McLaughlin: Whittingham’s Deal a Good Sign for Pac-12

Utah's commitment to their head guy raises the standard for other coaches in the Conference

Posted on June 28, 2022

  By Spencer McLaughlin of Locked on Pac-12 for SuperWest Sports

Pac-12After finally reaching the summit of the conference and reaching the Rose Bowl in the 2021-22 season, Utah Football’s Kyle Whittingham reportedly considered retirement.

Instead, he’s back with Utah as one of the favorites to win the Conference and he’s also looking to raise Utah’s profile as a program.

His new contract includes requirements that the school include some pretty significant upgrades to the facilities that the Utes’ football team uses.

On this episode of Locked On Pac-12, I look at something that hopefully becomes a recurring trend in the Conference.

The most infamous (recent) example of a school not being willing to make a financial commitment to a head coach took place at Colorado, which saw Mel Tucker leave for Michigan State and win the Peach Bowl last year.

If the Pac-12 wants to be a more relevant and respected conference on a national scale, schools have to be willing and able to invest in facilities and coaches’ salaries the way other conferences do.

Most recently, Cal and UCLA worked out extensions and raises for their head coaches after each expressed interest in the Oregon job.

Justin Wilcox’s deal could keep him in Berkeley through the 2027 season, while Kelly’s goes through the 2025 campaign.

Making investments in coaches is a good sign for the Conference, though it seems unlikely both will see these contracts through in their entirety.

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—More from Spencer McLaughlin—