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Utah Football Coach Kyle Whittingham named to Bobby Dodd Trophy Watch List

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Coach Kyle Whittingham is joining the list of Utes to be named to a pre-season list by being named to the Bobby Dodd Trophy Coach of the Year pre-season watch list. Coach Whitt was preceded by Devontae Booker, Jared Norris, Tom Hackett, Siaosi Aiono and Andy Phillips on some lists the past week. Coach Whitt, a year removed from "the hot seat," is now leading an experienced squad into Pac-12 play, and hopes to build off of a 9-win 2014 season.

Here is the press release about the

ATLANTA - Utah head football coach Kyle Whittingham is one of 23 coaches on the Bobby Dodd Trophy Coach of the Year preseason watch list. It is the second-straight year he has been named to the watch list for the award.

Whittingham, the 2008 National Coach of the Year, has an 85-43 record in 10 years as Utah's head coach and—including a decade as a Utah assistant—has participated in more Utah victories (170) than any football coach in school history. Whittingham has been almost unbeatable in bowl games with an 8-1 record and his .889 bowl winning percentage is tied for the best of any coach in NCAA history.

Last season, he led Utah to its best overall (9-4) and conference (5-4) record since joining the Pac-12 in 2011, including wins over two top 25 teams (No. 8 UCLA and No. 20 USC). Punter Tom Hackett became the first Ray Guy Award winner in school history and Nate Orchard received the Ted Hendricks Award as the nation's top defensive end.

Including Hackett and Orchard, Whittingham has coached 12 players to major All-America team honors--among them 10 first-team and two second-team honorees. His players have won 63 first-team all-conference awards, including 11 in Utah's first four seasons of Pac-12 play.

Whittingham has sent a steady stream of players into the NFL and there are 28 former Utes on current NFL rosters.

The Dodd Trophy was established in 1976 to honor the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision head football coach whose program represents the highest ideals on and off the field. Additional watch lists will be released throughout the fall, and the winner of the 2015 Dodd Trophy will be announced in Atlanta during Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl week.

Coach Whitt will be riding a stud running back and a stout defense in pursuit of a Pac-12 South Divison championship. If he can clinch the South, with it as loaded as it is, he deserves consideration for the award.