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SALT LAKE CITY — For the work done on the field and in the classroom, Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham was named the 2019 Dodd Trophy winner Friday.
The honor is given to a coach whose program is an example of the award’s three pillars of scholarship, leadership and integrity, in addition to success on the field. Whittingham has led the program for 15 seasons, and in that time has transformed Utah into a western power.
His team claimed its second consecutive Pac-12 South Division title this season and it enters the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 31 with an 11-2 record, which is only the third time in program history for an 11-win season. Whittingham’s team was also in the top 10 percent of all athletic teams in the country in the NCAA’s Academic Progress Report, and has been for the last five seasons.
Whittingham beat out PJ Fleck (Minnesota), Ed Orgeron (LSU), Matt Rhule (Baylor) and Dabo Swinney (Clemson) for the Dodd Trophy award. The longtime Utah coach was also named the Pac-12 Coach of the Year and the American Football Coaches Association Region 5 Coach of the Year this season.
Whittingham also ranks first all-time in college football with the highest bowl winning percentage of 84.6%, an 11-2 record in the postseason that includes a 2008 Sugar Bowl victory over Alabama.
Under Whittingham’s tenure, 20 players have been named to national All-America teams and 89 players have been named to first-team all-conference honors in the Mountain West Conference and the Pac-12. He’s additionally sent 86 players to the NFL in his 15 seasons.
The Dodd Trophy is named after former Georgia Tech coach Bobby Dodd and was first awarded in 1976 to honor the Football Bowl Subdivision coach whose program represents the three pillars it deems as successes.
"The award honors the coach of a team with a successful season on the field and equally as important, stresses the importance of academic excellence and desire to give back to the community," the award website reads.
The committee made up of national media, previous Dodd Trophy winners, a member of the Dodd family and a College Football Hall of Fame member.