Whit Stays? Yes, according to AD Chris Hill
Utah Athletic Director Chris Hill issued the following statement yesterday:
“As the athletics director, it is my job to meet with our head coaches to address aspects of their programs that can be improved. Coach Whittingham and I met twice in person this week for this reason. I want to reassure our fans and recruits that Kyle Whittingham is our head coach and any rumors to the contrary have no validity. As for Kalani Sitake, I am sorry we could not retain him as our defensive coordinator. Prior to the bowl game I offered him a three-year contract worth $750,000 a year plus bonuses that brought it to $800,000. Thank you for your interest and passion for Utah football. Sincerely, Chris Hill”
Clearly, Dr. Hill is trying to calm the storm. Notice though he did not say, “Kyle Whittingham will continue to be the head coach.”
Another interesting point – it is rare to see a high level administrator get so specific with salary numbers in reference to Utah’s attempt to retain Kalani Sitake. Some might view that as the AD calling Sitake out. I don’t think that’s the case. Hill was taking heat for not doing all he could and he wanted to make clear that he had been more than generous with the offer. I read that the $800K offer would have made Sitake the 20th highest paid assistant in the country. Not bad. And what’s crazy is you have to believe Oregon State is going to beat that number.
We can derive as well that it wasn’t just money Sitake left for. He wanted a fresh look and a chance to team up with his buddy, Gary Anderson who gave him his start in coaching.
As for whether Whit is actually staying – Matthew Piper of The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting that Kyle Whittingham will likely issue a statement some time today.