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Chris Hill: Kyle Whittingham is our head coach

(Ravell Call/Deseret News)



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SALT LAKE CITY — After speculation that Utah football head coach Kyle Whittingham was considering leaving the program, Utah Athletics Director Chris Hill announced Monday that Whittingham will remain with the program.

“As the athletics director, it is my job to meet with our head coaches to address aspects of their programs that can be improved,” Hill said in a statement Monday evening. “Coach Whittingham and I met twice in person this week for this reason. I want to reassure our fans and recruits that Kyle Whittingham is our head coach and any rumors to the contrary have no validity.”

The rumors Hill refers to include speculation that there was a high probability that Whittingham would not return as Utah’s head coach based on disagreements over contract negotiations to retaining several members of the team’s coaching staff, including defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake.

“As for Kalani Sitake, I am sorry we could not retain him as our defensive coordinator,” Hill continued. “Prior to the bowl game I offered him a three-year contract worth $750,000 a year plus bonuses that brought it to $800,000. Thank you for your interest and passion for Utah football.”

Whittingham is currently under contract through December 2017. Hill did not say whether the university has plans to extend Whittingham’s contract or the current standing with the several remaining members of the coaching staff who are without contracts moving into the next season.

KSL.com previously reported that offensive line coach Jim Harding and wide receiver coach Taylor Stubblefield are both under contract for another season, and that the remaining assistant coaches on staff were expected to receive a one-year extension, starting July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016.

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Josh Furlong

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