Utah’s Kyle Whittingham has earned the Dodd Trophy for his program’s success on and off the football field, the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation announced Friday in Atlanta.
In another major honor for well-rounded success, Utah running back Zack Moss was named one of five Senior CLASS first-team All-Americans in the FBS for notable achievements in four areas: classroom, community, character and competition. The award stands for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School; Moss chose to return to Utah for his senior season, deferring his NFL pursuits.
Whittingham’s award, honoring the late Georgia Tech coach, is presented annually in connection with the Peach Bowl, and the criteria include “scholarship, leadership and integrity.” The other finalists were Minnesota’s P.J. Fleck, LSU’s Ed Orgeron, Baylor’s Matt Rhule and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney.
Whittingham this month received his first Pac-12 Coach of the Year award after the Utes (11-2) won another South division championship.
The foundation applauded the football program’s academic achievements and Whittingham’s community efforts that “truly embody everything that coach Dodd stood for,” chairman Jim Terry said in a news release.
Whittingham has been involved in developing the Ute Academy, a resource center for current and former athletes as their post-football lives take shape.
Whittingham’s record is at Utah is 131-63, including 42-39 in regular-season conference games in the program’s Pac-12 era and 11-2 in bowl games, counting the 2005 Fiesta Bowl as co-head coach with Urban Meyer. He needs 11 wins to overtake Ike Armstrong for the school’s all-time lead in football coaching victories.
The Football Bowl Association’s 150th Anniversary Committee recently named Whittingham No. 15 among the top 25 coaches in bowl history.
Moss, Utah’s career rushing leader with 4,010 yards, joined Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown (the overall winner), Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts, Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert and Western Michigan quarterback John Wassink as Senior CLASS first-team selections. Moss Moss has participated in events with the Crimson Council, Utah’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. He developed a friendship with students from a special-needs school in West Valley City during his freshman year that has extended throughout his career, according to the award’s news release.
Ute running backs coach Kiel McDonald credited Moss with leading by example, saying, “Zack does a great job helping our younger players understand what the standard is in the room and the schemes we are running.”