Utah Announces Morgan Scalley as Head Coach in Waiting, Long-Term Successor to Kyle Whittingham

    Set to begin his ninth season as defensive coordinator, Morgan Scalley has officially been named the head coach in waiting at Utah.

    University of Utah Defensive Coordinator Morgan Scalley was formally announced as the successor to longtime head coach Kyle Whittingham on Monday.

    Morgan Scalley Named Utah Utes Head Coach in Waiting

    While there is no definitive retirement date for Whittingham, Scalley’s most recent contract, signed in November 2023, does call for him to become the school’s next coach whenever the incumbent head coach chooses to step down.

    Scalley’s contract includes a starting salary of at least $5 million annually if he’s elevated to head coach at the end of the upcoming season. That number increases by $100,000 each subsequent year, topping out at $5.4 million after January 16, 2028.

    A former All-American safety at Utah, Scalley is set to begin his ninth season as the school’s defensive coordinator and has been coaching the safeties since joining the staff full-time in 2008. He served as Utah’s recruiting coordinator from 2009-15 and special teams coordinator in 2015, after beginning his coaching career as an administrative assistant with the Utes in 2006.

    “Utah Football and Utah Athletics have always been home to me and my family, and I am honored to receive this distinction,” Scalley said on Monday. Utah will enter its first football season as a member of the Big 12 after formally leaving the Pac-12 this summer.

    Whittingham will turn 65 years old this November. He is entering his 20th season at the helm of Utah and is the all-time winningest coach (162-79) in program history.

    “Morgan Scalley is an exceptional football coach and his naming as the head coach in waiting at the University of Utah is a testament to that,” Whittingham said in a statement.

    “It is a distinction he has earned not only because of his outstanding coaching abilities, but also because of his selfless dedication to the program as well as to the Utah Athletics family.”

    “The culture and tradition within Utah Football is a point of pride for our staff, and when the time comes for a transition in the leadership of our program, we know that Morgan will carry on those traditions the Utah Football way.”

    Utah Solidify Succession Plan as Scalley Attracts National Attention

    Scalley has earned a reputation as one of the brightest coordinators in the country and one that other schools viewed as a potential head coach. USC, Texas, Florida, and Oregon have all pursued him for coaching roles in previous years.

    Utah has had the Pac-12’s top rushing defense five times in the past eight years and finished 2nd in total defense in 2019. The Utes finished at the top of the conference in sacks and tackles for loss three times under Scalley, most recently in back-to-back seasons (2021-22).

    FREE: Sign up for the College Football Network Newsletter to receive unique stories from the world of college football directly to your inbox!

    Utah is considered a favorite to win the Big 12 this season. In fact, they have the shortest odds to win the conference title according to Caesars Sportsbook at +300. The Utes offense should have a healthy Cameron Rising at quarterback and a defense that returns eight starters from a unit that finished in the top 15 in total defense in 2023.

    It should be noted that a formalized succession plan such as this one has not been seen for quite some time in college football. While there might be several reasons for this, one of them is clear: it doesn’t work more often than it works.

    College Football Network has you covered with the latest news and analysis, rankings, transfer portal information, top 10 returning players, the 2024 college football season schedule, and much more!

    EA Sports College Football: Everything You Need For the Game’s Historic Return

    After a decade-long hiatus, EA Sports College Football has made its return to glory. The popular college football video game is here to stay, radically changing the video game landscape forever.

    Related Articles