Utah Utes Fan Board


Up and coming coaches to keep on the radar

Whit said he plans to retire by age 65 which is in 5 years. I think most would agree that Whit has done an amazing job building the program. And based on our current trajectory, I’m optimistic in 5 years Whit could have us solidified as a top 20 recruiting class, year in and year out. 


Scalley might very well be our next Head Coach in 5 years and I think he would be great. 5 years is more than enough time for Scalley to overcome the hit his repuation has taken. But outside of Scalley, I wanted to get everyone’s idea for up and coming coaches that would help take our program to the next level after Whit retires. I personally believe that whoever is on the list, the #1 requirement should be the candidate’s track record as a recruiter. 


Say what you want about Oregon with Phil Knight’s money and being Nike U as the reason why they are so successful in recruiting. However, the 10 years prior to Cristobal Oregon finished around the Top 20 range in the recruiting rankings. What Cristobal has been doing since he took over after Helfrich (in just 3 years) is nothing short of amazing. For anyone who disagrees, please listen to this Podcast first. PODCAST: Why Oregon is recruiting at a level never seen before


With that said, here are some coaches with bright futures:

Brian Hartline (33 years old) – Ohio State, WR Coach – Brian Hartline: Recruiting track record

Todd Bates (35 years old) – Clemson, DL Coach – Todd Bates: Recruiting track record – Rivals Recruiter of Year 2019

Karl Scott (35 years old) – Alabama, Cornerbacks Coach – Karl Scott: Recruiting track record

Dell McGee (46 years old) – Georgia, RB Coach – Dell McGee: Recruiting track record

Chip Long (37 years old) – Tennessee, former OC Notre Dame – Chip Long: Recruiting track record

Sherrone Moore (34 years) – Michigan, TE Coach – Sherrone Moore: Recruiting track record


I fully recognize the above coaches are all at Blue Blood programs, offering them a huge advantage in recruiting when they walk in the door of any 4/5* kid’s home. However, I still want a HC that’s actually had experience landing this level of talent before. Cristobal is a good example of this coming from Alabama. Would love to hear other opinions. 

  • I’d bet Utah would be more likely to hire Jay Hill or Kalani Sitake. Start the down votes.

    • Rick
      7 1

      Harlan’s obviously a big factor if he’s still AD when Whitt retires. If the decision were made today, I don’t think Sitake would get serious consideration. A few years down the road, perhaps. I don’t know that Hill’s experience at Weber State would get him enough cache (accent over the e).

      I think Harlan will look outside the U family for better or for worse looking to make an impact from his network. That is more worrying to me than encouraging. I’m not that impressed with Harlan. I thought his posturing in the Scalley press conference last week showed a man much more interested in his own reputation than the program and its coaches. Admittedly, I’m looking for reasons to dislike Harlan. A few friends of mine do not care for him so I’m jaded. I do not have any personal interaction with him.

      • highlandute7
        4 4

        Completely agree with Rick on this. To me, Harlan came across as a total p***k in the presser with Scalley. Made it seem like he only kept Scalley due to all the positive feedback given from former players and Whitt (which is a good thing) while trying to appease to those who wanted him gone by laying down the punishment, which was far to extreme in my opinion.

        Yes, Harlan seems to be doing well on the fundraising side, but any decent AD should be able to do that.

        The only way Scalley has a shot at HC is if Whitt really pushes for him come his retirement. No way Harlan looks at Sitake or Hill. 

      • The question is about 5 years down the road…

    • Utesbyfive

      I just don’t think so. I think this will be a true nationwide search. Harlan has connections in the south. It’ll be interesting.

      • Utesbyfive,
        Harlan anointed Scalley the chosen one proving he’s not above keeping it in the family. I hope you’re right about a true nationwide search, but Harlan has already proven he’s willing to keep it here.

        • Utesbyfive

          How did he anoint him? I believe he stripped him of the title of “head coach in waiting,” and cut his pay by half. He also sounded kind of p**sed that he had to keep him on staff. I think he’ll look elsewhere when the time comes.

    • Pace Manyung
      3 5

      Why only mormons on your list? Are you not able to think bigger then the bubble? Really?

      Cheeze and rice! (one of my favorite mormon swear words) can you not think bigger then people in your ward?

  • *cracks knuckles*

    MDUte, first I want to applaud your homework of finding so many potential candidates. Well done good sir (or ma’am….or whatever your preference 😉 )

    Here are my 2 cents:
    What Cristobal has done at Oregon truly is awesome. I am jealous of all these ridiculously talented players, several from our own backyard, that he is bringing to the program. He is rolling in the talent and it is clear that that was a major factor in us getting destroyed by them last year.

    However, I have no desire for a firework coach. PJ Fleck, Urban Meyer, and (hopefully) Mario Cristobal are good examples. Hear me out.

    A firework coach per my definition is someone that comes in and just revolutionizes the program and brings it to a completely other level within a short period of time. Within 3 years they bring it from somewhat competitive to beating some elite program. A relatively short amount of time and a whole lot of flash and show. Firework coach.

    This impact, however, is not sustainable. That’s why the elite programs are more or less the same handful of teams year-in-year-out. Over time, they have slowly improved and joined the elites and stayed there. I’ve seen too many programs throughout the US get a coach and a team that performs way above expectations for a few years and the program gets all this attention and such. But then, the head coach gets bought out by some bigger university (Urban from Utah→Florida→Ohio State, PJ Fleck from Western Michigan→Minnesota, and Mario Cristobal from Alabama→Oregon→Miami (hopefully)) and when he leaves, he usually takes his staff with him which leaves the program scrambling to fill the holes and it’s usually in a sorry state the next few years. It may or may not recover. Utah has been lucky. It took Florida years to get back on track and still aren’t really competitive yet. Western Michigan is done for.

    Now, if this happens multiple times, it becomes this brutal coaching carousel of heartache and rejoicing. I want no part in this.

    No, I’m looking for small, sustainable progress to the future. I’m perfectly fine trying to give the coaches you mentioned a job so they get buy-in to the program, but I want to join the elite programs of the country. To do that, you need sustainable improvements that compound on each other over time and personnel that stay. I am fine with setbacks as long as we are improving over time. This requires a lot of patience and a lot of trust.

    So how does Utah get there? I believe it’s another head coach that can commit to 15-20 years. Someone that will stay even if the big universities come calling with their massive wallets (this happened to kwhit multiple times but he’s declined it all). That person is Morgan Scalley. He has been a Utah man for decades and will continue to be. He will continue to improve and the staff we have is stable and generating NFL talent with the kids we have better than anyone in the country. It’s only a matter of time on our current trajectory that our average recruiting rankings are mostly 4-star talents.

    TLDR: I’m all for progress but it must be sustainable over decades, not just years. I think Mario will be offered a job he can’t refuse somewhere else. I think Morgan Scalley is our guy for the next few decades and I trust in him and what we’re building. I’m all for bringing on talented staff but Utah needs talented staff that will STAY and continues improving the program every year. A talented staff that will stay cannot be bought. They must be made.

    • MDUte
      4 2

      Dresden- great post. Before I even got to your endorsement of Scalley, it was clear that he’s your guy. And I’ve pretty much felt the same as you. However, once I started to learn a little more about Cristobal and what he’s been doing it made me question whether I’m thinking too “small”.

      Totally agree with your definition of firework Coach. But I would argue that what Urban Meyer did in 2 years, took Utah Football to a whole new level and gave everyone a glimpse of what is possible in little Salt Lake City. And knowing what we know now, that Urban was only going to stay for 2 years, it would be crazy for anyone to say we’d rather pass on him in favor of Whittingham. Whit would be the first to admit that he’s a better coach having been under Urban for those 2 years. In the same way, Scalley would be that much better if we brought in someone that could raise the bar, especially when it comes to recruiting. And if so, I don’t think we’d at all be disappointed if they were to spring board to their “dream job”.

      I’d be totally excited if Scalley ends up being Whit’s replacement. And I have no doubt that Scalley would continue slowly building the program over time which is a great thing. But I wonder if we would reach a bit of a ceiling in that scenario, competing for Conf championships occasionally but never really breaking though. And that doesn’t negate getting better than where we are today. It just takes into account that Oregon, SC, Washington will also be getting better as well. I’m all for staying competitive at the top of the conference vs potentially going backwards with the wrong hire. It just felt amazing being in that playoff conversation right up until that CCG, even if we really weren’t quite in that league of talent. If there was a chance to enter that stratosphere, I think I might take it.

      When I stated above about not wanting to think “too small”. I believe looking inside the state like at Jay Hill, Kalani Sitake, or even Gary Anderson is just that. IMO, the old Utah in the MWC days would think that way. But I definitely wouldn’t say that about promoting Scalley from within. He’s the safe pick IMO, and my risk averse side says he’s also the right pick. But maybe when Whit hangs it up we could be in a prime position to take a risk??

      • UteBacker
        6 1

        Great analysis, you two. This is why I am loyal to this place…

    • MDUte

      Oh and you can call me sir, thanks.

    • CB_Ute
      3 1

      Perfectly stated Dresden. I couldn’t agree more with your post.

      • Sanders

        It appears Harlan was flexing his muscles at the presser. It’s rare to find a GM or sales manager in any industry that doesn’t like to showcase their status when the spotlight comes their way. Some do it well but most come across as being a pompous prick.

        I wish we knew if he wanted to or if he felt like he had to remove the head coach in waiting status from Scalley; because Harlan sure didn’t have a problem with giving Scalley that cushion after he just arrived.

        The safe bet is Scalley will be ready for the job when itcomes available and he’ll probably get it. It will be well deserved. His shoes at DC will be an interesting fill though. I have no problems at all with Scalley as a future head coach as Utah will not pull another HC from another P5 school. As previously noted, it would be from another assistant coach somewhere – then why not Scalley?

        I’d like to know why Jim Harding has held the assistant head coach title if Scalley was told he was the heir.

        Thanks for all good reads you guys I read them all.

  • Thanks, gents. I’m obviously passionate about this stuff.

    MDUte, you’re absolutely right that these next few years are crucial. In reality, every year is crucial but these next few will be rather interesting. I believe Morgan will more than make his point in proving he is ready to take the head coach job. I think the real question is, can we have the best of both worlds?

    Ideal situation: a head coach that stays with us 10+ years in the program that recruits better than Mario Cristobal, coaches better than Kyle Whittingham and has the results of the Urban Meyer era of Utah football or better. Is this possible? What are we missing?

    Here’s what I think needs to change:
    #1: With the passing of the baton, no more of this “underdog” garbage. We will not practice like the underdog, we will not believe we are underdogs, we practice and play like we’re the best in the country. Period.
    #2: We learn how to recruit the elite. We offer some really, really talented kids but it doesn’t seem like the top of our offers list grade-wise take us seriously. This requires being a ridiculously good salesman. Marion learned how to sell, then ‘Bama came knocking. He then was the #1 recruiter in the nation. Oregon then called him up. If we don’t already, I would like to see consistent recruiting/sales training from some elite recruiters to our guys. This may not be possible, but there has got to be some recruiter out there turned consultant that will cost a pretty penny for a weekend but what we learn in that weekend may just bring us from a few 4* talents and mostly 3*s to a few 5* talents, mostly 4*s, several underappreciated 3*s and some conference championships and playoff berths to boot. That is something like a 10x return if you ask me.
    #3: Training change. It seems that Utah football is at it’s best from Oct-early November. This month and a half is a really wonderful time to be a Ute fan. After November however, especially recently, Utah seems to slump. I’m not sure if our guys’ bodies just can’t take the punishment as in we’re pushing them too hard or we lack motivation or sleep or something but it is clear that we run out of gas. When we run out of gas, the more talented team on average wins. That’s been Texas, Oregon, Northwestern, and Washington. It didn’t use to be this way. Utah used to bring the freaking pain come the last game of the year but it seems that lately that isn’t the case. This may be because the final game is against some really great opponents. I’m not certain.

    We were so close to the playoff. Given our recent end-of-year slump, I don’t think we would have competed very much with any of the other teams. It would have been an incredible experience even if we were humiliated on the big stage but still, I’d rather be on the big stage and humiliated than not on that stage at all.

    • MDUte

      Dresden, perfectly said! Thanks for sharing your analysis. Couldn’t agree more with everything you outlined…especially the part about no longer seeing ourselves as the underdog both in play and in recruiting. IMO, the next step for us is to go from the 3 or so 4* kids we get to double that amount. If we can consistently get 8 4* kids then it will only be a matter of time before we start to break through with 1 5* kid here and there. It was interesting to learn that Cristobal makes a point to go around the country and meet a number of the 5* kids he targets. I don’t know if Whit does the same or not but it’s my impression that we just send an offer letter to all 5* kids regardless but it’s basically a waste of time. Doesn’t seem like we believe we can actually land one or that we are at a level deserving of competing for that type of talent. But that’s where we need to get to. Just my 2 cents fwiw

  • Pace Manyung
    2 4

    like it! I know kwhitt would like to have a local (bubble) who he can relate to for the next head coach.  But a national search that can pop the Footloose bubble is what’s needed.

    Was Footloose filmed in Utah?



    • pedro

      Worked well in basketball

  • noneyadb

    Utah needs Urban Meyer to come back. He was all over national tv claiming how his best time coaching was at Utah. He is the #1 option. He solves every issue stated by others. Recruiting is the lifeline and as much praise as Coach Erickson received for opening up the Florida pipeline, Meyer would create a national 4-5* pipeline overnight…

  • cjd1

    PAC12 buying out Scott early?

  • Tony

    Can we get a 2-fer and throw the other Larry in the deal too?

    • MDUte

      YES PLEASE!!

  • MDUte

    It’s about time the Pac-12 Presidents put a stop to the Larry Scott money pit. I don’t know how he received a contract extension in 2017. But with everything hinging on the TV contracts expiring in 2024 and negotiations beginning on this in 2021, they need to decide now who is going to be guiding the conference through this process. I don’t know if it’s realistic to close the money gap with the other conferences at this point, but the Pac needs someone that can help bring the league to being more competitive financially with the others. 

  • FountainofUte

    I’m sure there are lots of good candidates out there, but my Ute goggles tell me that Chris Hill would do a great job, at least as a transitional guy while the PAC tries to get their crap together again.

    But besides the fact that retirement is treating him well (I assume), I’m guessing the old guard in the conference want one of “their guys” not a guy from one of the Johnny-come-lateleys.

  • Utesbyfive

    Larry Scott is in it for one thing: Larry Scott.

    S**tcan his ass.

  • MDUte

    Wynden Ho’ohuli 4* LB

    Looks like we were first to offer this kid out of Hawaii. Although crystal ball is pointing to Nebraska it doesn’t appear very confident. I realize things are looking promising with Mason Tufaga but I hope we are also in the mix for Ho’ohuli.

  • ironman1315

    Random aside, we just got a 3* walk-on.

    • FtheY

      Who is the walk on, Ironman? I didn’t see it

  • Utah5410

    Who is the walk- on.

  • PhiladelphiaUte

    That Ho’ohuli kid looks pretty sharp!  Rivals has him listed as the nation’s 10th-best LB, and 164th-best player overall!  I hope we can get him!


  • LOL!

  • Cesar Chavez

    QB diamond in the rough?

    I was just watching video highlights on Cooper Justice ( 3* QB commit from Oregon) and he is pretty impressive. He went from been a PWO, to Andy L. personally flying to his home in Oregon and officially handed him a full scholarship. check out this article on him, if you want.



  • Dallas

    Looks like a future tight end.

    • My guess, as well.

    • $20 says he’s a safety.

      • A 6-6 Safety?  Does he have the closing speed?

        • I didnt look at his stats. I guess I’ll lose $20.

        • Tony

          MJ was 6-6.  He had speed.  Oh, wait.

    • Yergensen

      I think he stays at the QB position and takes Lisk’s spot.  In today’s transfer portal world, it’s smart for Utah to have a developmental QB who is a lower transfer risk to mix with their higher rated QBs who might be more prone to transferring, if not starting.  Gives some stability at the position.

  • Tony

    Movie: 365 Days

    Wife wanted to watch 365 Days on Netflix last night. I’d never heard of it but it is #1 on Netflix. Wowsies. Anyone seen it? Borderline adult film. That polish acress Anna Maria Sieklucka is stunning.  Anyway, don’t watch it on my recommendation if you’re offended by that kind of stuff cause it’s pretty graphic. 

  • dystopiamembrane

    I saw a film from Poland once. It was about a man who found an elephant and brought it home. It would eat at the kitchen table through the window with the man and his wife.

    • Tony

      This one is a little different that that.  

  • Thlete
    2 1

    My wife is a huge prude and started watching it by herself hearing it was a good romance show. Haha, first scene I hear “EWW!!” I look it up on IMDB to see the porn level rating and started laughing my head off.

    • Tell us more, please?

      • Tony

        First scene, if I recall correctly, the hot polish actress can’t get her boyfriend to join her in the bourdois so she takes things into her own hands with a “toy.” 

        • My request was a response to Thlete, but thank you. 😉

  • I’ll check it out.

  • Tacoma Ute

    Go back and watch Jericho on Netflix. Not the greatest show ever but pretty good popcorn material

  • How does it play?  Subtitled?  In English?  English dubbed?

    • Tony

      All of the above.

  • beaslad

    How do you forget something like that so you have to “recall correctly”?!?! lol

    • Tony

      There were so many “scenes” like that I forgot the order of appearance.

      • Hellhound152

        As opposed to the montage? haha

  • pics
    8 17

    July 4th

    I absolutely hate this holiday and this is the worst year I can remember. More people than ever shooting off the biggest, and I’m sure illegal, fireworks I have ever seen. I’m in an area with a large military presence and I’m guessing that’s one way people are getting them. Also a lot of Native American stands as well that don’t have to comply with government regulations. It’s like a war zone. My dogs are scared to death and I can’t take them outside to do their business. Just shaking like crazy. I feel especially bad for people with babies or those who suffer from PTSD. I just don’t understand the fascination with fireworks. I heard a doctor interviewed on the news yesterday, but don’t remember where exactly she was, who said she treated 32 people last year on the the 4th for lost fingers. She hoped it wasn’t worse this year with the increased number of people doing their home shows. One local fireworks seller said his business was up 300% over last year. 
    sorry, end of rant.

  • darklightning

    Um sir, this is a Wendy’s.

    • My mother just got hired at Wendy’s.

  • chinngiskhaan
    6 8

    Don’t hate the 4th, but fireworks are the epitome of what it means to be Amurican, in all the worst possible ways. They are made in another country for dirt cheap. They are way more expensive than they have any right to be. The only thing that is a bigger waste of money would be actually burning your money… they are completely useless. Flashy with no substance or true meaning. They are a physical representation of not giving a rats as about anyone or anything other than yourself. It would be bad enough to say that they are a tremendous waste of money, but it really goes further than that. They not only cost the buyer way too much money, but they cost the government a crazy amount of money as well. A significant portion of our tax dollars go toward repairing/mitigating the damage they cause. 

    If not completely outlawed, they should be allowed in only centralized locations (like a local stadium, that sort of thing). 

    yeah, I don’t get fireworks. All time stupidest thing to spend money and time doing. I’m sorry, but if you spend money on fireworks, you probably shouldn’t ever be allowed to make financial decisions.

  • Tony
    17 4

    What a bunch of party poopers!  Fireworks represent the rockets red glare and the bombs bursting in air! A huge part of our history and INDEPENDENCE. 

  • Utesbyfive
    4 2

    Ok Karen.

  • EagleMountainUte
    11 1

    I hate fireworks as well. Never been a fan. But this year was different to see the amount of neighborhood shows had me impressed. People celebrating was cool this time considering the s**tty year we have all had.

    Breaking the American spirit is not that easy is what I took from it. I also have enjoyed the past five fourths because my son was born on the third and enjoys the s**t out of it now that he is five.   

    • dystopiamembrane

      This is so wonderful to hear. Three cheers for your son!

  • pics
    3 7

    Yeah, independence and freedom. Freedom to have the neighborhood sound like the landing at Omaha Beach from 6 pm to 1 am. Freedom to terrorize every animal for miles. Freedom to keep all the babies in the neighborhood awake and crying. It’s simply inconsiderate.

    • dystopiamembrane

      Freedom is pretty great, though.

      • pics
        1 1

        Couldn’t agree more.

    • EagleMountainUte
      6 3

      You are comparing your night to Omaha beach?  Ok settle down.

      Let’s talk about dog owners and how most don’t take care of their dogs. Inconveniencing me by s**tting and p**sing on my lawn. Leaving them to bark and annoy as you walk or ride your bike past your home. Barking 365 days a year every night when I just want to sit outside and watch a sunset. I can rant on and on..

      Don’t even get me started about other children and how inconsiderate they all are. 

      • pics
        2 3

        Actually, most dog owners take very good care of their pets. Probably better than their kids. 🙂

    • Utesbyfive
      5 2

      It’s one night a year. It’s a traditional celebration. You know it’s coming. Suck it up and prepare for it however you see fit and quit being a debbie downer.

  • Tony

    Out first 4 with a new dog.  Surprisingly he didn’t care much about any of the fireworks, even out walking around.  Glad about that. 

  • Yeah there’s a reason I go backpacking every 4th of July weekend…