Cary Whittingham steps down as Timpview football coach

Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune Timpview head coach, Cary Whittingham, doesn't let a little snow stop him from wearing shorts and a short sleeve shirt during 4A semifinal football game against East at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah Friday November 9, 2012.

Cary Whittingham has decided to step down as football coach after establishing a storied legacy at Timpview High School.

Whittingham officially resigned from his coaching post Thursday, but Timpview principal Fidel Montero told The Tribune that Whittingham plans to continue teaching P.E. and weight lifting at Timpview.

“It is tough to see him step aside, but I’m also happy for him,” Montero said. “Every athlete and coach struggles to make the decision to let go of what they love. He’s stepping aside in his own time, on his own terms. We’ll miss him.”

Whittingham amassed a jaw-dropping 63-14 record in six seasons at the helm for the Thunderbirds. After being promoted from assistant coach ahead of the 2012 season to replace Louis Wong, Whittingham led Timpview to three consecutive state titles from 2012 to 2014. The Thunderbirds went on a 27-game winning streak that stretched from the 2013 season to 2015 under Whittingham. It was the fifth-longest streak in state history.

Montero made a point to add that Whittingham made an even larger impact by building a strong community and preparing his players for life after high school.

“Often those go unnoticed,” he said.

After this season, which ended in a 28-24 first-round playoff loss to Woods Cross, Whittingham told Montero he was considering leaving his post, according to Montero. They had the conversation during the annual end-of-season exit interview, and Whittingham asked for time to mull over the decision.

Whittingham, who played linebacker for BYU and whose brother Kyle Whittingham is the University of Utah football coach, has plenty of connections in college football. However, Montero said that transitioning to the college ranks has not come up in his discussions with Whittingham about his next step, even though Montero believes “Cary is certainly qualified to be a coach at the collegiate level.”

According to Montero, Whittingham would consider remaining involved in Thunderbirds football, perhaps as an assistant, if the fit was right with the new coach.

Timpview plans to post the job opening early next week.

Whittingham did not immediately respond to The Tribune’s request for comment.