Monday, January 9, 2012

My Husband, the Coach

Kyle and I met when he moved 4 doors away from me in Provo, Utah.  It was the summer before 8th grade (1973).  It was a big deal having someone new move in and especially someone who was my age and so cute!  He was really shy but quickly made friends with the whole neighborhood.  In the summer, in the evenings, all the neighbor kids would get together and play night games.  We would ride bikes, and play football in the street, girls and boys together.  It was a fun place to grow up.
The summer we were 16, I took some candy poster, I think, over to his house and left it.  He soon called me and we went on our first date.  We continued to hang out/date over the next 7 1/2 years with a couple break ups in the mix, one lasting a whole year.  Kyle played football at BYU for 4 years and his dad, Fred Whittingham, was his linebacker coach the whole time.
Jamie and Kyle 1976 (16 yrs. old)
1977  In High School

One of my favorite pictures from when he played

When we were married in 1983, I had graduated with my nursing degree and had been working for 1 1/2 years as an RN.

This picture will surely date us quite a bit.
Kyle had finished his 4 years of college and was going to play in the USFL with the Denver Gold.  During that first year while he was at Denver we got engaged.  Then he was traded to the New Orleans Breakers.  So between the year with the Denver Gold and the year with the New Orleans Breakers, we got married in Utah on December 27, 1983.
Kyle playing for New Orleans Breakers
We lived in Kenner, Louisiana for 4 months while he played.  Then we moved back to Utah to be with our families.  After we had been married a year, I was pregnant with Tyler.  Kyle went off to play in Canada during that time.  That lasted a month or so and he came home.  Kyle then was a Graduate Assistant at BYU and obtained his Masters Degree in Professional Leadership/Athletic Administration.  That program took him 2 years.  His first job was at The College of Eastern Utah in Price where he was hired as the Defensive Coordinator.  During that time there was an NFL strike and  Kyle and Cary both went to the LA Rams to play.  
Kyle #52, Big Fred, Cary #57 played for Ram's when Fred coached there.
When that was over, Kyle was hired on as a linebacker coach at Idaho State University where we stayed for 6 years.  We had Melissa right before we moved to Idaho and then Alex 4 years later.

Kyle Coaching at Idaho State
Then we came to the University of Utah were Kyle had a great opportunity to come and coach D-line under his dad as the Defensive Coordinator.  After a year, Big Fred had an opportunity to go to the Raiders to coach so Fred left and luckily they made Kyle the Defensive Coordinator.

Big Fred, Ron McBride, and Kyle
Ron McBride and Kyle Whittingham, September 2008
We have been at the University ever since.  Kyle coached under Ron McBride as the Head Coach for 9 years.  They fired Coach McBride and then hired Urban Meyer.  Kyle and Urban became very good friends.  They both are smart, energetic, and worked very hard.  Urban's 2nd year at Utah they went 12-0 and won the Fiesta Bowl (2004 Season).  Urban left for Florida, and Kyle was then given the Head Coach job in Urban's place.  Then the real stress began. 
Urban Meyer and Kyle were Co-Head Coaches at Fiesta Bowl  Jan.1, 2005
Kyle visited Urban in Florida where he coached the Gators
It was a real transition for Kyle to being a Head Coach.  He loves the actual coaching a position so he misses that.  The Head Coach has so many different responsibilities.
Kyle Coaching
Kyle Coaching
He has to talk all the time to the media, players, recruits, families, etc.  He is basically a shy person so he really has been stretched out of his comfort zone.  He does not like to talk a lot, so I am proud of him because you would never know, listening to him, that he is uncomfortable.  He does an amazing job with the media and always says the right things.
Always having to speak
After 4 years as a head coach, Utah went 13-0 and went to the Sugar Bowl and beat Alabama (2008 Season).

Celebrating win of Alabama in the Sugar Bowl
I think those who are on the outside have no idea all the hours that are put into coaching, how hard they work.  Kyle says he could work 24 hours a day, there is always something you could be doing to get better.  I know Kyle wants to succeed.  He cares about the experience that the players have and that they get to experience success from all their hard work.  He cares about the fans, and the money they pay to go to games and Bowl games.  He wants to win for not just himself but for everyone involved.  He really puts all he has into it.
As a family we are all involved in Utah Football and support Kyle.
Whittingham Clan after a game
Daniels supporters after a Bowl Game
He is a great father, husband, brother, and son.  I love him for the example he is to me, for his honesty, his kindness, his goodness, and his humility.  He has a small collection of special needs friends who he talks to and includes in Utah Football to their degree of ability.  He will take the time to talk to these friends anytime, even in the middle of the season if they call him.  He is a great example to all who see his relationships with the special needs friends.  The 4 below are just a handful of his friends.
David Morrill,  Jay Rudd, Drew Johnson, and Austin
Kyle is grateful to be able to do something that he loves for his job.  He enjoys working with the assistant coaches that he has hired.  Sometimes I will show up at the office and they are coming out of their offices here and there and talking or laughing.  It is a lot of hard work and can be very stressful.  But all good things come from hard work.
There have been pictures of Kyle in the newspaper that I think he looks so handsome in, so I save them on my computer.  These are just a few.

This fall will start our 19th year at Utah, 8th year as the head coach.  We have 4 children; Tyler is 26, Melissa is 24 (married to Dawson Kent), Alex is 20, and Kylie is 14.



  1. Jamie this was the sweetest post ever! I literally started tearing up and have sooo much more love and admiration for you two. I never realized how many responsibilities he has! Also love your love story :) you have a darling husband to match his super sweet wife!!

    1. I should add the picture of have of you and Drew when you came to a game. Thank you for your support! Miss you guys, hope you are coming to visit this summer.

  2. I loved this post! I love your story! The throwback pics were sweet, and I think it is adorable that you save his newspaper pics on your computer! Great post.

  3. Hello Jamie! I came across your blog and have really enjoyed reading yours and Kyle's story! My name is Ashlee and I am a high school coach's wife. My husband and I are in our 20s and he has been coaching for the past 6 years and is currently the Offensive Coordinator for a Metro Nashville High School. I have started my own blog being a coach's wife and having a 15 month old son. I was wondering if you would email me at so I could ask you some questions about your journey to being the wife of a Head Coach and maybe get a few words of advice for us coach's wives that are still in the early years. Please take a look at my blog if you get a chance. I hope to hear from you soon!

    Thank you so much!