach," he said. "We wish him all the best as he takes the next step in his career."

Having completed nine seasons with the Utes, Hill has been on the coaching staff longer than anyone except Whittingham.

Hill was one of Utah's highest paid assistants with a base salary of $225,000, the same base that co-offensive coordinator Brian Johnson and passing game coordinator Aaron Roderick had for the 2013 season.

Only defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake ($500,000) and co-offensive coordinator Dennis Erickson ($275,000) made more.

Interestingly, out of Sitake, Johnson, Hill and Roderick, Roderick was the only coach who received a raise for the 2013 season. His base was $200,000 for the 2012 season.

If Whittingham stays true to his past pattern when it comes to hiring assistants it could be more than a month before he names a replacement. The American Football Coaches Association doesn't hold its annual convention until Jan. 12-15 in Indianapolis and that traditionally is a time when many coaches interview for assistant positions.

- Lya Wodraska

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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