Utah football names DC Morgan Scalley as successor to Kyle Whittingham

Scalley has been with the Utes program as a player and coach since 2001

Utah football has a succession plan in place after current head coach Kyle Whittingham retires. Defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley will take over the Utes program when Willingham moves on, according to ESPN's Pete Thamel.

Neither Whittingham, 64, nor the school has set an official retirement date. The coach agreed to a contract extension in 2022 that takes him through the 2027 season. But putting Scalley in place should allow for an easier transition and maintain the success Whittingham has established during his 19 seasons at Utah.

Scalley's current contract has language in it that calls for him to take over as head coach when Whittingham steps down, according to Thamel. The arrangement was agreed upon last November.

If Scalley were to take the job at the end of the 2024 season, his salary would begin at $5 million. That will increase by $100,000 in each subsequent year, leading up to a possible $5.4 million starting salary if Scalley takes over in 2028.

Utah is joining the Big 12 after the dissolution of the Pac-12 and is viewed as the favorite to win the conference this season. Last season, the Utes finished 8–5 overall and tied for fourth in the Pac-12 at 5–4. Utah lost to Northwestern in the Las Vegas Bowl, 14–7, and were not ranked in the final AP Top 25 poll. Scalley's defense finished No. 13 in the nation in total defense.

Scalley was a defensive back with the Utes from 2001-04. As a senior, he earned All-American honors and was named Mountain West co-defensive player of the year in 2004. He began his coaching career as an administrative assistant in 2007, ascending from grad assistant to safeties coach, then recruiting coordinator and special teams. He was named defensive coordinator in 2016 after John Pease retired.

"Obviously, this is a program that's always meant the world to me," Scalley told Thamel. "I played here, grew up going to games here. I love this program and where it's headed, and I have a lot of respect for the coaches that have made it what is."

This is the second time Scalley has been named as Whittingham's successor by athletic director Mark Harlan. However, Utah revoked that plan in 2020 and reduced his salary after Scalley was suspended when a text message he sent in 2013 containing a racial slur was revealed on social media.