First in a two-part series.
Kyle Whittingham is late. This almost never happens. He prides himself on punctuality and organization, but this morning he arrived at his office a half-hour tardy for an appointment.
“I was stuck in an airplane on the tarmac for 2 1/2 hours,” he offers with an apology.
Whittingham was bound to be late on his frenetic post-season victory lap. He has been running from one errand to the next since his University of Utah football team finished its 13-and-0, Sugar-Bowl-victorious, No. 2-ranked, stick-it-to-the-BCS season. There have been parades and halftime appearances and a coach-of-the-year trophy to accept and coaching conventions and recruiting visits and speeches and firesides and banquets and interviews and even job offers. One day Al Davis, the Oakland Raiders eccentric owner who once hired Whittingham’s father Fred as a defensive coach, called Whittingham after seeing him on TV at the Sugar Bowl and tried to hire him to coach the Raiders defense.