Kyle Whittingham Wins 2019 Dodd Trophy
Utah head coach recognized for 11-win season and impact on academics and community
ATLANTA (Dec. 27, 2019) – Officials from the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl today announced that Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham has been named the winner of the 2019 Dodd Trophy.
Presented annually by the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, The Dodd Trophy, college football’s most coveted coaching award, honors the head football coach whose program embodies the award’s three pillars of scholarship, leadership and integrity, while also having success on the playing field throughout the season. Winners of the award from the previous two years and first-year coaches at an institution are not eligible to win the award.
Whittingham led the Utes to an 11-2 season and a second consecutive Pac-12 South Division title this year. The 11 wins are the third-most in school history and the most since 2008 when Whittingham led the team to a No. 2 finish in the AP poll following a 13-0 season. With 15 seasons at the helm at Utah, Kyle Whittingham is now the longest-tenured coach in the Pac-12 Conference and the third-longest tenured head coach at the same school in the FBS. Including his 11 seasons as a Ute assistant coach, he has contributed to more victories than any coach in program history. Whittingham also boasts the second-best bowl win percentage in NCAA history (84 percent), and his 11 bowl wins tie him for second among active coaches and rank in the top-10 all-time.
“I would like to thank The Dodd Trophy and the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl for this distinguished award,” Whittingham said. “Being named The Dodd Trophy Coach of the Year is a tremendous honor, and is only possible because of the hard work and tremendous effort of the entire University of Utah football team and staff. Our program strives to embody the three principles defined by Coach Dodd: Scholarship, leadership and integrity. These principles attest to doing things the right way.”
The Utes have built a successful football program on and off the field, due in part to Whittingham’s leadership and focus on holistic student-athlete success. This year, Utah’s Academic Progress Rate (APR) is 989, which ranks eighth in the entire nation. Since he became head coach in 2005, his players have earned four Academic All-America citations and 255 academic all-conference awards. Utah football received public recognition from the NCAA for posting a multi-year Academic Progress Report (APR) in the top 10 percent of all athletic teams in the country from 2014-18, including a perfect single-year APR score of 1000 in 2017-18. The American Football Coaches Association gave Utah a 2017 Academic Achievement Award for recording a perfect 100 percent NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR).
“There’s no doubt Coach Whittingham has built the Utah program into a consistent winner on the field during his 15 years there, but his student athletes’ academic achievements and his involvement in the community are equally as impressive and truly embody everything that Coach Dodd stood for,” said Jim Terry, chairman of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation.
Whittingham has been instrumental in the creation of the Ute Academy – a resource center for current and former student-athletes that prioritizes personal and professional development. His desire to make an impact on his community and Utah student-athletes goes back years, as he and former Utah head coach Urban Meyer were the first to donate to the Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin Family Scholarship in 2008, which was created to benefit the opportunities of football student-athletes. Coach Whittingham is also a regular in the “Rivalry for Charity,” an annual golf tournament with BYU that benefits the National Kidney Foundation.
“It has been a privilege to watch Coach Whittingham lead his team this year,” said Gary Stokan, CEO and president of Peach Bowl, Inc. “I wish Coach Dodd himself could be here to see how coaches like Coach Whittingham have carried on his legacy. Through Coach Whittingham’s continued emphasis on scholarship, leadership and integrity, he has helped countless student-athletes grow on and off the field every single year. He is the perfect choice for the 2019 Dodd Trophy.”
Five of the nation’s top head coaches (P.J. Fleck, Ed Orgeron, Matt Rhule, Dabo Swinney, and Kyle Whittingham) were named finalists for this year’s award by a panel consisting of all previous winners, national media, a member of the Dodd family and a College Football Hall of Fame member. Coach Whittingham was selected as this year’s recipient by the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation.