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For a moment, the coaches' news conference the day before the Holiday Bowl became an academic competition. Utah’s Kyle Whittingham followed the presentation of Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald and promoted the Utes' own performance in the classroom.

Whittingham would have even more evidence now. His football team (2.925) was among four Ute programs that posted record GPAs for a semester. Sophomore receiver Britain Covey made the Academic All-District first team. Collectively, Utah's 20 varsity teams with 552 student-athletes had a 3.295 GPA.

The women's track and field (3.661), softball (3.474) and women's basketball (3.407) teams also broke their records for a semester.

“I am incredibly impressed with the commitment and drive our student-athletes showed in the classroom while also excelling competitively in the fall semester,” said Ute athletic director Mark Harlan.

Our stories of the past week

The Ute men’s basketball team struggled offensively in a loss to Washington, possibly the Pac-12′s best team. (TRIB)

Whittingham brought back Andy Ludwig as his offensive coordinator, 10 years later. (TRIB)

Ludwig sounded a lot like Whittingham in outlining his offensive approach for the Utes. (TRIB)

Christopher Kamrani delivered an in-depth profile of Ute freshman guard Both Gach and his family’s remarkable background. (TRIB)

The Utes defeated BYU in women’s gymnastics for a 40th straight time. (TRIB)

Lya Wodraska examined how the Utes are upgrading their floor routines with expert choreography. (TRIB)

Ute senior Parker Van Dyke produced one of the most memorable plays of his career in a win over Washington State. (TRIB)

Utah’s three freshman in the playing rotation combined for 40 points vs. Washington State. (TRIB)

Utah and BYU added two years to their football contract, with September dates in 2023 and ’24. (TRIB)

Other voices

Ute running back Zack Moss endorsed Ludwig’s hiring in this story by KSL.com’s Josh Furlong. (KSL)

Former Ute receiver Anthony Denham is among several Salt Lake Stallions players with Utah ties. (AAF)

The Utes are well-represented on this preseason All-Pac-12 football team for 2019. (SBN)

Around campus

The Utah men's and women's ski teams opened the season with a strong performance last weekend in the Colorado Invitational, with this twist: The meet is not over yet. The men's slalom race was postponed due to heavy snow, and will be staged this week as part of the Montana State Invitational.

With that event remaining, the Utes hold a 602-517 lead over Denver.

Utah's strongest squad has been the women's Nordic team, with Guro Jordheim winning two events, giving her nine career titles.

Utah’s Addison Dvoracek, who transferred from Montana State, won the men’s giant slalom and Roni Remme took the women’s GS title in the Colorado Invitational. As the Montana State Invitational began this week, Dvoracek won another GS race.