So ESPN is asking if Coaches make the program, or do Programs make the coaches. In which they took the winningest coach in program history, subtracted his record, from the overall record, and noticed the difference it made.
For Utah they went with Ike Armstrong, and when his 141-55-15 record was removed, it saw Utah's win percentage drop a healthy 27 points (.590 to .563).
But it got me thinking, how do we rate success? How do we determine the Utes best coach. Ike Armstrong is a solid choice. He Coached the Utes for the most games (211), most years (25), and has the most wins (141).
Percentage wise, Urban has is the best with an outstanding .917. For Coaches who coached more than 2 years Joe Maddock's .750 narrowly edges Whit's .725. Ike had a .704.
But what about intangibles. Does era effect how you think about a coach. Is Maddock's .750 as impressive as Whit's current .725, and does Whit get some bonus as the best coach, considering the transition he has helped overseen.
And then, what about the only other coach outside of Armstrong to coach 100 games for Utah. Old Coach Mac himself. It's been written many times, about the frustrating nature of some of those teams, but there's absolutely no denying what Mac meant to this program. (By the Way, Whit joins the 100 game club on November 3rd, in a home game against Washington State, so make sure we let him know our appreciation.)
So I ask you, Who was Utah's best coach? Which coach "made the program"? For me, I can see the argument for Ike, even if the eras were a bit different, but Whit is hot on his heels. As for which coach made the program, to me, it's still Mac.